CCCB Letter on the Occasion of the CAM 2/CAMLA 7, Missionary Congress of America in Guatemala City

Thursday, November 20 2003

His Eminence Rodolfo Cardinal Quezada Toruño
Metropolitan Archbishop of Guatemala City
President of the Episcopal Conference of Guatemala
Km. 15, Calzada Roosevelt 4-54
Mixco – Apdo Postal 1698
01901 Guatemala

Your Eminence:

The Church in Guatemala and in all Central America is today celebrating an important event in its history: the Missionary Congress of America, CAM 2 – COMLA 7. Christians from the four corners of the continent are coming together to share their joy of bearing the Good News of Jesus Christ to all creation: Church in America, your life is mission!

For four years, Guatemala City has been preparing to receive all these delegates, young and not so young, who are engaged in the Church each according to his or her personal vocation. Canadian Catholics have also prepared for CAM. Those involved with the Pontifical Mission Societies have helped all our dioceses to create interest in the event. We have also had national and diocesan meetings, with many groups discussing the same questions that are at the heart of your Congress. Our delegates bring with them the results of these reflections, together with the prayers of their brothers and sisters. In response to your kind invitation, we will as well be sharing our own missionary experiences.

The pastors of the Church in Canada have great hopes in the follow-up that will come from the Missionary Congress of America. The Church in Central America, and particularly in Guatemala, is a witness for us of the love of God that comes from your poverty, your “littleness” and from your experience of martyrdom. You provide a model of courage and determination for the whole world. It is with deep emotion we recall how our brothers Oscar Romero, Juan Gerardi and many others have shed their blood so that others may live their faith in freedom and peace.

Church in America, your life is mission! Your Eminence, the Bishops and all the faithful of the Church in Canada are in communion with you. Our thoughts and prayers are with our delegates, and we ask you to see in them the common bonds that Canadian Catholics share with you.

May Christ, the One sent by the Father, send forth his Spirit on you and all the faithful of America. May Our Lady of Guadalupe look upon you in a special way. May the God of all mercies count your fidelity among the precious jewels of his Church.

Please be assured, Your Eminence, of my prayers and those of my brother Bishops of Canada, especially during this wonderful missionary gathering which proclaims hope in the Lord.

Sincerely in Our Lord,

+ Brendan M. O’Brien
Archbishop of St. John’s
Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops