In the middle of January, more than sixty members of Emmanuel Community in the Americas attended a four day fraternity retreat in Mexico City. In front of Our Lady of Guadalupe, they shared the common desire to further commit themselves to the Community and serve in the mission to grow a stronger EC and serve the Church in the American continent.
Geographically, the Emmanuel Community is rapidly expanding in Nicaragua, Colombia, and Peru, but has relatively few members in the much bigger countries of the United States, Canada and Brazil. Here the challenges of the Community are specific to each nation but are generally due to long distance, involvement of the faithful to active parishes, and the existence of several prayer groups and different communities.
The fraternity retreat enlightened the urgency to create and reinvigorate the EC across the Americas. The retreat encouraged each EC member to the call of living Christ as united, prayerful, and faithful brothers and sisters, and looking at Our Lady Lady to guide and reveal herself.
The retreat was under the spiritual patronage of Our Lady of Guadalupe. The amazing apparition of Our Lady of Guadalupe to Juan Diego offered the model for moving the Community further. Like in Mexico in 1531, evangelization finally became successful when our Lady appeared to an ordinary man, Juan Diego, who looked at our Mother Mary with a pure and burning, loving heart. Juan Diego was not afraid to testify of the apparition and spread the news, spurring a everlasting conversion within the Americas. Pope Francis, in his homily at the Sanctuary of Guadalupe (February 2016), praised Saint Juan Diego for being the one who believed. Saint Juan Diego carried with his courage and mission the evangelization of the whole of Mexico. The EC fraternity retreat emphasized the need for all EC members to be like Juan Diego, to become “the ambassador, most worthy of trust” and to look at our Mother for love and protection. This complete abandon to our Lady, through prayers, and Adoration will set our heart in motion. It will move it to compassion while transforming our life into a living mission to praise and bless Christ, in the midst of our world.
Submitted by Stefania (PA)
Read another account of this great event and see more pictures here.