junio 2023

Mission Symposium Memories Verbum Dei 2023

“Passion for the Word”

June 30, 2023 

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Chronicles of the 2023 Mission Symposium

Day 11 - Friday June 30, 2023

Adriana Ochoa and Alfonso Martínez, general leaders of the Marriage Branch, gave the guidelines today.

The passage from Is 54:10: “My mercy shall never depart from you” and 2º Cor 3:2-4: “You are living letters written not with ink, but with the Spirit”, spoke to us about the gratitude that we owe to God, for faithfulness, perseverance and for the surrender of life; and to know how to recognize that God has been present in the life of each one of us.

With the passage of the talents of Mt 25, 22-23, the one who is entrusted with the little, will be entrusted with much more, as something that we should keep in mind in our life.

They ended by speaking of the profound experience in which God says thank you, and Adriana asked us a multidimensional listening to the Word, emotion, body language and especially the gaze in a multidimensional way.

Afterwards, the organization of the symposium explained that, after the closing of the symposium, there will be an editorial team in charge of the preparation of the final document of the symposium.

Rodrigo Carrizo, celebrated the closing Eucharist of the symposium. In his homily, he recalled the words of Pope Francis at the reception with the General Council last March, “Courage, go forward” interpreting that these are the words that the Spirit wants for our charism. He also recalled the words of Cardinal Osoro after the inauguration Mass, indicating that “we have much to offer to the world”.
Rodrigo paid tribute to the first generations of the three branches as builders of the DV, and commented that we are all chains or links in the history of our charism.

Speaking of the world map, he said that, looking at it, he could see faces instead of countries.
He also recalled the importance of the symposium and the participation of the whole fraternity in all the previous stages. He recalled that, within the symposium, everyone had a voice, and that listening allows us to understand what the Holy Spirit is asking of us.

The Eucharist ended with the virtual presence of many missionaries, missionaries and missionary couples of the first generation.

Isabel Fornari, thanked on behalf of the first generations, that now is the time for the next generations, and that the first generations trust in the present ones.

We thank you for your support in prayer during this symposium.

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Day 10 - Thursday June 29, 2023

Danielle Solazzo celebrated the Eucharist this morning, and Ismael Barros gave us the guidelines centred on the government and prophets.

Today, being the feast day of Sts Peter and Paul, he said Peter symbolises the hierarchy and St. Paul represents the charism. Ismael invited us to think about VD as combining these two dynamics of government and prophets, where each one has their place, and the work of the government is to promote and support the prophets.

The supporting passage was Acts 12:1-11. He also asked us to reflect in prayer on the following questions:

What has this symposium freed you from?

What has it transformed in you?

After the prayer, we gathered to continue to review questions and issues that were pending. Afterwards, Pao explained to us the voting system for the proposals made during the sessions of the previous days. In the afternoon, we did the voting.

In the evening, we had the plenary, where we received the results of the votes. These will be included in the final document of the symposium.

After dinner, we will enjoy some cultural entertainment.

We continue to thank you for your prayerful support during this symposium.

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Day 9 - Wednesday June 28, 2023

Vicente Esplugues celebrated the Eucharist this morning, and Antonieta Vargas gave us the guidelines centred around “missionary expansion”. We were encouraged to meditate on Abraham’s encounter with the Lord in Genesis 15:1-12, 17-18, where he left his homeland in faith, trusting in God’s promise that he will have many descendants. Antonieta also spoke about the need to “widen the space of our tents” (Isiah 54:2). She asked us to reflect on what we need to let go of to do this. Also, what steps of trust do we need to take personally and as a community to live this missionary expansion in all the different aspects of our lives?

After prayer, we continued to deepen on yesterday afternoon’s topic, specifically “Geo-strategy, itinerancy, and new platforms for the missionary expansion.” Marisol Diaz invited us to reflect on these questions in our small groups and plenary session.

What criteria do we need to take into account when deciding on missionary expansion?
What advantages and disadvantages can occur when we live missionary itinerancy? Itinerancy and/or consolidation?
What key points would you suggest to the president and the general responsibles as determining factors for the discernment of the geostrategy?

After the Plenary Darwin Capuras shared with us about Evangelisation Mission “Ad Gentes” in Vietnam.

To begin our afternoon session, we had some short presentations on the following topics
Daily Shots (Jay-Anne Desabelle)
Self-sustaining music ministry – the monetising of music- YouTube etc…… (Nubia Celis)
Ruah – Means of communication (Monica Narváez)
Friends of VD – Philippines (Grace Gonzales)
Friends of VD – Mexico (Jamie Jose Calvo Fernandez)

Following this, we had an open forum to bring forth any questions, comments and restlessness we had.

In the later afternoon, we were informed about the Methodology for Voting and the elaboration of guidelines for the future of our mission.

After dinner, we enjoyed some cultural animation.

We continue to thank you for your prayerful support during this symposium.

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Día 8 - Martes 27 Junio 2023

Nuestro día comenzó con la misa celebrada por James McTavish. Raquel Palma nos dio las pautas centradas en nuestro tema de hoy, “Incidencia social del carisma”. Las pautas las dividió en dos: primero, nos pidió que preguntásemos al Padre la manera de tener mayor incidencia social, dado que somos pequeños colaboradores en la misión, llenos de parcialidad.

Posteriormente, partiendo de Genesis 13, nos introdujo en las situaciones que no nos gustan, o que nos desagradan y que buscamos evitar. Como Abraham, tenemos que buscar nuestro camino en la vida, incluyendo estas situaciones, “atraviesa la tierra que te daré” y tendrás una buena noticia que dar a los demás. En esas situaciones de falta de luz, buscar con insistencia a Dios, perseverar, y no caer en la descreencia, de todo y de todos, incluidos nosotros mismos. Arraigarnos en Él.

Tras el desayuno, Lucho expuso el tema sobre “la incidencia social del carisma”. Nos invitó a reflexionar sobre las siguientes cuestiones en nuestros pequeños grupos para compartir:


1. ¿Cómo seguimos reconociendo el impacto social de nuestro carisma misionero? menciona 3 mayores evidencias o situaciones donde se ve dicha incidencia.

2. ¿Qué podemos hacer para vivir equilibradamente proyectos que son netamente de nuestro carisma y misión, con otros directamente más sociales; sin perder apertura y creatividad?

El cierre de la mañana vino con la plenaria.

Por la tarde, tuvimos una breve exposición de Marisol Díaz sobre el Tema Exposición del tema sobre “distintas maneras para la expansión del carisma, plataformas”. Se nos ha invitado a reflexionar sobre las siguientes cuestiones:

1. ¿Qué distintas plataformas nos están ayudando actualmente para el desarrollo de la misión?
2. Según la realidad de tu comunidad, ¿Cuáles piensas que pueden ser más eficaces a futuro?

Nuestro presidente Rodrigo, nos expuso también el tema de las “Comunidades Evangelizadores”, como aquellas comunidades que nacen del dinamismo misionero de una comunidad local, como núcleos de vida evangélica y que pueden ser llevados por DMVD o LMC, (nº 33 Reglamento DMVD).

A continuación, nos reunimos en el plenario para compartir nuestras aportaciones, comentarios y propuestas.

Gracias por vuestro apoyo en la oración.

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Day 7 - Monday June 26, 2023

This morning Martin Cabral celebrated the Eucharist. Sara Postlethwaite preached the guidelines and introduced our theme for today: “The challenge to live off our specific charism and the integration of all the áreas of missionary life.” Sara invited us to reflect on the need for a “balance” in our life, which comes from learning “to be.” She said that “being” comes from the quality of our deep listening. We were invited to ponder the readings of the day, particularly Matthew 7:1-5. How can we see the “wooden beam” in our own eye if we don’t spend time in silence?

After prayer, Marianella Rojas deepened on the first part of our theme: “The challenge to live off our specific charism”. In our small group sharing, we reflected on the following questions:
At the present time, according to our specific charism, how can we creatively and responsibly manage economic sustainability?
How can we count on the help of the VD missionary family to create structures of economic sustainability?
After the sharing groups, we brought our comments and proposals to the plenary forum.

After lunch Barbara Luz Vera Villar presented the second part of our theme: “the integration of all the áreas of missionary life (self-care, contemplative life, community life, health and rest). Our questions for reflection were…..
What do we mean by total dedication to the mission (taking into account self-care and healthy relationships)?
How do we understand and embody an integrative mission? Suggest some line of action
Again, we had our small group sharing, and our plenary forum brought forth our insights and proposal from the sharing group.

In the evening, we enjoyed some cultural animation.

We continue to unite ourselves with the whole community.

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Day 6 - Sunday June 25, 2023

Our day began with Mass celebrated by Ramiro Gallo. Isabel Fornari gave us the guidelines focusing on our theme for today, “Youth Work and Vocational Animation”.

