Dear brothers, of the Society of the Missionaries of the Holy Apostles. From the Delegation of Colombia, we give thanks to God for the life of each of you; for the pastoral work, you do in the Church for our Society. It has been 8 years since we were established as a Delegation. During these years, we work in the lifestyle of the Missionaries of the Holy Apostles, according to our constitutions and norms and the needs of the Society and the local Church. I would like to share, in the following lines, some relevant aspects of the current events in our Delegation in the following order: Presentation of the delegation, Objectives, Analysis of the situation, perspective for the future
This brief journey is an attempt to show at a general level the journey of these eight years as a Delegation and ways forward; without losing sight of the sense of belonging and our presence in Colombia and Venezuela in unity and fraternity, the two wings that strengthen us as M.S.A.
- PRESENTATION OF THE DELEGATION
The Delegation of Colombia under the name of "Dr. CARLOS JARAMILLO DE LA TORRE", was established as from 6 January 2011, by decree of the General Animator. This delegation includes two South American countries: Colombia and Venezuela. For the moment, we are present in the Archdiocese of Bogotá with the Seminary of the Holy Apostles; in the Diocese of Fontibon with the Parish of Madre de la Divina Providencia and the Parish of San Dionisio; in the Parish of Los Teques Estado Miranda in Venezuela, with the Parish of the Holy Apostles in Lagunetica and the Duns Scott Center.
A. LIST OF MSA MEMBERS IN COLOMBIA AND VENEZUELA:
- ÁNGEL MARTÍNEZ, R.P. José Humberto
- BECERRA ACEVEDO, R. P. Miguel Hernán
- COLMENARES SANDOVAL, R. P. Jorge Armando
- GAMARRA MONSALVE, R.P. Hermes
- GÓMEZ SALAZAR, R.P Pedro Luis
- GUZMÁN ÁLVAREZ, R.P. William
- HERRERA BAPTIST, R.P. Mario Ricardo
- MANCERA LOMBANA, R.P. Frey Martín
- MARTÍNEZ PINEDA R.P. Edwin Adrián
- MARTÍNEZ SOSSA, R.P. Israel
- MERCHÁN ESLAVA, R.P. Diego
- MORENO RAMÍREZ, R. P. José Pompilio
- NAVARRO ARIAS, R.P. Virgilio
- NIETO LESMES, Pablo Andrés
- RODRÍGUEZ LAITON, R.P. Carlos Alberto
- RODRÍGUEZ, R.P. Guillermo
- RODRÍGUEZ ROMERO, Hno. Domingo Antonio
- RUDAS ZAPATA, R.P. Luis Carlos
- SALAZAR SALAZAR SALAZAR, Padre Victor Raúl
- TORRES SOTO, Padre Juan Carlos
- URREGO PARRA, R.P. Cesar Yesit
- VARGAS ROBLES, R.P. Rogelio
TEMPORARY MEMBERS COLOMBIA
- HNO. Diego Armando VIAJAN ANGEL, M.S.A
- HNO. Víctor Cruz Niño
- HNO. CUFIÑO CASTELLANOS Alexander
B. DELEGATION STRUCTURE:
- MARTÍNEZ PINEDA R.P. Edwin Adrián (Delegación Animator)
- GUZMÁN ÁLVAREZ, R.P. William (Councillor; Assistant to the Delegation and Secretary)
- MERCHAN ESCLAVA, R.P. Diego (Councillor; Delegation Treasurer)
- COLMENARES SANDOVAL, R. P. Jorge Armando (Councillor; Responsible for Formation and Vocational Pastoral)
- GAMARRA MONSALVE, R.P. Hermes (Councillor and Responsible of the Laity)
C. THE DELEGATION IS MADE UP OF TWO LOCAL COMMUNITIES:
- LOCAL COMMUNITY "Mr. HECTOR DURAND":
- LOCAL COMMUNITY' SAN JUAN MARIA VIANNEY':
- THE OTHER MEMBERS:
Many Members with the required authorization work in various apostolates of the local Church:
- DIÓCESIS of Cartago, Valle, R.P. Víctor Raúl Salazar, M.S.A.
- Yopal ‘s DIÓCESIS, Casanare. R.P. Miguel Hernán Becerra, M.S.A
- Archdiocese of Cali. R.P. César Yesit Urrego, M.S.A.
- RODRÍGUEZ LAITON, R.P. Carlos Alberto in a part of the FONTIBON DIÓCESIS
- RUDAS ZAPATA, R.P. Luis Carlos, Confessor at the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe
D. THE MEMBERS IN THE WORKS:
- NIETO LESMES, Pablo Andrés; Seminar of the Holy Apostles:
- MERCHAN ESLAVA, R.P. Diego and COLMENARES SANDOVAL, R.P. Jorge Armando; Parish of Madre de la Divina Providencia (Mother of Divine Providence) in Fontibon:
- GÓMEZ SALAZAR, R.P. Pedro Luis, NAVARRO ARIAS, R.P. Virgilio; Parish of the Holy Apostles in Venezuela:
E. MEMBERS ON INTERNATIONAL MISSIONS
- In Rome, Fr. José Humberto ÁNGEL, M.S.A., is studying for a Doctorate in Spirituality.
- In Lima, Fr. Guillermo Rodríguez, M.S.A., works in the accompaniment of the formation of the International Novitiate.
- In Brazil, R.P. Israel Martínez, M.S.A., in a Foundation for the benefit of the most deprived called "ARCA".
- TORRES SOTO, Padre Juan Carlos, Formation and spiritual accompanist of our candidates in the Formation House in Saigon, Vietnam
- MANCERA LOMBANA, R.P. Frey Martín; Formation and spiritual accompaniment of our candidates in the Formation House of Yogyakarta in Indonesia
- VARGAS ROBLES, R.P. Rogelio, Member of the General Council in Canada where he is the General Treasurer of our Society
As we can see, it is the Delegation that sends more members on mission, that is to say, participates in the implementation of what we call the internationality dear to our founder.
- OBJECTIVES OF THE DELEGATION:
- In connection with the charism and mission: Vocation of M.S.A. works, taking into account the availability of members and the importance of a "vocational culture" in Colombia.
- In connection with Apostolic Life: To strengthen relations with the Local Church (Episcopal Conference of Colombia) in order to be recognized as a "defender" of the vocational-formative experience.
- In connection with Fraternal Life: Promote frequent meetings between members in order to strengthen human-fraternal relations between confreres.
- In connection with Collaboration with the Laity: To encourage the formation of the laity for the knowledge of the charism, mission, vision and writings of Fr. Eusèbe Ménard, O.F.M.
- Linked to the Community in Social Networks: Promote the formation of Christian leaders through Information and Communication Technologies (ICT).
Important events have occurred:
- (6) Priestly Ordinations.
- To assume the mission of the Works in Venezuela.
- 3. Creation of the Delegation's Vocational Promotion Board.
- SITUATION ANALYSIS
SEMINAR OF SAINTS-APOSTLES
The Seminar of the Holy Apostles is the only work of the Delegation in Colombia. In 2016, the 50th anniversary of work and presence in the Archdiocese of Bogota was celebrated in the accompaniment of seminarians for the various Dioceses of the world and in the Formation of M.S.A. members from Colombia and other Delegations.
The Seminar presents a series of difficulties that must be taken into account:
- Structural conditions. A house has been built several years ago and already has several visible cracks (walls, roofs, pipes, windows, buildings, kitchen, furniture and enclosures, bedrooms, offices, living rooms and toilets in the retirement home, outdoor spaces and other indoor areas) that require immediate intervention.
- The Seminary of the Holy Apostles includes two grounds in the upper part that must be legalized in the District (property taxes, land titles, valuation, non-timely presentation of taxes during the years 2008 and 2009). These are lands that can be lost if the necessary measures are not taken or sold. Anticipating these steps also requires a review and study by the competent authorities at the level of the General Administration, in order to take the necessary decisions. These steps need a budget that the seminar does not have.
