Integrating faith – life – mission

From the Itinerant Team (1998) to the Itinerant Network of the REPAM (2019)

By Itinerant Team of the Amazon

Pope Francis begins his Apostolic Exhortation with these affectionate words: “Beloved Amazon.” He invites us to “take the Amazon to heart” by walking with its peoples: “thought should be given to itinerant missionary teams and support provided for the presence and mobility of consecrated men and women closest to those who are most impoverished and excluded.” Journeying geographically and symbolically, learning to understand, love and defend the Amazon and its people.

Laudato Si’ affirms that “everything in the world is connected” (# 16) and puts forward an “integral ecology” (# 10). The four Universal Apostolic Preferences of the Society of Jesus can only be taken up from a loving, integral, connected and “heartfelt” understanding: “to show the way to God through the Spiritual Exercises and discernment” leads us to “walk with the poor, the outcasts of the world, those whose dignity has been violated, in a mission of reconciliation and justice.” It encourages us also to “accompany young people in the creation of a hope-filled future” and to “collaborate in the care of our Common Home.”

This interconnection demands a conversion of the heart, “the driving force of feeling,” a metanoia which Fr. Claudio Perani, SJ, founder of the Equipo Itinerante (IT – Itinerant Team) formulated following his intuition: “Walk through the Amazon and listen to what the people are saying. Take part in the everyday life of the people. Observe and take note of everything carefully, with the same words the people use. Do not worry about the results, the Spirit will show the way. Courage! Begin where you can.”

In the IT’s life-as-mission, out in the open, the four UAPs are bound together, they are “held close to the heart.” A true spiritual journey towards God complicates our lives wherever life is threatened, loving the poor, caring for the future of young people and defending the life of all beings in the Common Home with whom we the make up the community, “nursed by the same bosom,” of creation.

The Itinerant Team integrates faith-life-mission, spirituality in the open that allows us to leave our comfort zone: “be with those nobody wants to, where nobody wants to, the way nobody wants to be,” where the wounds are most open and life most threatened. Laypeople, religious men and women, priests who make “community-on-the-road” through cities and villages, like Jesus (Luke 8,1 ff), serving the Kingdom of Justice. Their mission is a geopolitical one: to love-nurture-safeguard the abundant Life (John 10,10), Amazonian Good Living / Living Together. It is a “Church which goes forth,” that is,on a journey: “The Church’s closeness to Jesus is part of a common journey; ‘communion and mission are profoundly interconnected’” (Evangelii gaudium, # 23).

The IT promotes a connected Amazonian territorial worldview, which is also geopolitical, “from within,” it discerns the mission with the people, walking together a synodal path; the IT generates processes and weaves transnational networks to face the great Amazonian challenges. Bringing together various charisms, cultures, personalities, congregations, institutions, to accomplish together what we could not and should not do alone. Diversity is a theological Trinitarian principle of the IT: the more diverse, the more divine, as long as we maintain unity in diversity and complementarity.

2021-07-19_faith-life_mapa

The itinerant service complements in a “trinitarian” way the institutional structures and inserted ministries of the mission:

  1. Institutional structures, “God the Father”: give stability and continuity to the mission. For example: schools, hospitals, retreat homes, parishes.
  2. Inserted ministries, “God the Son”: bring closeness, “incarnation” with the poor and the wounds of the planet. For example: grassroots, integrated communities in rural areas, the urban fringes, villages.
  3. Itinerant services, “Holy Spirit”: reach where institutions and insertion do not, give visibility, connectivity, inclusion and unity between both sides of (geographical, symbolic) borders.

The more balanced and articulated these three missionary services are in the apostolic body, the greater their impact will be.

2021-07-19_faith-life_grupo

The Red Eclesial Pan-Amazónica (REPAM – Pan-Amazonian Ecclesial Network) and the Confederación Latinoamericana y Caribeña de Religiosos (CLAR – Latin American and Caribbean Conference of Religious Men and Women), together with the experience of the IT and other mobile missionary teams, are now creating the Itinerant Network, which held its first meeting in Manaos in August 2019, with 60 participants from 7 Amazonian countries.

The Synod for the Amazon (October 2019) was (is) kairós. Sr. Arizete Miranda CNS-CSA, founder of the IT, made a crucial contribution as synodal mother and the Pope quoted her in plenary session: “Sister Miranda has said a key word that OVERFLOWS: ITINERANCE.” Amazonian itinerancy overflows, beyond our control: it opens up to the Spirit; Providence takes care of us and leads the people and the poor by the hand.

2021-07-19_faith-life_mujeres

The final document reinforces this OVERFLOW of ITINERANCE:

“In this way Jesus pointed out to us, his disciples, that our mission in the world cannot be static, but is itinerant. The Christian is itinerant” (# 21).

“Itinerant missionary teams in the Amazon, weaving and building community in their travels, help to strengthen the Church’s synodality. They bring together various charisms, institutions and congregations, lay people, men and women religious, and priests.Together they accomplish what cannot be done alone” (# 39).

“We propose a network of itinerant ministries that brings together the various efforts of teams that accompany and energize the life and faith of the communities in the Amazon” (# 40).

“We support the insertion and itinerancy of consecrated persons amongst the most impoverished and excluded” (# 98).

May the Spirit of God encourage us to journey; to row out to deeper waters and cast the nets for a catch (Luke 5,4) with our BELOVED AMAZON.

[Article from "Jesuits - The Society of Jesus in the World - 2021", by Itinerant Team of the Amazon]

Share this Post:
Posted by Communications Office - Editor in Curia Generalizia
Communications Office
The Communications Office of the General Curia publishes news of international scope on the central government of the Society of Jesus and on the commitments of the Jesuits and their partners. It also handles public relations.

Related Posts: