In a letter addressed to members of all monastic and contemplative communities of the Americas, the leaders of the Latin American Bishops’ Council (CELAM) asked for their prayers for the success of the V General Conference scheduled to be opened by Pope Benedict XVI in May 2007 in the Brazilian city of Aparecida.
In the letter signed by CELAM president Cardinal Francisco Javier Errazuriz of Santiago, Chile, and Bishop Andres Stanovnik of Reconquista, Argentina, the leaders invited contemplatives and monastic religious to “actively participate” in the reflection on the theme of the upcoming gathering and they expressed their hope that they “would send their input through your respective Episcopal conferences.”
The CELAM leaders noted that the laity are also providing input for the bishops by meeting in their respective communities to reflect on the theme chosen by the Pope: ‘Disciples and Missionaries of Jesus Christ so that our people may have life in Him’—‘I am the way, the truth and the life’ (Jn 14:6).”
“In order that this work be lived as a true expression of zealous and committed faith, the Holy Father has given us a beautiful Prayer for the V Conference, which we would like to especially entrust to all of the contemplative communities and to the heart of each person consecrated to the Lord,” the letter states.
“Join us in imploring the light of the Holy Spirit during the celebration [of the Conference], that He may enlighten our minds and awaken in us the desire of contemplating Jesus Christ, love for our brothers, above all the afflicted, and zeal for proclaiming Him as this century begins, and thus respond with faithfulness to our vocation to be His disciples and missionaries so that our peoples may have life in Him.”