By Vatican News staff reporter
Pope Francis has sent a video message to the volunteers of all Caritas organisations – parish, diocesan and national – in Argentina, spiritually joining the launch of the community stage of “La Caminata 2021”.
The initiative is being organised as part of an institutional renewal process that takes place every three years and which, as its promoters explain in a statement, “is an experience that puts us on the move” and serves as a means for community discernment.
In his video message sent on Wednesday, the Holy Father greets all the participants of La Caminata which he describes as a synodal process. The 2021 journey, he says, is “an experience of going “outwards”, listening to each other, and discerning how to love and serve more tangibly according to time and circumstances. And above all by seeing the signs of the times and places.”
He concludes his brief message with best wishes for participants, saying, “May the Lord accompany you on your journey, and please do not forget to pray for me.”
Two stages of La Caminata
Caritas Argentina explains that La Caminata takes place in two stages.
The first involves a pilgrimage of the images of the Virgin Mary and St Joseph with the Child Jesus through each region and each diocese. As the images pass through the various towns and communities, they awaken “the joy and hope that are born of the popular faith that is expressed and becomes gesture and commitment.” The images are currently travelling through the Argentine littoral region.
The second stage involves pastoral discernment within each community, which leads to proposals and initiatives “that help us to identify the signs that God is awakening in each place and to continue deepening more and more the pastoral orientations for the Charity of the Church.”
All invited to participate
“This synodal process unites us with the whole Church in Argentina, with the Church in Latin America (and its process of Ecclesial Assembly), and with the Universal Church,” says Caritas Argentina.
The organization recalls that all its members – “each chapel, parish, regional, diocesan or national team – are invited to participate in the process."