VI EMLA, Santo Domingo 2008
WELCOME 4:00 p.m. was the indicated scheduled arrival for the participants already in the country to arrive at the John Paul II House of Evangelization which would become our home for a week.The youth from Chile began to receive each one with great excitement and enthusiasm, breaking barriers and so winning the admiration of the other VMY. The new Papal Nuncio of the country presided at the Mass, accompanied by the other priests there at the time.This event in the crypt opened the Encounter, followed by tallying the attendance sheet. The logo of the VI LAME of the VMY was presented by a pantomime presentation.Cordiality and kindness reigned for the evening.We presented ourselves by region: Bolivarian countries, Countries of southern South America, Brazil, Central America, Mexico, Caribbean and Spain.With an invocation to the Holy Spirit we closed the evening. July 21, 2008 – First Day of the Encounter Bells and soft music woke us up to begin the day, many perturbed by the annoying sound of the bell, which would not cease.The Haitian delegation led the Eucharist and the Puerto Rican delegation the songs. Our first presenter was a Salvadoran priest who brought us up to date with the first theme of the Encounter, “Analysis of the Reality of Latin America”, giving us trends and helping us to expand our horizons about what really happens and what there is in the Continent to which we all belong.How could we forget the aerobics the day the youth from Puerto Rico made us all dance and jump in all the group dynamics.Each community of life presented in a different manner the questions made about each theme.The second day the theme was “Ecclesial Insertion” which treated critically how youth become introduced to ecclesial life in different environments, presenting barriers and difficulties. Even after 10:00 p.m. we were together by region evaluating the different lines drawn.Having finished the work we made our way to the Crypt to close the day with the final prayer by the Venezuelan delegation, asking us what we would like to change in our Continent of Hope. July 22, 2008 – 2nd Day of the Encounter Today the Peruvian Delegation organized the Eucharist and also demonstrated their talents singing at Mass. Our very dear second presenter, Pavol Noga, with his simplicity won the hearts of all with the theme, “Marian Consecration and Particular Virtues of the VMY,” thus showing us the spirituality of every Vincentian youth, beginning with the request from The Virgin up to the notes and virtues which distinguish us in the entire world. Listen! With funny and lively presentations the different groups presented the conclusions to the second theme which capsulated the essence of the day, “Lay Vincentian Spirituality,” showing us the aspects we share in common with the different Vincentian branches. The Bolivarian countries presented the first cultural act.How could one forget “The Lost Little Spoon” which allowed us to dance until all finished, or “Turks and Spaniards” among others…. In precession and divided by country carrying our flags before us, we moved toward the Crypt for our prayer to Our Mother and Mediatrix with a beautiful prayer in full voice and so together we finished the evening. July 23, 2008 – 3rd DAY of the Encounter Today Bolivia handled the Eucharist of the day.Later at breakfast one could appreciate the integration of the participating youth, this day being volunteers the center of attention.Beautiful, isn’t it?And for this day the theme most awaited by all, “Systemic Change.”The presenter was Uca, an exemplary member of the International Association of Charities (AIC).She used images and true videos showing the different works with themes done by the different Vincentian branches in the world.He encouraged us to begin a Systemic change. This afternoon we began work on the draft of the Rules of the Latin American Council.We met by regions and later, as always, by country.The draft gave us much to speak about since as each point became extended and without a conclusion.Also the heat began to bother us.Work was postponed for the moment of the cultural presentations.In this meeting only two per region participated.The volunteers sang long and melodious songs during dishwashing which gave joy to those to whom they were dedicated and so lasted the entire week. July 24, 2008 – 4th Day of the Encounter This was the longest day of all in which was concentrated the entire work of the previous days.APU had the Eucharist so as to begin on the right foot. The lines of action took all day, holding meetings by region and by country.This made the morning more stressful.The election of the New Coordinating Team for Latin America maintained all in anticipation as to who would be the newly elected but at the end things work out finally as the law indicates and so the following were elected: Gabriela from Venezuela as Coordinator Cleber, delegate from Brazil Maria Jeanette from Chile as delegate for the countries of the Southern Region Josefina from Mexico as delegate for Central America and Mexico Aily from Peru as delegate for the Bolivarian countries Given the fact that no country presented in a formal manner its interest in being the host for the VII EMLA (Latin American Missionary Encounter), this point was suspended so as to be treated later via consultation with the various countries. After the evaluation of the words of gratitude to the organizers and participants of this VI EMLA, the event was concluded. The southern Countries, Brazil and Slovakia prepared the cultural night. July 25, 2008 – 5th Day Of The Encounter Today the meeting of National Councils was programmed.They had much work and were at the same time angry for not being able to go on the Outing planned for today. Each volunteer took a delegation in order to facilitate the tour in the Colonial Zone.“Finally we left the cave,” many thought, because after offering the pertinent announcements and guidelines, we began our trip which would last until the afternoon. Lunch for all was in Fortaleza Ozama where we chatted, played, kidded and continued to make new friends. The next stop was the Mercado Modelo so that all could buy handicraft souvenirs.How could we forget the reception in the store; we received coffee, grapes, refreshments and mamajuana.We were delayed there due to rain, somewhat nervous because it became late for the Rosary that afternoon. We went home to the rhythm of merengue.As soon as we arrived we began the Rosary; though many were tired from the trip, they responded to the call. entral America serenaded all night showing us principally the beauty of their countries July 26, 2008 – 6th Day Of The Encounter The day began with personal lauds, each one responsible to do so in the way one would like.Going through the halls one could hear the soft hymns being sung in the different rooms.As one might suspect, all did not do so that morning. After breakfast we were all called to the Bethany Retreat House which was one of the projects of the Saint Vincent de Paul Parish.Songs, jokes, stories and the good will of the Missionaries congregated there was the cause of great joy for the elderly who live in that house. Arriving at the House general orientations of the Mission were given and an explanation of the different communities where the foreign missionaries are stationed. The Eucharist that was in the hands of the former Council and the new Council concluded the Encounter, which had very special invited guests from different branches of the Vincentian Family in the country. The cultural presentation was a folklore night to the rhythm of Black Theater, which summarized all the cultures gathered there, dramatizations and the native rhythms which represent us in the entire world. July 27, 2008 – 7th Day Of The Encounter Sun, beach and sand: let’s go there as it is hot!Before the closing Mass we headed to one of the beaches nearest the Capital where we shared a good while.Above all we saw the happiness of some who, because of their geographic location, have no costal zones. For a good while we enjoyed the beach until the hour arrived to leave and prepare the Mass in the Parish.Upon arriving each Missionary guarded his or her belongings in the previously designated places. All felt emotion beginning today the great mission which would take two weeks of hard effort in the different communities of the Parish Sector. Quickly the instant a community was mentioned each Missionary left with his responsible collaborators in such a way that made it impossible to bid farewell to one another nor to know well where we would be placed nor where we would live. In this manner each one left for what would be his or her new home.
“MISSIONARIES OF CHRIST WITH THE POWER OF THE HOLY SPIRIT”