Communication in times of difficulty
Dear friends, this is the third issue that we propose to you to share fraternity and prayer at this moment that we are going through.
We inform you that the present communication we are sending you, special for this period, replaces the usual Newsletter, which therefore will not be published.
We wish you a fruitful reading!
International Responsible Team
Clarita & Edgardo BERNAL
International Responsible Couple
“STRETCH FORTH YOUR HAND TO THE POOR”
Dear Family of the Teams of Our Lady,
This extraordinary bulletin, #farbutnear, was born out of the idea of having a close presence of accompaniment, information and animation between the ERI and the International College. Today it has become a means of accompaniment for the whole Movement, thanks to the diffusion that you have given it in your Super Regions. In this way, we now no longer address the family of the International College, but the great family of the whole Movement.
Among the many lessons in these difficult times, the isolation we have experienced, has underlined the clear realization of how much we all need the support of our communities. These communities may be family, work, church, or as in our case, communities of faith such as the TEAMS OF OUR LADY. Of course, this is a "need" we all feel in normal times, but perhaps it has passed a little unnoticed. Perhaps this is because, from our human condition, we usually want what we do not have, and we take for granted those things we already have. Maybe this is the reason why we do not give it its rightful consideration. We do not say this as a reproach but as an invitation to never lose the sense of admiration and gratitude for the blessings we receive daily, no matter how normal they may seem.
The British writer, Daniel Defoe, summed up this almost innate human condition with a harsh but very real phrase: "All our dissatisfaction with what we lack is the product of our lack of gratitude for what we have.”
The psychological analysis of this characteristic of our imperfect humanity concludes that human beings, by concentrating their life on hardship and their desire to possess what they do not have, overlook what they do possess. They only turn their gaze to change their perception, when faced with the loss of what they had previously unconsciously enjoyed.
We have all lost something in these times. We are probably now missing it and valuing it even more consciously, than when we previously had it. Material and spiritual needs have today become more evident than ever. Like the virus that has overwhelmed us, we do not make any distinction between the social, cultural and economic conditions, because all of us, to a greater or lesser extent, are vulnerable. We are in need of the solidarity and the sensitivity of those around us.
Pope Francis, with his ever-accurate wit that reaches into our hearts, says "...works of mercy cannot be improvised. Constant training is needed, based on the realisation of our own need for an outstretched hand".
We are called to be more sensitive and conscious in this time when "we are beginning the post-pandemic journey" (as our friend and Counsellor Father Ricardo wrote in this same issue).
Today we read an absolutely relevant and inspiring text: It is the message that the Holy Father has written for the FOURTH WORLD DAY OF THE POOR convened for the coming 15th November. It is developed around verse 32 of chapter 7 of the book of Ecclesiastics, which says "Stretch out your hand to the poor".
To conclude the introduction to this issue, we have taken the liberty of extracting two sections from this wonderful document. While not asking you to give yourselves the gift of reading the document in its entirety, hopefully you can comment on it and reflect on it with your fellow Teams members:
7. “[…] The present experience has challenged many of our assumptions. We feel poorer and less self-sufficient because we have come to sense our limitations and the restriction of our freedom. The loss of employment, and of opportunities to be close to our loved ones and our regular acquaintances, suddenly opened our eyes to horizons that we had long since taken for granted. Our spiritual and material resources were called into question and we found ourselves experiencing fear. In the silence of our homes, we rediscovered the importance of simplicity and of keeping our eyes fixed on the essentials. We came to realize how much we need a new sense of fraternity, for mutual help and esteem. Now is a good time to recover “the conviction that we need one another, that we have a shared responsibility for others and the world… We have had enough of immorality and the mockery of ethics, goodness, faith and honesty…[…]
8. “Stretch forth your hand to the poor” – is thus a summons to responsibility and commitment as men and women who are part of our one human family”.
