Rekindling Faith in the Amazon

One such beacon is a mission team from Argentina currently serving in the Peruvian Amazon. Supported by the Society for the Propagation of the Faith and the Missionary Childhood Association, this team, including lay missionary Flavia Cuadro, is working diligently to serve the indigenous and settler communities in this remote part of the world.

This mission project was born from a profound call to action by Pope Francis. “The project was born from the Synod of Bishops on the Amazon (2019). Faced with this request from the Church, the Argentine Church began the project as a joint effort by the Argentine Bishops’ Conference and The Pontifical Mission Societies,” shared Flavia. 

Monsignor Fernando Croxatto, president of the Episcopal Commission of Mission of the Argentine Bishops’ Conference, played a crucial role in establishing a partnership with the Apostolic Vicariate of Puerto Maldonado in Peru.

The mission encompasses a wide range of activities, all geared towards fostering a sense of community and faith among the people of the Amazon. 

“The main tasks of this missionary group involve all that this Ad Gentes Mission now covers. We focus on forming Christian communities around Jesus, discovering and supporting ministries, and allowing the Holy Spirit to guide us. Our mission field covers about 100 communities, both settler and native, belonging to the Matsiguengas and Asháninkas ethnic groups,” details Flavia.

Despite the numerous challenges that the missionaries- both lay and religious- face, their faith and determination remain steadfast. “Challenges are always there, but the Lord guides us,” Flavia reflects. The mission team, composed of five missionaries based in Kimbiri and Villa Virgen, is committed to carrying out this ‘permanent mission’.

Rekindling Faith in the Amazon

Even in the face of challenges, the mission team has received blessings and support from the Holy Father himself. Flavia shares, “We wrote to Pope Francis last January to share our mission. His response and blessings came through a letter later in the year. We continue to be united with him and the entire Church in prayer and spirit.”

Flavia’s message is one of encouragement and a call to action. “I would like to encourage everyone to find in their daily lives a way to be missionaries. Whether in family, work, or friendship settings, carry the living light of the Risen One. Be witnesses to the infinite love God has for each of us.”

She also emphasizes the importance of prayer and mutual support. “I also ask you to pray for us. We are happy to pray for the Society for the Propagation of the Faith and the Missionary Childhood Association in the United States, which makes missions like ours possible.”

It is the responsibility of all of us to extend our prayers and resources to ensure the success of these missions. As Flavia so eloquently puts it, “We are all called to be missionaries in the daily walk of life.”