On Saturday, September 9 and Sunday, September 10, at the Seminar School was held the First Congress which brings together representatives of all branches of the Vincentian Family present in Costa Rica. This is the most important celebration scheduled on the agenda of the Vincentian Family in Costa Rica (FAVICR) for the Jubilee of the 400 years of the Vincentian Charism.

The Congress began on Saturday 9 at 10:00 a.m. with the celebration of the Eucharist presided by the Vice-Visitor, Fr. William Benavides C.M., and more than seventy people attended. The central theme was: “New Answers for New Times”.

During the two days we reflected on the path that the Vincentian charism should take in the Costa Rican reality. On Saturday, Father Henry Kristen C.M., of the Venezuelan region, was the speaker, who guided the work from the experience of Folleville and Chatillon, as well as the subject of organizing charity; on Sunday, Father Rolando Gutierrez C.M., secretary of the Vice Province of Costa Rica, led the reflection to create lines of action around Systemic Change.

The fruit of this congress is a conclusive document that was elaborated as a synthesis of the work of groups, sighting to guide the accompaniment and steps of the National Council of the FAVICR for the animation of the branches and the growth in the Vincentian Collaboration during the times to come.

At 2:00 p.m. on Sunday, September 10, the Congress closed with the Sunday Mass presided by Monsignor Guillermo Loría, Bishop Emeritus of the Diocese of San Isidro de El General, who received his formation by the Vincentian Fathers in the seminary and was in charge of one of the dioceses where there was a greater missionary presence of the Congregation of the Mission in the last century.

During this celebration three awards were given to “outstanding figures” of the Vincentian Family in Costa Rica: the marriaged copule, Mr. Otoniel Díaz and Mrs. Paulina Cortés, founders of the Viceroy Fulvio Ureña Salazar Association in Turrialba, dedicated to the care of homeless, Sr. Elisabeth Chaves HC, co-founder of the National Council of the Vincentian Family, together with the aforementioned marriage, and Father Bernardo Koch CM, a 90-year-old German missionary who gave his life in the evangelization of the indigenous peoples of Talamanca, the most extensive cordillera of the Costa Rican nation.

Author: Fr. Rolando Gutiérrez C.M.

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