Here is a translation of the letter Pope Francis sent to the President of the Latin American Episcopal Council (CELAM), Cardinal Ruben Salazar Gomez, archbishop of Bogota, on the occasion of the 60th year of the institution of CELAM.
Vatican, October 12, 2015
On the occasion of the 60th anniversary of the Latin American Episcopal Council (CELAM), I wish to join you in thanksgiving for all the goods that the Lord has been sowing and bearing fruit, through your service to God’s Church in Latin America.
I hope that CELAM, keeping pastoral and missionary conversion as a priority, will be increasingly a participant, a support and a radiant impetus of that evangelizing movement toward all environments and peripheries. It is important that our communities be “homes and schools of communion,” that they attract by an astonishing fraternity, founded on the recognition of our common Father, and that they always help to maintain alive in the Church in Latin America the passion for our peoples, the taking up of their sufferings and the capacity of Christian discernment of the vicissitudes of their present history, to open paths of greater fairness, peace and justice.
The forthcoming opening of the Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy will be an event of grace, in which CELAM will carry out an essential service of animation, exchange and celebration.
Dear Brother, on transmitting my most cordial greetings of earnest esteem, I impart to all CELAM’s members and collaborators and to the whole Latin American and Caribbean Episcopate my Apostolic Blessing, putting in the tilma of Our Lady of Guadalupe, Patroness of America, all these intentions so that, through her intercession, Our Lord Jesus Christ will raise ever new and more holy missionary disciples in our Churches, and more courageous builders of peace and justice in our nations.
[Original text: Spanish] [Translation by ZENIT]