Dear friends: Our Mother Mary is a model of service, sensitivity and mercy. Let us ask her, as patroness of the Movement, to inspire us and help us to identify and reach out in all situations of material and spiritual poverty, to all those who share this house and common destiny with us.
May it be so.
We begin the post-pandemic journey to a new normal.
Father Ricardo Londono - International Spiritual Counselor
Dear members of the Teams of our Lady:
The past few months have been a time of uncertainty, doubts, precautions, worries and anguish.
We have lived immersed in a virtual world. We have transformed our habits and customs with respect to sacramental celebrations. We have all become experienced in the virtual participation in ceremonies and meetings without any physical presence in these spaces. In many locations, it is still not possible to go to church, and in others, the possibility is restricted, requiring distancing and very little physical contact with other people.
Many of our ordinary activities have definitely changed and we will have to build "normality".
In our spiritual life, in our Eucharistic participation and in everything else we have become accustomed to in our lives, there is now a requirement for something new, something different, something transformed.
It is possible that in the days, weeks and months of quarantine, confinement, prevention and co-responsibility, we have been able to ask ourselves very seriously and reflectively, what is the real essence of our Christian life and our spirituality? We have had to change paradigms and change some convictions; we have had to revise our beliefs and affirmations; we have also been able to find new paths and new ways of living.
Now, little by little, the possibility is opening up to return to our buildings of worship and celebration. We are able to look at our brothers and sisters face to face and exchange some words, gestures and smiles. Still with some fear about prevention, but also with immense joy.
What has happened inside us? What has changed in our relationship with God, with others, with our common home?
Let us look at our spirituality and our Eucharistic experience. What has all this virtuality brought us: in our prayer, in our meetings, in our dialogue, in our commitment? Do we believe that we are coming out of confinement with new tools, new challenges, new ways of looking at reality? Is there renewed potential in us for responsible commitment: to the suffering, to the abandoned on the side of the road, to those who implore mercy or to those who without expressing it are thirsty for compassion?
To return to Eucharistic communion is to recognize the Body of Christ in the suffering body of our brothers and sisters. To return to the churches and usual places of worship, is to find again in these spaces the invitation to care for the creation that God has put in our administrative hands. To physically reunite ourselves with our loved ones is to look again at the precariousness of our existence, and the fragility of who we are. And of course, to take advantage of the new opportunity to continue our journey. How? In what way? Here is an issue that challenges us and calls us.
Let us ask God for the capacity not to be inferior to our vocation and our destiny.
LIVING OUR FAITH WITH THE WHOLE CHURCH
PRESENTATION OF THE BOOK:
"Yes to Life! Taking care of the precious gift of life in its frailness"
"Yes to Life! Taking care of the precious gift of life in its frailness"
Fr. Alexandre Awi Mello, I. Sch., Secretary, Dicastery for Laity, Family, and Life
In this Bulletin, joining the initiatives of the Holy See through the Dicastery for the Laity, the Family and Life, we are disclosing this book, which is "free download", the result of the International Congress "Yes to Life! Taking care of the precious gift of life in its frailness", held at the Vatican from May 23-25, 2019, and attended by couples representing the Teams of Our Lady.
The book can be found at the following web address: https://www.vaticannews.va/it/lev.html
In the face of the increasing “throw-away culture”, when a child in the womb is diagnosed with an abnormality or disability, how can we – on a medical, pastoral, and spiritual level – help a family welcome this child? How can we make it so that what seems to be a threatening experience of suffering and illness can be transformed into an experience of fruitful parental love, both for the family and for those who assist them?
In an attempt to give answers to these questions, the Dicastery for Laity, Family, and Life held the international conference “Yes to Life! Taking care of the precious gift of life in its frailness”, at the Vatican, from 23 – 25 May 2019.
The conference was organized, on the one hand, with the valuable collaboration of the “Il Cuore in una Goccia” non – profit Foundation, which for years has been committed to welcoming children in extremely fragile medical conditions at birth, creating networks of solidarity between healthcare workers and families; and on the other hand, with the generous support of the Knights of Columbus.
