On January 25, the day in which the Church celebrates the conversion of St. Paul, 99 disciples of the Life Community were sent on mission during the Holy Mass held at Shalom da Paz, the first Evangelization Center of the Shalom Catholic Community in Fortaleza (Brazil). The celebration followed all the protocols recommended by the civil authorities and the Archdiocese of Fortaleza.
The young missionaries spent much of the year 2020, marked by the coronavirus pandemic, living in the formation houses of the Community in Ceará. At the beginning of this new year, they leave on mission to 45 different dioceses and also towards the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem in the Holy Land.
“Living in the disciples’ house of formation during the year of the pandemic, for me, was a very concrete experience of God’s love and providence, the Lord was surprising us in everything, giving us the best, giving us brothers”, shares Bruno Nunes, a disciple from Pacajus (Brazil) who is going on mission to Imperatriz, in Maranhão (Brazil). The missionary also highlights that during the isolation period he had the opportunity to unite with humanity in prayer, through the rosary and daily adoration.
Disciples of consolation
In his speech to the disciples, Moysés Azevedo, founder of the Community, emphasized that the 99 missionaries are going to meet humanity, which is suffering because of fear, pain, and grief caused by Covid-19 and many other evils. Moysés also reinforced that the men and women of today need the joy of the disciples, which is the fruit of a true experience with God.
“Don’t be centered in yourselves. Be a consolation to these people. Do not live for yourselves, but for the people to whom you are being sent. Persevere until the end,” advised the founder.
Luana Silva, a disciple from Pacajus (CE) who is going on mission to Perdizes (SP), says that the formation period was, in fact, a preparation for the new time that begins with the missionary sending. The young woman also shares that “it is an immense joy to be the missionary disciple sent by the Lord to console the people in this time.”
The formation time
Victor Frota, missionary responsible for initial formation in the Life Community, explains that the time of discipleship is a great retreat. “It is a time that favors the missionary to be configured to Christ, and more configured to Christ to be sent as a response to humanity.”
It is in this period that one discovers the great differential of missionary life, which is the ability to incarnate the Cross of Christ and the suffering of man, giving meaning and hope to each of these realities from the resurrection of Christ. “It is in this spirit and in this strength of the Risen One that the disciples are sent.”
On the night of sending out the disciples of the class of 2020, a new feature was announced about the Shalom Catholic Community’s houses of formation, also called discipleships. Now, each one refers to one of the titles of Our Lady that in the Shalom Vocation one has particular devotion to.
The discipleship of Quixadá (Brazil), which sent out 28 disciples, is now called Queen of Peace. The discipleship of Pacajus (Brazil), which sent out 33 disciples, is now called Spouse of the Spirit. And the discipleship in Eusebio (Brazil), which sent 38 disciples, is now called Door of Heaven. The inspiration came from the Team responsible for the Initial Formation of the Community, confirmed by the founder of Comunidade Shalom, Moysés Azevedo.