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Pastoral Indigena
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As part of the commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the foundation of the Pastoral for the Indigenous of Conferencia Episcopal Paraguaya (CEP,) an International Congress was held from September 26 to 28, 2019, at the premises of the Metropolitan Ex Seminary.

Nearly 180 guests participated in the celebration, half of whom were our indigenous friends whom we have accompanied for half a century in their suffering, marginalization, resistance, struggles and recognition of their rights. Bishops, priests, religious and many indigenous pastoral agents from the country and abroad also participated.

The celebration of 50 years offered an opportunity to express appreciation for the accompaniment of the missionaries with the indigenous peoples and to continue discovering new steps to walk, act and unite with the indigenous peoples in the defense of life.

As one of the new challenges is the implementation of the encyclical Laudato Sí, addressed to all the inhabitants of the Casa Común, it is necessary to create concrete structures that will allow progress following results of the Synod of the Amazon. Another new challenge is the need for a pastoral conversion, an ecological conversion, and a synodal conversion in the Church, which will lead us to greater dialogue and participation.

The participants of the Congress committed themselves to continue walking together, in dialogue and respect for the cosmovision and indigenous spirituality, beginning to live within the universal Church a synodal structure, in which we can all "walk together" with greater dialogue, more participation and more coresponsibility.

This is a path that opens up to continue advancing in this missionary effort towards the promised land, sharing the Guaraní dream of the "Search for the Land without Evil". The walk with the Indigenous Peoples was marked by territorial, environmental and legal projects. The struggle for land was the main focus of the pastoral efforts, for without land there is no life.

Numerous and successful cases of territorial conquest was an important seal of the pastoral. The new challenges, new visions, and above all, the indigenous initiatives in urban contexts, all seeking construction of public policies that contemplate fundamental rights in national and international laws, are part of the CONAPI walk.

Fr Henryk Gaska, SVD, President of CONAPI since 2014

Published in the newsletter “Arnoldus Nota”- November 2019