The initiative offered an intense moment of formation, as well as scientific and pastoral information for the accompaniment of couples and families who are living the experience of the birth of a child suffering from congenital pathologies, presenting clear concrete alternatives to abortion. It was, as described by the international press, a true “anthem to life”, which brought together medical doctors and experts in the fields of perinatal care and family psychology, as well as bishops, priests, pastoral workers and associations who work for the promotion of life, to foster the creation of “networks” between the scientific community, civil society, and ecclesial realities.
In this way, a fruitful dialogue has developed from the starting point of a model of care for nascent life, founded on rigorous scientific principles, but at the same time inspired by Christian values. In the face of rapidly developing technologies for prenatal diagnoses, the ever-earlier diagnosis of congenital pathologies cannot be used as a tool for eugenic selection, and this is true not only for ethical reasons but also clinical ones: today prenatal science offers hope that was unimaginable even just a few years ago. And even where such hope would be practically non-existent, comfort care procedures allow families to embark on a path of welcoming the nascent life, a path which is humanly and spiritually rich and full of meaning, which is capable of alleviating pain and suffering, and which can renew them in an experience of love.
This present volume is a collection of the main presentations given by the speakers, with the testimonies of families who have lived through the experience of perinatal therapy for their children, as well as the text of the address given by Pope Francis during the audience granted to the conference participants at the end of the event.
With Yes to Life!, the Dicastery for Laity, Family, and Life has proposed, for the first time since its foundation, an initiative of global scope for the pastoral care of life. It has seen the participation of over 400 people from 70 different countries, with whom we are following up in numerous formative and informational initiatives; initiatives of a scientific and pastoral nature on the theme of the care of perinatal life and the accompaniment of families.
We therefore, entrust the fruits of our labor to the Most Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of the Family, in the hope that, with this volume, the ongoing dissemination of the content of this conference will give further impetus for the creation of what the Holy Father has called “spaces, places, and ‘networks of love,’ to which couples can turn” anywhere in the world when they are in difficulty, because “abortion is never the answer that women and families are looking for.” It is then in this direction that the Church intends to accompany and guide parents undergoing the trial of an unfortunate diagnosis, to support them in saying “Yes” to life, even when life is fragile or suffering.
CHRISTIAN FORMATION PLATFORM
Testimonies of its usefulness
In the Guide for Teams of Our Lady (version 2018, item 18.104.22.168, Permanent Formation), we can see that the Movement makes available to all team members, through the Internet, a platform for Christian formation at a distance, with "hostels" (courses) that address various important themes for catechetical formation.
If we open the Platform link (https://endfc.equipes-notre-dame.com/index-en.html), we can see this virtual platform provides contents of basic Christian formation, to deepen and update the Christian and theological knowledge of the team members who are interested.
The content is based on the assumption that we team members need to seek a doctrinally sound and founded faith, which is existentially motivating and has authentic meaning for our personal, conjugal, family, social and ecclesial life.
One of Father Caffarel's great concerns and goals in his various editorials and monthly letters was to form truly Christian couples. For him, the Teams of Our Lady are schools of Christian life. They are a place of formation, for deepening Christian life as a couple, as a family, in small communities. The starting point for this deepening is the Word of God (the Bible), Tradition and the Magisterium of the Church as sources of faith.
From this perspective, these various themes of permanent formation are being offered within the Movement, in virtual form, such as: Old Testament, New Testament, Christology, Ecclesiology, Sacraments, Liturgy, Spirituality, Moral.