She reminded us that Jamie wanted a revolution in people’s happiness and that happiness is the stamp of Verbum Dei.

She also recalled there were retreats, “convivencias”, given by young people for teenagers and young. Vocations come when a person feels that their life is for Christ and thus wants to give their life as others had done before them.

After breakfast, Danielle Sollazo presented the topic “Pastoral work with young people”. He invited us to reflect on the following questions in our small sharing groups:

Given the reality of FMVD in your zone, area or country, is it possible to reinforce or strengthen (dedicated people, means, resources, preparation) the work with young people and their active leadership (protagonism), how? The morning closed with the plenary.

In the afternoon, we had a brief presentation on the theme of Vocational Animation. We were invited to reflect on the following question: Are we convinced that the Spirit continues to awaken vocations to Verbum Dei Missionary Fraternity?

If the answer is yes, how are we going to do it concretely?

If no, what are the main obstacles I encounter?

We then gathered in plenary to share our contributions, comments and proposals.
After dinner, we gathered as a community around Mother Mary as we prayed the Rosary walking, giving thanks to her for her presence here with us and also asking for her continued presence and intercession.

Today in a special way, we remembered and also asked Jaime for his intercession on the anniversary of his death.

Thank you for your prayerful support.

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Day 5 - Saturday June 24, 2023

Greetings to you all on this feast day of St John the Baptist.

Our day began with Mass celebrated by Ramon Cortes. Daniele Sollazzo gave us the guidelines centred around our theme for today, which was “the impact of the digital revolution and its widespread use on social media.” He reminded us that while Jamie insisted that preaching and the personal encounter with Christ was the goal, he saw everything else as a means to that goal. Therefore, we are invited to make the best of the means we have for this goal. Danielle asked us to reflect on the passage of Isaiah 39:1-6 and spend time pondering on the call we have received from God to be “a light to the nations” using the means we have.

After breakfast, Julia Silva deepened on this theme of “the impact of the digital revolution and its widespread use on social media”. She invited us to reflect on the following questions in our small sharing groups:
How important in practice is social media / digital networks for the members of FMVD and FaMVD in evangelisation?
Of the proposals in document 7 regarding social media / digital networks, which do you think are most urgent to carry out?
We then gathered in the plenary to share our inputs, comments and proposals.

Most of us had a free afternoon to rest before enjoying the VD Music Festival.

The festival has been an evening of community accompanied for the FaMVD, mutual sharing of gifts, and talents from food, art, dance, and of course, MUSIC!

We hope you also enjoyed it!

See video summary 10 minutes of Verbum Dei Music Festival

To see the complete video of the Verbum Dei Music Festival, enter the following link: 

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Day 4 - Friday June 23, 2023

Macario Elo was the presider of the Eucharistic celebration today. Antonio Miralles gave us guidelines about the interaction between the fraternity and the family and how each person in the family is necessary, unique and indispensable. Echoing the words of Jesus, “In the Father’s house, there are many rooms…” John 14:1-4. He also reminded us that no one is excluded. Instead, like St Paul, we are encouraged and promoted to enjoy the mission and the charism. (1 Tim).

After breakfast, we continued with a presentation by a Claretian Father, José Cristo Rey García Paredes, about “Collaborative ministry in the Ecology of Mission.” Fr Jose Cristo invited us to remember that the Holy Spirit carries out the mission, and we are collaborators of the mission, according to the charism we have received. He also clarified that it is the Holy Spirit who responds to the challenges that arise in today’s world. He invited us to reflect on the following: What would the Founder do today in the current situation? What would be his answers to the new challenges? Fr Jose Cristo Rey indicated that the Mission is for everyone, speaking of perichoresis, like the circular dance of the Trinity, where everyone passes through the same place, as an example of the relationships between the members of a charism.

After his presentation, we broke into small groups to share what resonated with each of us from his talk, as well as two questions about the relationships between Fraternity and other family members.
The questions were:
1) How are the apostolic and economic councils organised in your community, zone or area? How is the relationship between FMVD members and FaMVD members in your place?
2) How do you make the DMVDs and LMCs become the protagonists of the mission so that the members of the WFVDM become advisors who accompany and train them? What steps and means do you recognise in this process?
We then came together in the plenary to share our insights.

