CHILE, Gonzalo Díaz and Barbara Brain •
“We invite you with great hope to unite with us in mobilizing yourselves this Pentecost. At such crucial moments in the life of the Church, we want to ask the Holy Spirit to renew us with his light, warmth, and strength and to make of us credible witnesses to the gospel.” –
This simple and direct call, from a small group of Schoenstatt members in Chile, grew from a trickle of enthusiasm among various groups of our downcast Chilean church. Wounded by cases of abuse by some members of the clergy and, even worse, a policy of cover ups by the Church authorities over many years, the desertion and disillusion of members of the Church is strong, evident, and very widespread.
But the heart of the faith, in its majority, continues to beat, with greater or lesser strength. This small flame is what gave rise to the call. Why don’t we do something to reignite the faith in our Church? And what can we do…?” Just another conversation, like many others before, but it moved from words to action, with a phone call to another and another and another to various movements, institutions, parishes, etc, and the call to express ourselves publicly became a great “Yes, I will go!”
On the streets, in the center of the city
Without doubt, Pentecost was the much needed impulse. At what other time were the Christians more afraid, in hiding, fearful and bewildered than on Pentecost in 33AD? Well now, we need you again, with the same power as then, Holy Spirit of God! And yes, it was on the streets, not just between four walls, that the fire of God made them leave their hideout and renew the world.
Let us be confident that this Saturday, 8 June, the vigil before Pentecost, many Christians will come together to pray and plead for forgiveness and hope, in the center of the city, so that we can once again allows ourselves to be overcome by the joy of the true message of the gospel, which does not impose rules, but has only a single mandate of love. Christ lives and overcomes death, every kind of death.
Already the first miracle from the Holy Spirit has happened. We can say that in these 50 days we worked in unity and coordination with the Pastoral team of the Catholic University, the San Sebastián University, Duoc, the Development University, the Youth Hope Vicariate, the whole We Are All Church movement, Regnum Christi, the Neocatechumens, CVX, Catholic Voices, Academy of Catholic Leaders, Opus Dei, Communion and Liberation, Focolare, Catholic Charismatic Renewal, the Shalom Catholic Community, Conversion Retreats, Misión de Vida, institutions such as St. Vincent de Paul and the Salesian Network of Institutes, and various pastoral teams in the parishes, as well as countless colleges in various parts of Santiago.
If it is God’s will, tomorrow will be a small step in redirecting a Church that is renewed and re-energised. If it doesn’t happen, there will be other occasions and opportunities. Whatever happens in the future, it is and will be the exclusive task of the Holy Spirit, who has chosen his new apostles for this new stage in the life of the Church.
Page with materials, contact, program, more information Spanish): www.pentecostes2019.cl
Original: Spanish, 7 June. Translation: Sarah-Leah Pimentel, Cape Town, South Africa