ARGENTINA, Carlos Cappelletti and Maria Fischer •
There are only weeks to go before the Argentinean Madrugadores’ huge 8th National Gathering, which will be 19 -21 August, in Nueve de Julio, 263 km southwest of Buenos Aires. The large, local Madrugadores group has been preparing everything for some time with plenty of dreams and enthusiasm, to offer others an unforgettable experience. They want it to be a real celebration around the Blessed Mother, and Madrugadores from everywhere are invited.
Large groups from different points in the country have already confirmed their attendance (Corrientes, Entre Rios, San Luis, La Rioja, San Juan, Mendoza, Ciudad Autónoma of Buenos Aires among others. The activity is awaited with enormous expectations. That is what the Presbyter of the Cathedral, Guillermo Gómez, affirmed during a press conference on 30 June: “For Nueve de Julio, it is very important because it is the first time that a National Gathering will be held here.” On the other hand, he stressed “it is a great challenge to welcome so many people, and it also a great organizational effort. But this encourages the Madrugadores group more, because it involves special preparation and giving one’s best, as well as to help in growth of our Christian life.”
On Saturday, 19 August, at 6:00 p.m., there will be a reception and room assignments. The event will begin at 8:00 p.m. with words of welcome, an explanation of the schedule and the work methodology, followed by dinner.
Photo: Madrugadores de Nueve de Julio in the Cathedral
Madrugada, rosary through the streets of the city, Masses and many gatherings
The large Madrugada will begin on Sunday, 20 August, at 7:00 a.m., then breakfast, that is the entire gathering will focus on the essential of being, of being present and Madrugadores’ work. There will be different worktables, introductions of the communities, and a lot of time for brotherly visiting.
There will be a time for missionary outreach with a rosary through the streets of the city on Saturday at 4:00 p.m.; the parish community is invited to accompany them. Then there will be a concelebrated Mass at 5:00 p.m. (it will be the only Mass on that day throughout the city), ten priests have already confirmed that they will arrive at Nueve de Julio accompanied by their respective groups.
The Bishop of Nueve de Julio, Ariel Edgardo Torrado Mosconi, will be the National Gathering’s first speaker. He has already spoken to the Madrugadores several times, and he accompanies them with great interest.
On 12 May 2015, Pope Francis designated Bishop Ariel Torrado Mosconi, as coadjutor Bishop of the Diocese of Santo Domingo in Nueve de Julio, and on 1 December 2015, he became titular bishop of the same diocese. Since his arrival, he has insisted on the emphasis that the Holy Father gives in the exhortation, Evangelii Gaudium. Mainly he has continuously called that the Church to open wide the doors, in the dual sense, willingly welcoming everyone who comes near it, reaching out to geographical and existential peripheries.
In an attitude of openness, the broad convocation of everyone who approaches the Church to dialogue about many different subjects should be stressed. During his first year as diocesan bishop, he held important meetings with the region’s provincial legislators, and he met at the bishop’s seat with mayors of the seventeen parties that are a part of the diocese.
In regard to reaching out, besides encouraging priests and the faithful to the mission, in a special way for the Church, he has pursued getting close to most of the cities’ poorest and vulnerable neighborhoods, and also in his diocese’s small rural towns. He has encouraged the creation of neighborhood centers or homes of Christ for preventing addictions and to help in seeking recovery for those who have fallen.
Recently he has promoted the creation of a spirituality center in the first diocesan shrine that will be dedicated to Our Lady of Fatima, patroness of the diocese.
On 24 June 2017, the diocesan Church responded to the God, the Church, and the Pope’s call to “go out to the encounter” and he set up a missionary tent in the Héroes de Malvinas neighborhood. There priests and the faithful carried out different activities, such as, walks and traveling through neighborhood homes, prayer times, songs, catechesis, and different recreational activities for the young ones. Despite the cold and the inclement weather, many people of different ages and members from different groups collaborated such as: the Scouts, the Schoenstatt Madrugadores, and the Community of Sharing, among others. Priests from the cathedral, seminarians, and Sr. Beatriz also accompanied them. Moreover they received the visit of the pastor, Emilio Peralto, and Aldo and Liliana, brother/sister of the evangelical church. Bishop Ariel Torrado Mosconi, in tune with Pope Francis’ desire for ecclesial renewal, which consists, among other things, in a Church that is more open to the community and has greater proximity to people, has encouraged the Madrugadores. The Madrugadores’ participation has made their desire to add social and missionary commitments to their activities possible.
Following the program on the afternoon of Sunday, 20 August of the Madrugadores’ 8th National Gathering, they will welcome Fr. Manolo Prieto for another talk; he is a Marianist priest from Nueve de Julio, an educator and well-known speaker.
On Monday, 21 August (a holiday in Argentina), Fr. Mamerto Menapace, a Benedictine monk well known for writing stories, poems, biblical essays, narratives and reflections, will give talk generally oriented to the youths.
He is often compared with Cura Brochero, because of his relaxed style and through his inspiration in everyday issues. He has transcribed the majority of the psalms into the Gauchesco language.
Editora Patria Grande has published his books since 1976, and they have become very popular in the sphere of the Argentinean Catholic Church and also abroad. He has published more than forty books with subjects ranging from an encounter with God to growth in faith.
Photo: Fr. Mamerto Menapace in a meeting with Pope Francis in 2015
“It can be determined in any celebration of any Church: of 30 faithful, 25 are women”
Madrugadores is an ecclesial project geared only for men that emerged approximately thirty years ago within the Chilean Schoenstatt Movement, and today it has spread to several Latin American countries (Chile, Bolivia, Argentina, Costa Rica have the greatest presence). It is open to everyone since any man is invited to participate regardless of his religion, civil state or his social status. It was created in Nueve de Julio three years ago, and they meet bi-monthly, specifically on Saturdays at 7:00 a.m. Its name emerged from the time of their meetings. After prayers, the participants freely share a fellowship breakfast. “This is a place specifically for men unaccustomed to participating in the Church,” Jorge Pinciroli, coordinator of the National Gathering, shared, at a press conference in the Nueve de Julio Unity House.
“The man is the notable absentee of the Church. It can be determined at any celebration of any church: of the thirty faithful, twenty-five are women. This is precisely the objective of the group: to call the men together,” Carlos Cappeletti, one of the initiators of the local group, emphasized.
The Madrugadores’ National Gathering will end on Monday afternoon, 21 July closing with a solemn Mass.
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Original: Spanish. 15 July 2017. Translation: Celina M. Garza, San Antonio, TX USA. Edited: Melissa Peña-Janknegt, Elgin, TX USA