ROME, MARCH 26, 2003 (Zenit.org).- More than 50,000 people will spend their Holy Week holidays under mostly sunny skies — not to acquire a tan but to take the Gospel into largely remote areas.
The lion’s share of those 50,000 will work in Latin America — in Mexico, El Salvador, Costa Rica, Argentina and Brazil — from April 12-21. Still others will head to Ireland and a half-dozen other countries.
They are taking part in the 10th annual Mega-Mission, organized by the ecclesial movement Regnum Christi through its Juventud y Familia Misionera (Missionary Youth and Family).
To date, the Mega-Missions have involved 155,000 young people and 15,000 families in re-evangelization in 25 countries.
These popular missions gather teams of young people, families and priests who prepare in an intensive multidisciplinary and organizational course.
In keeping with John Paul II’s initiative, this year’s mission will concentrate in particular on explaining and promoting the rosary.
The missionaries go from house to house in some of the poorest sectors of the population, catechizing the children, visiting the sick and elderly, and encouraging people to receive — or return to — the sacraments.
In the afternoons, they invite the residents to attend activities of Catholic formation organized by the missionaries, or to join Holy Week services. The priests who accompany the missionaries work 12 to 14 hours a day, officiating at baptisms and weddings, hearing confessions and celebrating Masses.
At the end of the week, the missionaries return from their zones to the city from which they departed, to attend Easter Sunday Mass, which this year will be offered for world peace.
“We spend six days drawing and performing plays to teach Indian children something about Jesus Christ. Now, when I go to Mass and say ‘I believe in one God,’ I understand it in a new way,” said Heidi Foster, a member of Missionary Family.
The Oklahoma wife spent Holy Week last year with her husband Jeff and three children evangelizing a village in Mexico’s Sierra Madre.
Over the past seven years, the Mega-Missions have reached some 7 million homes.
For more information on the Mega-Missions, send an e-mail to: [email protected].