Faced with new forms of exclusion, the journey of Lenten conversion which begins on 6 March offers the opportunity to renew our commitment to welcoming all.
“Conversion and reconciliation is a journey that we make personally, but also as a people, as a Church, as a community.” Begin the message for Lent 2019 with these words, entitled “Outgoing” by the General Direction of the Scalabrinian missionaries, in the spirit of solidarity and charity.
The Lenten season, which this year begins March 6th, Ash Wednesday, is a journey of conversion that “must consist in going out of our sorrows and fears to participate and celebrate in the joy of the gospel with the migrants. It is rewarding to reach out but the action is not the result of disappointment, it is the joy of sharing.”
The “servitium caritatis” dear to Pope Francis
The message also cites the letter that Monsignor José Rodriguez Carballo, Secretary of the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life, sent on February 12, 2019 to Father Leonir Chiarello, Superior General of the Scalabrinian Congregation.
For the Blessed Scalabrini missionaries, “it is central to overcome a vision of migratory pastoral care that focuses only on welfare – writes Monsignor Carballo – and the creation of synergies of communion between the various sectors and pastoral sectors, to best express the servitium caritatis in favor of migrants, so dear to Pope Francis.”
Solidarity with the migrants of Cúcuta and Bogotá.
In order to realize this servitium caritatis the General Direction has proposed for the Lenten season, a campaign of solidarity with Venezuelan migrants in Colombia, aimed in particular at supporting the Integrated Centers of Attention to Migrants (CIAMI) of Cucuta and Bogotá.
“We try to be more charitable, towards ourselves and others – we still read in the Direction message – but we also offer more charity, in the traditional sense and in new forms. We are called to reinvent charity because today’s society has created new forms of marginalization and exclusion.”