(Sao Paulo, Brasile) From 17 to 19 July 2020, the ENESER [Unión Nacional de Ex-Seminaristas Redentoristas / National Union of Former Redemptorist Seminarians], National Meeting of the UNESER [Encuentros Regionales de Ex-Seminaristas Redentoristas / Regional Meetings of Former Redemptorist Seminarians], was held, which would be the 25th face-to-face event, however, due to the pandemic caused by the Covid19, it was carried out virtually, through video conferences and interpersonal communications in groups, using social networks, via the Internet.
These were days rich in religious celebrations, full of messages and pleasant memories, flooded with publications and wonderful greetings. During the three days, the participants were able to participate in excellent reflections, moments of prayer, talks and musical presentations, produced by former seminarians themselves. All this happened virtually!
The opening was done by the President of the Association, Antônio Cláudio Ferreira, welcoming everyone. The Eucharistic celebration, concelebrated on Sunday morning by Redemptorist Fathers José Marques, Luiz Rogério Carrilho Cruz and Nei Barreto, was transmitted from the Bento do Potim-SP Religious Community. The technical support provided by Father Carrilho was fundamental for the transmission of the Mass live on the Internet. The Rite of Forgiveness, held on Friday night, was coordinated by Father José Anchieta Tavares, CSsR, who also composed a beautiful song specifically for this Virtual ENESER.
Many people participated, sending messages of the joy of revering their friends of so many years and full of nostalgia for those who have already departed. Presences from all over the country, from Paraguay, Portugal and Italy. UNESER continues to be firm in its objective of bringing together former Redemptorist seminarians from all over Brazil.
In this ENESER of 2020, there was participation by colleagues from various groups from the outskirts of Brazil: Manaus (AM), Varginha (MG), Sacramento (MG), Tietê (SP) and Ponta Grossa (PR), involving people from Paraná, Mato Grosso do Sul and Paraguay. The conversation rooms and the live transmissions were well received by the people. At the opening on Friday, more than 100 people, on Saturday morning, simultaneous rooms with more than 50 in each, on Saturday afternoon, more than 150 people.
The support received was also wonderful. Beginning with the Word of the General Government CSsR, Father Michael Brehl, Father Rogério Gomes, the Provincials Father Marlos Aurélio da Silva (SP), Father Nelson Antônio Linhares (RJ, MG, ES), Amarildo Luciano (AM), as well as the voice of the Bishops, Don Orlando Brandes, from Aparecida-SP, Don Messias de los Reis Silveira, from Teófilo Otoni-MG, Don José Luis Ferreira Sales, from Pesqueira-PE, Don Darci José Nicioli, from Diamantina-MG, Don José Luiz Majjela Delgado, Don Zenildo Luiz Pereira da Silva, from Borba-AM. Several Redemptorist and Diocesan Fathers, including formators and teachers, also sent their affectionate messages, praising the realization of the event. These were decisive and encouraging moments.
One of the highlights was the videoconference in the San Alfonso Maria de Ligorio conversation room, by Roberto Malvezzi, an agent of the Pastoral de la Tierra, the dialogue, which lasted three hours, with an initial word, followed by debates, with the intervention of colleagues. Deeply knowledgeable about the theme “Integral Ecology”, focused on the issue of water, and at the same time, with valuable experience and action in the popular movement, he gave a brilliant contribution to the ENESER of 2020.
Roberto told us about his experience of the Synod of the Amazon in Rome, Italy as a guest of the Vatican as an expert, narrating the preparation process that took place as the Synod itself, in October 2019. He dealt with the pastoral, cultural and social problems of the Amazon, highlighting the very serious issues of water, burns, political abandonment, as well as religious missionary activity, among other matters. Today, under the coordination of Cardinal Don Cláudio Humes, the Church of the Pan-Amazon is being built, counting on the efforts of communities, indigenous people, lay people, religious and fathers from the nine countries of the Amazon. This conversation on the Synod of the Amazon provided excellent information, excellent reflections, considerations and provocations that will certainly help everyone to understand this new movement that the Church is making, with the encouragement of Pope Francis.
The organization of the Virtual ENESER was under the responsibility of a wonderful team, with technical support, moderation of rooms, publication of messages, preparation of videos, these groups were organized by the Directory of UNESER. It was worth the effort in the preparation, guaranteeing the good progress of the event and the positive recognition of the participants. It is nice to hear the many testimonies of gratitude and congratulations to all the Coordinating Team.
As a novelty in this ENESER, we must highlight the creation of the Women’s group, which held a beautiful video conference dealing with the issue of social coexistence in this situation of the pandemic. In this room, called Mother Marií Celeste Crostarosa, more than 50 women participated. The group formed is enthusiastic and intends to continue with specific events for women.
And several suggestions appeared as challenges for the future, of which we highlight:
I – To hold UNESER meetings in person and virtually at the same time.
II – Guarantee formation for the members of UNESER with the collaboration of married and Redemptorist parents.
III – To evaluate the possibility of a virtual Lay Mission.
IV – To hold events with specific themes in a virtual way.
Spiritual Director UNESER
Father José Marques Dias, CSsR
Father José de Anchieta Tavares, CSsR
Board of Directors of UNESER
Antonio Claudio Ferreira, Luiz Silvério Silva, Vicente de Paula Alves, José Vicente Naves, Sebastião Marçal Alves Freire, Sebastião Paim Cardoso, Luis Cassio Serraglio, Paulo de Oliveira, Henrique Bernardo Ferreira, Jonival Ferreira Cortes, José Carlos dos Santos Cunha