It is not, therefore, a direct alternative to the formation, that we have been accustomed to until now in the Teams of Our Lady. As we can see, all the courses offered on this Platform are absolutely free. Both team members and non-team members can access them. There is no need of login and password to enter and access the courses (hostels). The courses (hostels), in PDF format, will be available for an indefinite period on the Teams' website, until the need for a revision or update is needed. There is no start or end date for the study and the reading of the material available in each course (hostel). There are no set days for access to the material, nor timetables. Each interested party organizes their study or reading as they see fit. The courses have no teachers or tutors. There are also no closed groups to carry out these studies or readings. In general, each course provides references to complementary texts for additional reading.
Objective of this Platform: The courses are not about providing academic training, much less obtaining an academic degree. It is simply a new resource for couples who have this interest, not to "fill their heads with new knowledge", but to help them grow in their faith, to enlighten their Christian life from the Gospel, and to strengthen their Christian identity.
The pedagogy of the road to Emmaus is used to propose "a pilgrimage as a couple with the Risen Jesus". This pedagogy represents the catechetical itinerary of Christian maturity, the encounter with the Lord, listening to the Word, sharing the Bread and the mission.
The following are some testimonies of team members who have already taken one or more courses available on this platform.
We have been team members for 12 years.
The Teams have been for us the school where we have discovered the wonders of walking towards Holiness and where we have strengthened both our love for Jesus Christ and His presence in our home.
For this reason, when we began to explore the content of the Christian Formation Platform, we found a treasure that has helped us to broaden our knowledge in various subjects: Liturgy, New Testament, Christology, Old Testament, etc.
Something that pleased us very much is that the documents are written in simple language. Although these are subjects that every Christian should know about, we realized that we had many gaps in our Christian formation.
So, they were extremely helpful to us and we see them as being developed in a way that offers easy understanding.
We recommend all couples who have not read these documents be encouraged to do so!
Alexandra and Jose Leon
The history and origin of the sacraments are presented at the very beginning of the course on "Sacraments of the Catholic Church". Understanding them better, as the work of the Holy Spirit in Jesus' name, makes us live them and value them as a means of revealing the face of God.
From "table to table", we are invited to commit ourselves and to be better through prayer and Christian Formation, letting the Holy Spirit lead us. Filled with challenging questions, the study of the Sacraments provides a wealth of information, and a clarification about the rites and symbols as a manifestation and grace of God in our personal life, as a couple and as a family.
The Sacrament of Marriage is presented to us with great gentleness in the midst of others, emphasizing that it is precisely "the sacramental reality which is born in the very mystery of mankind to lead him to the mystery of God".
The Sacrament Hostel is an instructive, effective and enjoyable way to gain knowledge about the Church and its richness, for a more coherent and mature faith. After all, the path is to know and put into practice what God expects of us, so that more fruits may be given!
Filled with the joy that comes from God, we thank the Teams of Our Lady for making the Christian Formation Platform available! We recommend it!
Simone and Carlúcio Coelho
Team 46 - Sector A
RC Region Brasilia IV
After the hard work of the Satellite Team of Christian Formation invited by the ERI in 2013-2018 where a formation plan was built with a pedagogy guided by the passage of the disciples of Emmaus (Luke 24,13-25), the challenge was to make team members aware of the courses, motivate them and appropriate the different contents presented there.
To meet this challenge, the Columbia Center Region developed a strategy to include a workshop in the 2019 College, focusing on practical knowledge of the courses and the Platform of Christian Formation. The couple responsible for each sector worked with the tool, entering each of the hostels and study tables. Enthusiasm continued to deepen and so this workshop was replicated through the various sectors, in order to make it known throughout the base teams.
A meeting was held in July 2019 in the city of Bogotá, as a complementary strategy to support the couples in their formation path. About 70 couples showed interest in deepening, clarifying and broadening their knowledge through the hostels about the Old Testament, Liturgy, Spirituality and Christology. Subsequent virtual meetings were held with some counsellors and couples who agreed to serve as tutors for formation on these subjects.
