LETTER OF THE HOLY FATHER FRANCIS
ON THE OCCASION OF THE INAUGURATION OF THE NEW CELAM HEADQUARTERS IN COLOMBIA
To His Most Reverend Excellency
Archbishop Héctor Miguel CABREJOS VIDARTE, O.F.M., of Trujillo
President of CELAM
On the occasion of the blessing and inauguration of the new headquarters of CELAM, on 12 July, in Bogotá, I would like to thank you and the other members of the presidency for the letter in which you inform me of this event. I ask you to convey my cordial greetings to the bishops of Latin America and the Caribbean, as well as to the priests, men and women religious, lay collaborators, and to all the guests participating in the event.
While I invite you to give thanks to God for the successful conclusion of this material work, which can be of help in carrying out projects of evangelization and pastoral formation in support of the Episcopal Conferences, it is suitable for us to keep in mind that "unless the Lord build the house, they labour in vain who build” (Ps 127:1). As a community of disciples built “upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the cornerstone” (Eph 2:20) we feel the perennial need to beseech the Risen Lord to impel and strengthen our ecclesial mission with the power of his Holy Spirit, so we may be ready to discern the signs of the times and to respond, from the perspective of faith, hope and charity, to the needs of God's holy and faithful people. Let us not forget that our material structures only have meaning when they are destined to serve, above all, our sisters and brothers who live on the most extreme peripheries of life. And let us remember to be alert to the three idolatries that always threaten the progress of the faithful People of God: spiritual mediocrity, the pragmatism of numbers and the functionalism that leads us to be enthusiastic about the road map rather than the road. Temptations that do not tolerate mystery and point at efficiency (cf. Homily at Chrism Mass, 14 April 2022).
I ask you to extend my gratitude to all those who have collaborated in the realisation of this project. May Jesus bless you and may the Holy Virgin watch over you. And please do not forget to pray for me.
Rome, Saint John Lateran, 24 June 2022, Solemnity of the Sacred Heart of Jesus
Bulletin of the Holy See Press Office, 12 July 2022
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