The Oblate Sisters to the Ecclesial Congress “Medellín 50 Years”


Medellín 50 years: prophecy, communion, and participation

(Medellin, Colombia) The Oblate Sisters have attended the celebration of the Ecclesial Congress “Medellín 50 Years”, organized by the Latin American Episcopal Council (LAEC), the Latin American and Caribbean Confederation of Religious (LACCR), Caritas of Latin America and the Caribbean and the Archdiocese of Medellín from 23rd to 26th of August in Medellin, Colombia. In response to Pope Francis’ call to create an outgoing Church, the social aspects of evangelization and attention to the neediest have been addressed.

After 50 years, Medellín is once again an urgent call to ecclesial conversion and commitment to the poor, to what the Spirit encouraged at that time to the Bishops of Latin America, and to all the participants wanting to be faithful to Vatican II. Then it was said:  “On the Latin American Continent God has projected a great light that shines in the rejuvenated face of his Church, this is the hour of hope.”

The Hope also now mobilizes us, and we cannot let it be stolen from us by the inequality and violence sadly installed on our continent. We cannot continue to give way to social inequality, to neoliberalism that has turned us into a commodity and a highly consumer society, “no, our Faith cannot rest” …

At the service of the poor

Paradoxically, we are also the region with the most Catholic population. Such a reality implies a new mysticism, a new prophecy, a new communion, a new way of thinking the faith, a new contemplative attitude of life and a new commitment for action where our pastoral projects are located in liberating contexts, animated by processes of formation in faith and conversion so that our decisions are prophetic:  “We are a Church at the service of the People and the poor.”

Life is still at risk and it is urgent that each of us adopt an unwavering commitment to peace and justice of our many brothers and sisters who expect everything from us. We need to be their voice, give them a voice, empower their voice. The subject of history cannot continue to be a privileged group, but to everyone who integrates it.

Medellín was also labeled as dangerous, to the degree of persecution and martyrdom. And it is that defending life to the ultimate consequences as Jesus did is dangerous. Therefore, we need to sustain ourselves in this new birth and learn from the people who are already doing. May the reality that we live reach to move our bowels, that we use the social hermeneutics that brings us closer to the God of Jesus, and that we continue learning to give the reason for our Faith. Time is pressing.

Do we believe that change is possible? Are we ready?  “The commitment is personal, even at the cost of sacrifices. Only seeing the other as my brother can I feel his pain and decide to do something, to awaken in the desires of liberation.” What will give us credibility is the testimony of life. Jesus who tells us not to be afraid, He will give us strength, He will speak for us, He will be with us until the end of time.

 I deeply thank GOD, LACCR and our congregation for the gift of this rich experience.

Carmen Ugarte García, OSR Mexico.