Other regions in Colombia have developed this same strategy and they are happy that the guide for Christian formation is now located on the official website of the ERI. They are hoping to resume their path by visiting each of the eight hostels. Just like the disciples Cleophas and Mary who invited Jesus to their home, the Teams also discovered in their sharing that it is the same Risen Jesus who accompanies us in deepening the foundations of our faith and Christian commitment.
Colombia Center Region
TESTIMONY : F. Josep Buades Fuster SJ. - Spiritual Counsellor of Super Region Spain
My priesthood in times of confinement
On March 1, we ended the Eurafrica Zone meeting: an intense experience of communion for the Movement. On Sunday, March 8, I participated as a guest in a meeting of the region of Western Andalusia and the Canary Islands. Once again, this was a time of communion. As the first fortnight of March passed, alarm grew and we adapted everything to the minute. I still celebrated the Eucharist publicly, but already with caution to minimize the possibilities of contagion. The government of Spain declared a State of Emergency on Saturday 14, which led to the closure of the borders and severe confinement. Everything was changed.
I am a Jesuit. In the Society of Jesus, we conceive our community life ad dispersionem, giving priority to apostolic activity wherever we are called. Suddenly, we began to live a rather monastic life, similar to what we had experienced in the novitiate. The exercises of community prayer that marked the rhythm of the day increased. Community meetings to discuss what to do in such changing circumstances were more frequent. Instead of using the domestic chapel, we celebrated in the presbytery of the big church. It was dizzying to contemplate an empty nave, even though we had our parishioners present in spirit.
The main mission entrusted to me is through the Jesuit Migrant Service. I encouraged my co-workers to increase telephone assistance to immigrants. Our focus was to provide them with legal advice, refer them to social services when they were in need of food or social assistance, comfort them humanely and refer them to psychologists in some cases of more traumatic experience. I have been able to carry out my own research and publication work, which has had an impact on migration policy, without any problems. There was more time for reflection, editing, publication, and collaboration with the media.
Another important mission is the pastoral accompaniment of the Teams of Our Lady and the Christian Life Community. Video conferencing became the main channel of communication. The sharing became more intense. At times it was due to the pain of not being able to accompany relatives in their illness, or in their transition to the Father's House. More frequently, it was due to the difficulties experienced in teleworking (especially among the teachers), and the thousand and one types of stress that emerged in family and spiritual life.
The fifth commandment is about public worship. This caused many creative ideas for prayer and celebration to flourish through virtual technologies. I remember the Eucharists presented by Father Ricardo Londoño as a powerful sign of communion within the movement. So, when those in charge of the Spanish Super Region decided that several counsellors would take over during Easter time, I gladly volunteered. It is not easy to preside at the Eucharist while looking into a camera, not hearing any response... Except by faith that the Lord gathers us into one Body.
Confinement is difficult: even within a spacious complex where my community and various apostolic workers are located. When I was able to run around the city, it seemed like a luxury. When public worship was restored with strict preventive measures, I was happy to preside at the Eucharist to a tangible community, both in our church and in the Basilica of Jesus of the Great Power. Every week, there were changes in the city: more pedestrians, more open shops... The somewhat clumsy joy of holding the first face-to-face team meetings, or the super regional College, is etched in the memory. But there are also the scars of the pandemic: testimonies of people, families, companies who have lost everything. It will be necessary to accompany the reconstruction.
Every crisis leaves some scars. It is time to look reality in the face, with attention to the wounds that need to be healed. In the end, it is time to contemplate how life makes its way even through the smallest gap, and to cultivate hope with lucidity. I would like to end these considerations with two images that I uploaded to social networks during this time, and which reflect what I live inside:
O faithful cross. Holy Week coincided with the days that recorded the highest mortality in Spain. My gaze went to any opening where life would appear. By the window of the Arrupe Centre, someone left a fig tree cutting in a glass jar, and it sprouted. That unsuspected image led me to the contemplation of the cross as the Tree of Life. I photographed it in black and white, emphasizing the dramatic value of our Lord's giving.
