San Gil, Colombia: EoC presented to representatives of 25 dioceses

Greater attention to the EoC project by the Colombian Church

San Gil, Colombia: EoC presented to representatives of 25 dioceses

by Silvano Roggero

110824_San_Jill_02_ridThey gathered to talk about “economy of communion” in a general sense. The speech row: if you want to live a spirituality of communion, you must also live a policy of communion, an economy of communion… and we were invited to present EoC.

We are talking about a group of twenty-five Colombian dioceses, exactly one third of the Colombian Episcopal: these dioceses have adopted a “Plan for Renewal and Evangelization” (PDRE) which was inspired by the “Movement for a Better World.” From August 22 to 26 they convened at San Gil for their annual meeting which included Bishops, Pastoral and Bursar Vicars of various dioceses to “reflect the reality, discern and make commitments on the economy of communion in the diocesan priesthood, as an expression of the Spirituality of Communion in the light of the Word of God and the Magisterium of the Church.”

The previous day (23/8) we had started from Bogota taking more than 7 hours to travel the 300 km that separated us from San Gil. We knew there would have been about fifty people present, including 17 bishops, diocesan vicars and bursar. For this reason we tried to prepare ourselves the best way possible to have plenty of time for our presentations. After the introduction of the local bishop, Monsignor Carlos Ruiz Germàn Mesa, we started by presenting the Focolare Movement, the ground in which the EoC project has seen the light, then moved on to EoC, through a video and several testimonies. Finally a presentation on the “culture of giving” taken from the themes of Vera Araujo last May in Brazil.

The work continued by groups, 5 in all: each person was given 7 questions to work on individually at first and then in groups. 110824_San_Jill_03_ridThis is what was said in the preface to the questions: “It is not a matter of writing a treatise on the life of the dioceses and parishes from the experience of the EoC. Rather it is to investigate the EoC characteristics and then to understand what are the typical aspects of EoC that can help or say something new and useful to the life of the dioceses and parishes, and concretely how this can happen.” The questions focused on: the culture of giving, community governance, poverty, reciprocity, generosity, and was aimed on reflecting how to embody these values within the diocesan and parish realities.

The work was greatly appreciated: The program was planned to conclude with a plenary session in which we would have heard the summary of the work groups, but it was not so. All the remaining time was used to answer additional questions that had sprung from the work groups. The Archbishop of Barranquilla, a city on the coast overlooking the Caribbean, Monsignor Jairo Jaramillo Monsalve said: “I have only been there for a few months, but if I gather a group of entrepreneurs with whom we are in contact as Diocese, would you come to speak to them?” It was exactly one of the proposals we had thought to ask the bishops at the conclusion, but this question came before us.

The dialogue therefore continues and we will keep you updated!

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