In the evening Maeve Heaney gave us a presentation about “Evangelisation through music.” She invited us to reflect on what music means to us. Maeve said that music helps us to make sense of life, and it’s a shared art form as it creates community and changes the experience of the space we inhabit. Maeve concluded with some key points. She said that going forward: God still calls musicians of all styles and encouraged us to support our musicians and artists because it’s not an easy gig. Her presentation was followed a rich and insightful sharing of questions and comments.

Once again, thank you for your prayerful support during this symposium.

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Day 3 - Thursday June 22, 2023

Noel Campos celebrated the Eucharist this morning, and Sole Losada shared with us in the guidelines how the charism received is a gift for people of all times. Sole invited us to take the example of Philip and go out and meet people where they are, to draw near and listen to them.  (Acts 8:26-39) She said it is from that drawing near that we can help people interpret what God is saying to them.

In our morning session, Vicente Esplugues spoke to us on the topic of Preaching and the Temario, adapting to the here and now at the service of the Church and the world. He shared how we need to make the Temario actual in the different places and among those we live and minister to. He reminded us that we do not transmit what we say but rather what we profoundly live and pray, and in this way, we make God visible in the world of today.

After Vicente’s presentation, we broke up into small groups to share what resonated with each one of us from his talk and if we could come up with some questions or suggestions for the plenary session. In the plenary session, the eight groups shared their suggestions and questions centred around preaching and the Temario.

After lunch, we again broke up into sharing groups and continued to deepen on the themes of preaching and the Temario. In the Plenary session, we had further discussions around the following two questions:


  1. What elements are essential in our “preaching” (in a wider sense) today and how are we or can we implement these essential elements?


  1. How are you (meaning local community/ area/ zone etc) in your culture or specific context adapting the temario in this present moment of history?

After dinner, we will enjoy with some cultural animation.

Thank you for your prayerful support.

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We began this day with the Eucharist presided by Ismael.

Luisa gave the guidelines which centred around the call to a creative fidelity.

She expressed how we need to continuously return to our roots as a point of reference, but at the same time, it is necessary to adapt to the signs of the times.

She invited us to reflect on the following questions.

If Jaime were here today, what would he do to attend to the signs of the times?

Is diversity and plurality seen positively, or is it more a challenge or problem?

Name our fears, insecurities and resistances.
She reminded us that just as a tree planted near the stream bears fruit in season, so we will bear fruit when we are connected to the living stream. Ps 1:1-3

After breakfast this morning, the group had a presentation given by Father Jose Maria R. Olaizola, from the Jesuits. He spoke about the sociological context of today’s world for Evangelization. He placed particular emphasis on young people.

In summary, he touched on three concrete issues.

The first part was on the Good News.

In the second part, he addressed the question, “Why the Good News is not reaching people?”

And thirdly, the witness of the Gospel today.

We concluded with a space for questions and answers. The discussion was very realistic and centred around the challenges we face as Evangelisers in today’s world.

This afternoon we celebrated the diversity and plurality of the VD mission as we listened to different sharing from the community in their particular ministries and contexts.

Celebrating diversity and plurality of VD mission

1. Martin Cabral- Parish work
2. Yadira Calderón- University Pastoral work
3. Geni Lloris- the Amazons
4. Macario Elo- Working with the poor
5. Reina Colimotes- Working with migrants
6. Héctor Ibarra- Evangelising community
7. Alma Bautista- Sinaí- Work with the poor
8. Darwin Capuras- Vietnam- mission “ad gentes”

To end the evening, we had cultural animation.

It has been a full and enriching day and we continue to ask for your prayers for the fruit of the symposium.

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Day 1 - Tuesday 20 June 2023

Today as we begin the Symposium, it has been a day of joy, getting to know each other as we begin this journey together.
We started with an introduction given to us by Jaime José; he spoke about the transcendence that this symposium can have.
After, we had Mass, celebrated by Cardinal Carlos Osoro. He encouraged us to live out our charism communicating the gospel to the ends of the earth. The Mass was also a memorial for the life of Anita Moranta. The cardinal said that she lived her life, revealing the face of God. The cardinal has been very close to VD, motivating us in our mission.
In the afternoon, we had a time of retreat where our president gave us a guideline about the importance of celebrating with a thankful heart, which enables us to recognise all the work that God has done in the VD during the past 60 years. The passages he invited us to reflect on were Luke 1:38 ff and 1 Tim 1:12-15.
During these days, we will deepen on the following three phases: celebration, discernment, and projection.
As this day draws to a close, we unite ourselves with each of you and count on your prayerful support.

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