The Lord: he who was, he who is, he who is to come. Come, Lord Jesus: Maranatha. Celebrating the Eucharist at Easter time under the image of Jesus of the Great Power, helps to remember that the Crucified One is the Risen One. Only by looking at his most holy wounds in Him and in all his brothers and sisters, can I nourish hope.
TESTIMONY: Fr. Augusto Garcia, PSS, Spiritual Counsellor, Canada Region
It is important to outline the priestly context from which I write this testimony.
My priestly ministry is carried out in three areas of relationships: at St. Joseph's Seminary in the Archdiocese of Edmonton as a member of the formation team; as vicar at Our Lady of Guadalupe Parish which assists the Hispanic population; and as a counsellor to the Teams of our Lady in Edmonton and the Canada Region.
On March 15, the health authorities ordered the closure of the churches and any gatherings of groups over 10 people. Faced with this unexpected and unprecedented situation, my first question was how to maintain relationships. That is, how is it possible to be a formator without seminarians in the seminary; how is it possible to be a parish priest without meeting people and families at Sunday Mass; how is it possible to be a counsellor without the usual meeting of the teams?
Many questions and "fears" are legitimate. But the central question really should be: "What does the Lord want to teach us with this pandemic?”
I remembered when the invitation was made to us by the Second Vatican Council "to discern the signs of the times". Without having a very precise idea, I would like to share my experience based on what I would call: "some signs of the times", which I have lived during this pandemic.
The first was the act carried out by Pope Francis on March 27th in St. Peter's Square. There, "the silence" was deafening and the "desolate emptiness" was paralyzing. His presence, the strength of his words and his image walking alone towards the Crucified Christ was striking. On that afternoon, Jesus' question to his disciples was repeated by the Holy Father: Why are you afraid? Do you still not have faith? These words challenge us and are especially meaningful given the recent historical events. They assured me of the urgent need to confirm my faith in God who, as a merciful Father, cares for each one of us. In the midst of my "fear" and questions about how to maintain relationships with individuals, families and teams in "isolation", I felt the invitation to first strengthen my relationship with God. He is the reason and source of all relationships in my priestly ministry.
The second sign came from the liturgical and spiritual context. Here, the pandemic overwhelmed us during Lent. It was as if God was calling us with all the urgency of his love and conversion. The Holy Father summed up very well the feeling that we as Christians repeat to ourselves, as we reflect on what we are experiencing: "time to choose between what really counts and what passes in time; to separate what is necessary from what is not.” We celebrated Holy Week behind closed doors. I invited the families for an “online” washing of the feet on Holy Thursday, and for the Way of the Cross. I invited the families to record a video with each one of the stations; likewise for Holy Saturday everyone with their candles in the family celebration. It was a Holy Week that filled every home with peace, hope and joy in the Risen Lord.
Here I find the third sign: "The family, the domestic Church" has ceased to be rhetorical and has become a reality. I had earlier asked myself how to reach out to families so that they can live their vocation as a domestic Church. But everything happened in a natural way. When the churches closed, the small communities in the homes were opened. Each family, as a domestic Church, celebrates the Sunday Eucharist online, listens to the Word of God and prays together. This reality must challenge us. The hierarchical Church cannot miss this moment as an opportunity for the new evangelization of the family as a small Church. It is a catechesis that will also help them to value in a new way, the meaning of the sacramental life and its belonging to the ecclesial community.
Finally, the sign I experienced in the Teams of our Lady. The pandemic let us see how accustomed we were to what we were already used to, to what we previously learned and how difficult it was to break our mental patterns. The young couples played a challenging role, and taught us to strengthen our communion and to be encouraged in hope in these difficult times, with the formal and informal virtual meetings. All the couples have expressed in the team meetings how important it has been for them to belong to END and to practise the endeavours, to overcome the anguish and uncertainties that this pandemic has brought. Following the example of Father Caffarel, who, in the face of the anguish of war, invited the first couples not to lose their enthusiasm and to strengthen their prayer life, this has also been my call to all team couples. The way in which the Teams have faced this moment of "isolation" by strengthening their ecclesial, celebrative dimension and their mutual help, leads me to think that God wants a new model of Church and that the Teams are already an answer to his will.
