The mission animation Bolivia region made up of a team of neo missionaries, two juniors in OTP (Overseas Training Program) and the Sisters servants of the Holy Spirit, have conducted the MISSIONARY WEEK at the Immaculate Conception parish of Laja and Tambillo. We were in Laja for one week. The missionary week was a missionary activity that carried the message of the Pope on mission Sunday; THE MISSIONARY CHURCH; WITNESS TO MERCY. According to Pope Francis, our Church is not a Church in waiting, but rather a Church that goes out to the meet the people. In this spirit, the Bolivia SVD region organized a concrete activity of going to meet the people. The missionary week team arrived in Laja on 10th October 2016.
On 10th October 2016, we had a team meeting. For this meeting we had invited two guests namely: Mr. Cayetano and Mrs. Violeta. The two guests were leaders in the Laja community. The two of them shared with us about the concrete situation of the culture, customs, natural law view, politics, economy and health in Laja and Tambillo. Later we prepared a missionary announcement and sent it to Radio Red Tawantinsuyo of Laja. All activities during the missionary week were transmitted through radio.
On 11th October 2016, we had a program in Radio Red Tawantinsuyo. There we presented the history of the congregation, our missionary presence in Bolivia, the dimensions and the objective of the missionary week. Many thanks to Alberto Ramos Canasa, the representative of Radio Red Tawantinsuyo, for his generosity in giving us such a special moment in the radio. Before closing the program, the parish priest Father Yves, invited us to participate in a celebration through radio. The program lasted 30 minutes and was organized by the missionary animator and the parish priest of Laja.
On 12th October 2016, we went from house to house visiting the sick, the aged and the handicapped in the central part of Laja. We had one-to-one encounter with them as well as praying for their health. They also received blessed water and the priests with us blessed their houses and their families. They were very happy for the visits.
On 13th October 2016, we visited the central community of Tambillo. There we celebrated the Eucharist with the community on the hill. The main intention was to pray for the rains. They were experiencing difficult time due to draught. To pray for the rain has been a custom for the people of the plateau for many generations. They also prayed for the health of the people, their economic situation, the youth, the children and the aged of the community. After the mass, the community took us to the main village square of the village. There we had a delicious meal, typical of the plateau people, prepared by the community. There was house-blessing of the aged who were not able to attend the mass, their properties as well as all who were in the house with them.
On 14th October 2016, we visited Catavi community. There we celebrate the Holy Eucharist in the main square. Later we had some delicious snacks prepared by the community. Later, in the company of the community leader Mr. Bernado, we visited Catavi Health Center. There we conducted prayers together with doctors and nurses working in the Health Center. We also visited a number of families among them the family of Mr. Mamani, the catechist of Catavi community, who was ailing.
On 15th October 2016, we visited the community of Culpajava. We went up the hill on which Culpajava village is situated, approximately two-hour trecking. The community was waiting for us at the pick of the hill. Here too we celebrated the Holy Eucharist to pray for rains, health and the economic situation of the community. Later we had some snacks typical of the place prepared by the community. After the Eucharist we visited their homes to pray and bless them.
On 16th October 2016, we celebrated the Holy Eucharist to conclude the missionary week. It was on Mission Sunday. We did this in two communities: in Tambillo at 09.30hrs and in Laja at 11.00hrs. at Tambillo the Eucharist was celebrated by Father Augustine Chinapan SVD and in Laja it was celebrate by Father Kanisio SVD. The Church was full. The youth choir from Santa Maria de los Ángeles el Alto Parish was invited to sing during the closing Celebration.
Juan Daton, SVD
SVD Mission Coordinator - Bolivia