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The Provincial of COL, Fr. Emigdio Cuesta Pino informed the General Council that the Provincial Administration has come to a decision to end their mission in San Isidro Parish in the city of Maracaibo.

“After our General Chapter in June and July of this year, Fr. Cuesta explained, we had the opportunity to share about the situation our missionaries are experiencing in Maracaibo. I have received from you the mandate that upon return to the Province we share with our confreres, see what the situation is like in Venezuela, and to make the best decisions.

At the end of the month of July there was the Provincial retreat. The confreres who work in Venezuela were unable to attend the retreat due to a lack of documents and the fear that if they got out it was possible that they would not be able to return anymore. It was decided that the Provincial would go to Venezuela to converse with our companions, learn about their experience, and take a closer look at the situation.

Fr. Cuesta shares the following: “To be sure, on August 9, I traveled to Venezuela to meet with the two confreres. We had several meetings with them and with the confreres, the communities they serve, and with local church leaders. We reached the conclusion that what is best for the confreres and for the Province COL is to leave Venezuela for the time being until the social, political, economic and religious situation of the country stabilizes a little.

Fr. Emigdio reiterated that for us missionaries this situation in Venezuela urges us to respond fully. But unfortunately the situation is not the most suitable one for our missionaries coming from other countries. Fr. Cuesta acknowledged that the people admire and appreciate our closeness, permanence, and simplicity.

On August 27, 2018 the SVD left San Isidro Parish at the City of Maracaibo in Venezuela. Following a smooth handover of the parish they likewise handed to the diocese necessary documents and inventories. The Archbishop of Maracaibo, Msgr. Jose Luis Azuaje Ayala, delegated Fr. Carlos Reyes Silverio Osorio to administer the parish until further notice. Fr. Reyes thanked the SVD confreres for their work, dedication, and efforts. Fr. Cuesta said: "If the social and political situation in Venezuela changes, we will look at the possibility of entering that country again."

--- Information provided by the General Secretary

Published in the newsletter “Arnoldus Nota” – October 2018


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