AMERICA/DOMINICAN REP. – “Walking together, not only on the level of faith, but also on a human level”: National pastoral meeting

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Santo Domingo – Responding to the fundamental needs of the Church and society: this was the objective of the XXXIX National Pastoral Meeting, which the Dominican Episcopal Conference , through its National Pastoral Institute , held on Friday, October 8, in the Archdiocesan House of María de la Altagracia. According to the statement from CED sent to Fides, this year, due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the meeting was held with reduced participation in the presence of the Bishops and pastoral agents of the country’s dioceses, who assessed the pastoral challenges of the Church, decided on the guidelines for planning actions for the coming year 2022, and established the National Route of Evangelization, according to the National Pastoral Plan. In his welcome speech, Mgr. Freddy Bretón, Metropolitan Archbishop of Santiago de los Caballeros and President of CED, highlighted the work in communion carried out by the Church in the country, despite the precariousness, and invited those present to “walk together, not only at the level of faith, but also at the human level”, responding in the light of faith to the current needs of the country. Monsignor Santiago Rodríguez, Bishop of San Pedro de Macorís and President of INP, underlined the commitment of CED to ensure that “this programming involves everyone, as a Church, in order to respond with prayer and action to the great challenges of our people”, through the various national pastoral bodies. The Bishop Emeritus of San Juan de la Maguana, Monsignor José Grullón, concluded the meeting by sending pastoral agents, which was followed by the delivery to each diocese of a copy of the image of the Virgin of Altagracia, on the occasion of the centenary of the canonical Coronation of Our Lady of Altagracia , whose feast is one of the transversal themes of the pastoral program for 2022. In fact, CED has announced the Altagracian Jubilee Year, from August 15, 2021 to August 15, 2022, with the aim of “confirming the pact of re-encounter with the Virgin, revitalizing the faith of the Dominicans and pursuing a strong national coexistence”. During this Jubilee Year, the faithful will be able to obtain plenary indulgence in the shrines and churches chosen by the Bishops in the Dioceses. In addition, various activities will take place, coordinated by the National Organizing Commission, including the dissemination of videos in honor of the Virgin of Altagracia, as well as the celebration of Mass presided over by the Bishops on the 21st of each month, the day dedicated to the Virgin.