The CESPLAM (Centre for Missionary Studies and Planning) Missionary Team was present last Saturday, 11th June, at a meeting which brought together parish priests and lay people from all over Spain. It took place in the Parish of San Carlos Borromeo in Villanueva de la Cañada (Madrid). The meeting was part of the Pastores Gregis Course (Leadership Course for priests), in which Fathers Arsenio Díez and Víctor Chacón participated this year together with 20 other diocesan priests from different Spanish dioceses.
After 12 intensive days of training on pastoral conversion, leadership, mission and transformation of communities to become missionary, it was time to create leadership teams to accompany priests in this task. CESPLAM has also created its own Leadership team with lay people from our communities or who have participated and collaborated with our missions.
Phosto, from left to right: Arsenio Díez, Mª del Carmen Moreno, (Cazorla Mission), Ana de la Morena (Mérida Parish), Noemí Pinto (Ponferrada Mission), Víctor Chacón and Clarisa Vázquez (Mérida Parish). Missing from the photo are Daniel Primo and Mónica De Simón (from Madrid PS).
As Pope Francis points out and invites us: “All communities should strive to provide the means to advance in pastoral and missionary conversion which cannot leave things as they are” (EG 25). We really need to move from a “pastoral care of maintenance” to a decidedly missionary pastoral care, because we are not in an age of Christianity. “To new wine, new wineskins,” Jesus tells us in the Gospel. “To new times, new pastoral dynamics” we can adapt ourselves. Reality invites us to be creative and to develop what St. Alphonsus called “missionary zeal”.
Fr. Víctor Chacón, C.Ss.R.