On Tuesday morning, May 13th, in the Support Center for the Devotees of the Sanctuary/Shrine of Campo Grande, the participants of the first International Congress of Our Lady of Perpetual Help had the opportunity to get acquainted with the devotional experiences in the various Conferences of the Congregation.
Before the brief expositions, Fr. Michael Brehl, superior general of the Redemptorists, welcomed the participants of the Congress and said to them: “This is an historic moment for us Redemptorists. Almost 150 years ago, Pope Pius IX told us to make Our Lady of Perpetual Help known throughout the world. Today, there is no place in the world where this devotion is not present.
Next, the archbishop of Campo Grande, Dimas Lara Barbosa, also addressed a word to those present: “For us of Campo Grande it is a privilege to host this event, since the sanctuary/shrine of Our Lady of Perpetual Help has become a reference for Marian devotion not only for the city, but for our entire state. And this sanctuary/shrine is another special sign of the presence of the Redemptorists. May all be attentive to the Mother of Perpetual Help.”
Fr. Manny Rodríguez, coordinator of the Conference of Latin America and the Caribbean of the Redemptorist Congregation was the moderator of the morning session and emphasized the meaning of the meeting: “We are here to venerate, to express our love for Mary. We would like to encourage a vibrant devotion to Our Lady. We would like to strengthen Christian life, counting on the assistance of Our Lady of Perpetual Help. We want to accomplish that which Pope Pius IX asked of us. And the sharing of our experiences will enliven, promote and propagate this devotion.”
The coordinator of the Conference also explained the methodology to be used during the Congress: “The strategy that we are going to use is well known here in Latin America. The first day, today, will be the moment to ‘see’. It will not be an analysis, but a sharing. Tomorrow, we would like to deepen the experience we are having with a reflection on various aspects of the devotion. It will be the moment to ‘reflect’. And Thursday will be the day to ‘act’. We will have this moment for thinking of actions to strengthen devotion throughout the world.”
(Translation: Fr. Joseph Dorcey, CSsR)