CELAM'S GLOBAL PLAN FOR 1995-1996
All activity is being centred on Christology, as indicated in the Apostolic Letter Tertio Millennio adveniente. The selected theme: "Jesus Christ, fullness of life for all", is a concrete invitation for all the countries of Latin America and the Caribbean. Evangelization means promoting a culture of life which has at its source the communion of the Holy Trinity. The defence of life as historical expression of a society of solidarity can be made concrete by means of actions valid for the whole continent. To face the principal challenges: hunger, poverty, violence, alcoholism, and drug dependence; attacks on life, particularly pre-natal life and the end of life, unemployment and exploitation; secularism and thirst for truth and for God, we must work to achieve "Fullness of life" for everyone on the continent, by promoting: the right to be born (a divine gift, responsible parenthood); the right to life (bread, work, education, health, home); the right to co-existence (in justice, peace and freedom); the right to believe and to hope (the truth revealed in Jesus Christ). We intend to join in the great work of preparation for the Third Millennium by renewing our vocation and mission, with greater efficacy and penetration, by means of yearly or half-yearly campaigns, accompanied by prayer and support: infancy and fullness of life (baptism, demography); the family and fullness of life (matrimony and family integration); young people and fullness of life (confirmation and new society); old people and fullness of life (the anointing of the sick, transcendence and hope). The preparation and celebration of the 3rd Millennium must give rise to a missionary explosion throughout Latin America, involving every one of our Churches, within them, on a level of Latin America, the Caribbean and also ad gentes mission. The proclamation of Jesus Christ, fullness of life for all, invites us to contribute towards the emancipation of all those in need of true liberation, the recognition of equality among God's children and the restoration of social justice, with priority for solidarity and respect for life. In order to inculturate the Gospel we must work to achieve a fruitful encounter between the Gospel and the different cultures present in Latin American nations. In this encounter, the cultures are purified and enriched and the Christian path finds new expressions of life and hope in the different areas of human life.
Programmes promoted by CELAM
All the various programmes adopted by the General Secretariat and the CELAM Departments and Sections seek to promote concrete activity in the fields of reflection, formation of pastoral workers, and publication of didactic material to help the different Churches of the Continent to prepare for and celebrate the Great Jubilee.
Here is a summary, regarding plans for 1996-1999.
Support preparations for the Great Jubilee with publications and pastoral handbooks.
Encourage exchange between the national Commissions of the Episcopal Conferences charged with preparing the Great Jubilee.
Discuss and examine with the General Secretaries, work for the Great Jubilee done in the different countries.
Collaborate with the different Episcopal Conferences in preparation for the Great Jubilee in the Latin American and Caribbean countries and help them to co-ordinate this with the Holy See's Central Committee.
Co-ordinate the programmes of CELAM departments and sections relative to the preparation of the Great Jubilee.
Promote the celebration of Catechetical Weeks in all the countries, following the itinerary for the Great Jubilee proposed by Pope John Paul II.
Guarantee formation of catechists for the Third Millennium by means of annual Courses and Seminars on Catechesis and Biblical Pastoral together with ITEPAL at the head institute in Santafe di Bogota and also on the national and regional level through itinerant courses.
Prepare a collection of Documents on the catechesis of Latin American Bishops starting from Medellin up to the end of the second millennium.
Draft and publish a proposal for the formation of Catholic Educators in Latin America and the Caribbean to meet the challenges of the Third Millennium.
Pastoral of Communication
Organise four higher education courses in "Communications' Pastoral" in view of the Year 2000 (Catholic University of Chile, UNISINOS of Brazil, Xaverian University in Colombia and Puebla University in Mexico).
Collaborate with ITEPAL to produce an annual course on the means of social communication and Pastoral for the formation of media workers in Latin America and the Caribbean, and increase the number of pastoral workers in this sector, so important for the Third Millennium.
Organise, in collaboration with ITEPAL annual courses of family pastoral on the continental level, to help the family face the challenges of the Year 2000.
Prepare and diffuse guide-books for the study and application of the "Evangelium vitae" encyclical, as an instrument to strengthen the identify of the Catholic family in view of the Third Millennium.
Prepare a Latin American Youth Congress in which to discern and discuss the great challenges of the year 2000 and offer some criteria for youth pastoral in the Third Millennium.
Organise with ITEPAL, annual courses in Youth Pastoral for the formation of workers in this area, considering the theme of the Third Millennium in terms of a mission for new era.
Promote on the continental level a Seminar on the role of Christian women on the threshold of the Year 2000, with participation of men and women representing the various different cultures present in Latin America.Organise a Meeting to reflect on the role of the lay person in new evangelization.
Prepare manuals and hand-books and for the sacramental aspects of the preparation for the Great Jubilee(Baptism, Confirmation, Reconciliation, Eucharist), as proposed in the Apostolic Letter Tertio Millennio adveniente.
To hold, also with ITEPAL, annual courses of liturgical formation to train liturgical pastoral workers to organise celebrations for the Great Jubilee, in their own communities.
Hold four regional meetings on Mission ad gentes to encourage missionary vocations and foster a missionary spirit in view of the needs of the year 2000.
Organise a Latin American meeting of missionary animation and formation on the Continent to discern criteria for action aimed at encouraging a greater missionary spirit at the dawning of the Third Millennium.
Examine the study "Latin America: realities and prospects", in the context of the end of the second millennium and the beginning of the third.
Promote a Latin American Meeting on Pastoral of Human Rights and Education for Peace, in collaboration with the Department for Education.
Publish a Message of the Episcopal Conferences or Bishops of Latin America and the Caribbean on the theme of ecology, to support this important and crucial issue in the Third Millennium.
Hold a Latin American Meeting on the world of work for representatives of the working class and contractors, to examine the profound changes in this sector and future objectives in view of pastoral for the Year 2000.
Promote participation of the national bodies of consecrated life in the Episcopal Conferences' programmes organized in view of the celebration of the Great Jubilee.
Conclude the correspondence course in formation for the contemplative Religious life in view of evangelization for the Third Millennium.
Vocations and Ministries
Circulate special texts for Seminaries and other Formation Centres.
Hold regional meetings on Vocation Pastoral to give new impulse to this pastoral to meet the needs of the Third Millennium.
Study, with the Episcopal Conferences, the possibility of ecumenical activity on the Continental level in view of the Third Millennium.
Promote a Meeting between representatives of CELAM and NCCB (USA) on joint pastoral activity to face the problem of sects, demanding urgent attention in North and South America.
Identify the principal themes to be addressed in Latin America and the Caribbean on the threshold of the Third Millennium and outline plans for inculturated evangelization in the light of Tertio Millennio adveniente.
Hold a Meeting for CELAM and NCCB representatives to plan joint pastoral for the Spanish-speaking peoples in the United States, the pastoral needs, the formation of vocations to the priesthood among the Spanish-speaking communities in the United States.
Prepare a study on the great tendencies of the social situations in Latin America and the Caribbean which are a challenge to the pastoral activity of the Church as we approach the Third Millennium.
Collaborate with the different departments of CELAM in organizing courses, in the Institute and on the national and regional level.
Promote a Seminar on: "The Future of theological reflection in Latin America and the Caribbean, prospects for the Third Millennium".