- Budgets. The Seminar is a work that generates many expenses in terms of training, organization and operation. We are aware of the great management and support received from The General Administration (and the management of the Treasurer), but it is important to clarify before the competent authorities whether there is a sufficient budget for the Seminar to function normally;
- Training. We know that the Seminar of the Holy Apostles is taken into account to welcome the Members in Formation of the other Delegations. It would be necessary to clarify the conditions under which these Members arrive in a structure such as that of a Major Seminar, taking into account cultures, language and academic perspectives.
A board of directors, trainers, assessors, health insurance, study centres, psychological support, etc., are not taken into account to welcome our candidates and over time, if they do not find a permanent structure, they seek to return to their regions where they can practice better. Faced with this situation, we cannot accept improvisations that in any way make this work of the seminary suffer.
PARISH MADRE DE LA DIVINA PROVIDENCIA (MOTHER OF DIVINE PROVIDENCE)
The Missionaries of the Holy Apostles have had a CONTRACT of PARISSIAL ADMINISTRATION since 1993. This Parish operates in the Diocese of Fontibon with a priest and a vicar; the headquarters of the Local Community is the Presbytery of the Parish.
Its pastoral activity is based on the criteria that come from this Diocese, according to the different governments of the Bishops. For the moment, the steps have been taken before the District authorities to legalize the land.
The link of this Parish with the Delegation is highly valued and especially with the work of the Seminary of the Holy Apostles; we would like to strengthen these links further in order to better accompany this work with the Missionaries of the Holy Apostles; while respecting the directives required by the Diocese (contract with the M.S.A.) at the level of the Parish administration.
PARISH OF SAINTS-APOSTLES
The Missionaries of the Holy Apostles have had a contract for parish administration since the time of the General Council House. This Parish operates in the Diocese of Los Teques with a priest and a Vicar. The headquarters of the Local Community is the house or spirituality center called Duns Scoto House. It is a work of the Missionaries of the Holy Apostles.
The reality of this work is not ignored by anyone in relation to the current situation in Venezuela, which is facing a political, social, economic and other crisis. However, the Pastoral Care that is carried out there is based on accompanying these communities in this reality. It is not an easy job, because economic resources are scarce and difficulties with food and medicines make it very difficult for members to stay there. It can be said that this place has become a missionary territory where the Missionaries of the Holy Apostles seek to put their gifts at the service of the community.
One difficulty of this work is the legalization of the House of Spirituality Duns Scoto, since the steps have been taken, but without any solution. This legalization should already have taken place, but the same internal situation in the country has prevented the process.
The perspectives for the future that we present are in full communion with the proposals of the last Ordinary Assembly held in the Delegation, it is worth noting:
- A joint work between the General House and the Delegation, to follow a single path that leads to the growth of the Delegation
- To visualize the importance of new Works in the Delegation to continue to develop the Charism, Spirituality, and proper style of the M.S.A. in addition to ensuring the apostolates of the Members in the works normally for at least three.
- The Animator of the Delegation and his Council find a house in which they could carry out their service of communion in a climate of fraternal life - an ongoing process.
It is important to continue to work with the new General Administration, the acquisition of budgets, taking into account that the current needs are enormous in the different Works. It would be even better to be able to execute with the approval of the General House the budgets that are proposed, also seeking from the Delegation the acquisition of the own resources that help us to support each of the works and in a special way that of the Major Seminary of the Holy Apostles.
In connection with the Charism and the Spirituality proper, it is important to continue to encourage members to specialize and obtain a Doctorate in various disciplines related to our charism and mission.
It is also important to carefully organize policies that guarantee the permanence of the members in formation (Temporary Promises) of the other Delegations. We cannot continue to improvise the arrival of members that affects the smooth running of the Seminar; and to organize the real budgets that allow the support of these members in the Delegation of Colombia.
This has been a short journey that attempts to describe in a general way the current situation of the Delegation of Colombia, without losing sight of the sense of belonging and our presence in Colombia-Venezuela, in the unity and fraternity that are the two wings of our Society.
Marble and salt sculptures in the basement cathedral of salt Zipaquira built in multicolored tunnels from a mine. An impressive achievement of Colombian architecture.