Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,
I write to you with a great sense of joy and gratitude. This Advent season we have prepared in a special way to receive the Messiah. The anticipation of the V Encuentro has led us to a very active waiting, full of hope, joy, and a good dose of holy anxiety. As Pope Francis recently said: “Hope is not still, it is always on the way.”
During the last week of Advent, more than 125,000 V Encuentro Guides were received in 154 dioceses throughout the country. Many viewed them as early Christmas presents. Others were deeply moved and honored to be part of such an important effort in the life of the Church in the years ahead. Other V Encuentro materials such as the Journal for Mission and Consultation, wristbands, and crosses will be available in mid to late January.
Undoubtedly, the V Encuentro is a movement of the Holy Spirit that is full of joy and missionary hope. The V Encuentro’s promise of a renewal of millions of people and thousands of parishes is generating a great deal of enthusiasm. We give a thousand thanks and congratulate the thousands of people who have prepared the way for the V Encuentro during this past year. Members of ENAVE, ERAVE and EDAVE have played an especially important role, as you will see in the articles included in this newsletter. It is now up to Parish Teams, schools, and organizations to launch the process of mission and consultation in their local communities during the first half of 2017, with a true force of missionary disciples witnessing the love and tenderness of God. ¡Adelante!
On behalf of the entire V Encuentro Team (ENAVE), we wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year, full of blessings and abundant fruit in the Vineyard of the Lord!
Director of the V Encuentro
Assistant Director for the Secretariat of
Cultural Diversity in the Church, USCCB