The final day day of the International Congress on OMPH, in Madrid began with a prayer before the Icon that gave way to a moment to share the experience lived by the participants during these days. Devotion, joy, love, coexistence, restlessness for the continuity after this centenary … were the words that resonated for the people who gave testimony.
Then came the intervention of Fr. Michael Brehl, Superior General, who with his words centered the meaning of the Congress and, more importantly, gave hints to walk in the near future encouraging not to remain in the simple devotion to Our Mother of the Perpetual Help, but to go out in the mission, being missionaries in the hands of Mary, to be witnesses of the Redeemer before the people who suffer.
Referring to Pope Francis, he recalled the call we all have of being “missionary disciples,” and reminded that the first “missionary disciple” was Mary. She was the first disciple, and then the first missionary to receive the mission entrusted to introduce us to her Son and accompany the nascent Church.
“Since then,” Father General said, “Mary continues her mission of accompanying those who suffer, creating spaces for the encounter and making possible the revolution of the tenderness that transforms the world. She is “compassion for those who suffer, a sign of hope in the struggle for justice, taste of home, company in life, a pilgrim alongside the poor and all suffering people.” In Mary go hand in hand justice and tenderness, contemplation and compassion, prayer and action.
Fr Michael reminded us that today we received the commission again to make her known. And the best way to do this is to be as She witnesses to the Redeemer: accompanying the poor and abandoned with compassion, tenderness and maternal love; Accompanying as pilgrims to the people of God, especially the poor and those who suffer; Fighting for justice with the revolutionary power of love and tenderness; And praying in the midst of the people of God.
After stating that Mother of Perpetual Help accompanies us on our mission and often goes before us, Fr. Michael concluded his speech asking if the Redemptorists, religious and laity, can accompany her in her Mission and be true witnesses of the Redeemer, who are in solidarity with the mission in a wounded world.
In the afternoon Fr José Luis Bartolomé, Provincial Superior of Madrid, presided over the closing Eucharist of the Congress. A beautiful performance of flamenco art and a gaudeamus in the monastery garden added beauty to the conclusion of these days coexistence and encounter.
A sincere thanks to the Province of Madrid and to the Community of Perpetual Help for the warm welcome and to the Organizing Commission and to the Laity of the Province for the quiet and effective work that has made this Congress possible.
Pedro López, CSsR