AMERICA/VENEZUELA – Twelve university students, missionaries among the natives of the Vicariate of Caroni
San Cristóbal (Agenzia Fides) – From April 9 to 20, 12 young missionaries will dedicate the Easter period to evangelization among the peoples and indigenous communities of the Apostolic Vicariate of Caroni. The celebration of the missionary sending took place in the cathedral of the diocese of San Cristóbal and was presided over by the auxiliary bishop Mgr. Juan Alberto Ayala, in the presence of relatives and friends, as well as members of the diocesan secretariat for university pastoral care and the diocesan Caritas.
The Apostolic Vicariate of Caroni, which includes the Venezuelan state of Bolívar, was erected on March 4, 1922. It has a population of 91,100, of whom 57,700 are Catholics. For lack of personnel, after a century of missionary commitment, in 2021 the Capuchins left the pastoral direction of the Vicariate to the Venezuelan Church, and entrusted it to the pastoral care of the diocese of San Cristóbal (see Fides 28/4/2021; 21/ 7/2021; 5/3/2022).
According to information from the Episcopal Conference sent to Agenzia Fides, Bishop Juan Alberto Ayala stressed that the evangelizing commitment of each of the envoys “is to do good”. “Remember, dear brothers, that you were sent to do good, the Church of San Cristóbal is present in the Apostolic Vicariate of Caroní with Bishop Gonzalo Ontiveros, with priests and seminarians, and now with you.
Have courage and go forward, be courageous, because the one who called you to this mission is God”.
During the Holy Mass, the missionaries received the blessing of the bishop and the yellow vests which will identify them as members of the University Pastoral. From April 9 to 20, they will share their faith and promote Gospel values during Holy Week and part of the Octave of Easter. They will also bring with them donations and supplies that the Diocese of San Cristóbal collected during the months of February and March, with the support of the Diocesan Caritas and the Pastoral Vicariate. (SL) (Agenzia Fides, 4/11/2022)