Letter of April 2019

Father Ricardo Londoño Dominguez

Amidst the abundance of ecclesiastic events during the first quarter of the year, I would like to refer to two very significant ones: World Youth Day held in Panama (WYD) 2019 and the 80th anniversary of that very memorable meeting that was the beginning of Teams of Our Lady.
I had the good fortune to be able to accompany some youth groups and communities who were participating in the WYD. It is a valuable and interesting experience that revives the faith of many, strengthens that of others and offers, for some, the possibility of reflecting on the meaning of life.
The presence of Pope Francis and his words awakened the enthusiasm of many believers and encouraged us all to follow on the path of the project of the Kingdom as preached by Jesus.
I would like to highlight some significant sentences from some of the Pope’s valuable speeches. “We did not invent the Church; she was not born with us and she will carry on without us. This attitude, far from encouraging sloth, awakens and sustains boundless and unimaginable gratitude,”. The Pope said this at his meeting with the Central American Bishops, as he invited them to suffer with the Church.  And this is an invitation that touches us all, in some way, all of us who are baptised.
And to the youth assembled in Metro park, he said, “It is impossible for us to grow unless we have strong roots to support us and to keep us firmly grounded.”  He said this while summoning older people to question what we are offering the youth of today. There is much more to be done.
Moving on to the second event, the celebration of the 80th anniversary of the first meeting of Father Caffarel and those very first couples, was a very moving and significant event in the life of our Movement.
The news and numerous photos of the thousands of teams throughout the whole world show us that the seed that was sown in 1939 has been producing fruit in the hearts and spirits of many couples and priests. And, thinking about the proposed script for each Teams’ commemorative meeting, I return to Pope Francis, who repeating words of Saint Oscar Romero, recalled, “Christianity is a Person who loved me immensely, who demands and asks for my love. Christianity is Christ.”
It was lovely to realise and see how this commemoration was experienced in different countries.  It was very significant to be able to give thanks for God’s work in the lives of so many people, who, from the outset, decided to take the importance of following Jesus within a Church Movement very seriously.
A story filled with faith, hope and love.  A story that has been woven through times and places and that today can be recognised in this big family that Teams throughout the world makes up.  It was moving to listen to and collect the numerous testimonies about what this beautiful event has meant within the Movement.
Let us give thanks to God, who wished to show himself to us in something as concrete as an invitation to journey towards holiness in Teams of Our Lady. May He bless you all!

Ricardo Londoño Domínguez,
ERI Spiritual Counsellor

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By Bernadette & Sylvestre Minlekibe