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Pope Francis’ last days of trip to Latin America



Norandina provincial affirms Pope’s visit gives encouragement

10/07/2015: Bolivia

The provincial superior of Norandina said the Pope’s trip to the continent is giving hope to its people.

“His presence is a voice of encouragement, it is the testimony of the Shepherd that comes to encounter his people and transmits them a message of hope,” said the provincial of Norandina, brother César Rojas.

Pope Francis’ trip to Ecuador, Bolivia and Paraguay began on July 5 and will end on Monday, July 13.

“A few days ago I had the opportunity to be both in Ecuador and in Bolivia and one could perceive an environment and atmosphere of joy, excitement and expectation,” he told the general house press office on July 6. 

Br César arrived to Rome on July 8 to take part in the New Models conference, but confirmed that several Marist brothers and laity from Ecuador would participate in some of the papal events in the country. 

They included a Mass at Quito’s Bicentennial Park, the Pope’s encounter with religious in the national Marian shrine “El Quinche” and the encounter with teachers of the Pontifical Catholic University of Ecuador.

The provincial underscored that “Ecuador, Bolivia and Paraguay are all countries with many riches but also with very tough social realities and dramas.”

“Let us recall that Ecuador and Bolivia are countries with large indigenous populations, people who have been subjugated and enslaved for centuries,” he said.

“The presence of Francis is also a voice for the voiceless, it is the closeness of a man who vibrates and agrees with the needs of the humble and simple people,” added the provincial. 

Br César turned to the topic of violence in Latin America, attributing it to “many factors and the abuse of those in power.” 

“The Pope’s voice and presence can be an encouragement so that all those nations can find ways and mechanisms of dialogue, consensus, seeking the common good and allowing the participation of minorities in various areas of growth and social improvement,” he underscored. 

“For our Church, the Pope’s presence is also an encouragement to continue to work and choose to have a significant presence in the peripheries of our nations and marginalized peoples,” he stated. 

When asked what he would say if he had the chance to speak to Pope Francis, he replied that he would ask him “to bless our Institute, I would thank him for his words and voice of encouragement and incentive so that the Church and the Marists be the light of the gospel amidst children and youth.” 

“I would also invite him to continue to promote his words of prophecy, hope, peace, harmony and social justice for all peoples,” he remarked. 

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