Latin American Bishops Discuss Parish Renewal

Meeting a Continuation of Continental Mission

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LIMA, Peru, MAY 10, 2010 ( The effort by bishops in Latin America to reinvigorate parish life is off to a good start, according to organizers of a continental meeting on the topic.

Lima was the host diocese last week for the Meeting of Bishops Responsible for Promoting the Continental Mission and Parish Renewal in the Episcopal Conferences of Latin America and the Caribbean, which was attended by 38 bishops and priests.

The meeting sought to rethink and renew the ecclesial communities and pastoral structures of the diocese and its parishes, based on the pastoral conclusions of the 5th General Conference of the Bishops of Latin America and the Caribbean. Benedict XVI inaugurated that event near the shrine of Our Lady of Aparecida in Brazil in May 2007.

Archbishop Miguel Cabrejos Vidarte, president of the Peruvian episcopal conference, celebrated the opening Mass, and urged those present to work toward a stronger union with Christ and among the faithful.
Auxiliary Bishop Pedro Ossandón of Concepcion, Chile, focused on the topic “The Diocese and the Parish: Historical Elements, Present Situation — Lights and Shadows.” He made a synthetic presentation of the history of the parish in Latin America from Colonial times to modern times.

He stressed that there is Good News for Latin America: “The parish is alive, that Christ has not died and that he calls and asks that they take care of his flock.”
Father Jorge Luis Roque reflected on the topic “Juridical Elements of the Diocese and Parish: Pastoral Structures in Canon Law.” He expressed, through the teaching of the Church, the lights and shadows around these two ecclesial structures.
Finally, Father Carlos Galli referred to the study on communion and renewal of the parish, dioceses and structures. He highlighted the life of faith in community, having love as the center and showing that only thus “will we be disciples of Jesus, if we practice love with joy.”

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