We must continue to reflect on what God wants to teach us from this period that has touched everyone, especially as an ecclesial community that exists in every facet of our lives. There is something we must discover, as Pope Francis says, “In this boat we are all like the disciples who speak with one voice and, with anguish, we say ‘we are lost’. We also realise that we cannot go on our own, but only together.”.
WHAT IS ERI DOING?
Dora & João SOUSA
Responsible Couple for Communication
The world never stops! Life is always breathing, even during these uncertain times. Even when the television shows us images we never imagined we would see: like the one in which the Holy Father went up to St. Peter's Square completely alone; or the reports from restaurants, monuments and churches closed around the world; or even the terminals of the great international airports totally empty.
Even so, the world did not stop. Human beings, with the capacities that God gave us, have reinvented the form and content of being a vital part of the world, even during those days when everything would basically be stopped.
And we, as members of Teams of Our Lady, know that our lives are in the hands of God. We stayed with our hearts open and our feet on the ground, and we embraced the digital wave that stormed the planet, as it saved meetings, masses, lectures, work, classes, shopping and much more.
It was impossible for the couples of the ERI to meet as planned in mid-March in the city of Lomé, Togo. With each being at home, the couples of the ERI and our Spiritual Counsellor decided to have our first meeting via the internet. What a joy it was to be together in real time, to pray, to talk, to look at each other, and to share about the conditions that each country was going through. We were "Far but near!"
It was during this first virtual meeting of the ERI that the idea was raised: What if Fr. Ricardo celebrated a Mass via Facebook, so that all those who wanted to could join in, so that together we could pray to the Lord for the Teams of Our Lady in these troubled times?
And so, it was! Directly from his confinement in Bogotá, Father Ricardo Londoño celebrated the Eucharist on March 21. He was joined not only by the eight couples of the ERI, but also by hundreds and hundreds of team members from all SRs and RRs. Those who attended the Mass left on Facebook more than 2,000 comments, for a total of 16,000 views.
It was undoubtedly a great sign of vitality, unity and harmony among team members spread around the world. It was the world reinventing itself, with the Holy Spirit always inspiring and renewing.
After this, other Eucharistic celebrations were conducted via the internet. These continued on several consecutive Sundays, from Bogotá, while the churches all over the world continued with closed doors.
It was also reported that in other places, Spiritual Counsellors celebrated Masses gathering many hundreds of members of the Teams of Our Lady, as happened in SR Brazil, and the English language Masses celebrated by many of the countries across the Eurasia Zone.
Meetings of many base teams were also held, taking advantage of the new technologies at the service of humanity. News was also coming from the many working meetings of the various couples and Spiritual Counsellors with responsibilities in the Teams of Our Lady, such as, for example, the meetings of the America Zone. The social networks of the International Team, as well as those of the different SRs and Regions, have been reporting on this.
In addition, it was decided that a project would be undertaken to provide a presentation from each SR on the international website. Scheduled to begin in April, this could not stop, because regardless of the difficulties that can always arise (and have arisen) in each of the countries and Movements or in the Church, there is a story to tell. So, it is being told and could not stop ... and so it happens. All the SRs are being invited to tell their story, sharing it on www.equipes-notre-dame.com
Likewise, this bulletin, which has been published assiduously by the International Responsible Team, has been fulfilling the objective of bringing us closer to each other, even though we are necessarily far apart. This project allows us to read between the lines that we are still connected with each other as one big family.
After all, as Pope Francis said, we are all in the same boat! And the truth is that the technological tools have been a great help so that communication has never stopped...