International Day of Life Ascending, October 1
In South America
This is how Susanna, coordinator for Latin America presented the day of October 1:
"Dear friends of Vida Ascendente
In November 2018, almost two years ago in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, as part of the 9th international assembly of the Movement, October 1 was established as the International Day of the Vie Montante movement.
This proposal was made by the President of the National Movement of Peru, Mr. Orlando Cáceres, and after the vote of all the participants of the Assembly, it is the date that, among other proposals, has been chosen: thus each of the members of the Movement will feel in union with all the other members.
It's a beautiful day to celebrate; that each country do so according to the customs, traditions and folklore that characterize it.
On October 1, 2020, we may not be able to celebrate as we wish. We all know that we live in a totally atypical time, not only in our countries, but around the world, because of Covid 19, a virus that is rampant all over the planet and prevents us from meeting, especially us elders, because we are the population that is at risk of being most infected. We are also not allowed to celebrate as we wish, with music, songs, dances and friendship marks. I truly believe that this is what we miss most among us, those signs of friendship that we share every time we see each other.
However, God does not abandon us and allows us to be united in the same way, in all our dear Latin America, in a different, more spiritual way, through prayer and the Holy Eucharist.
I encourage you to move forward and not lose hope, always looking for a way to continue our apostolic actions through the social networks that new technologies offer us today.
Dear all, finally tell yourself that we must not lose confidence, we must remain united with the Lord as "the vine to the vine", knowing that there is a God among us who takes care of us, loves us and protects us. I send you from a distance all my friendship, may the Lord fill you with blessings, thank Him for the health we have that allows us to continue to stand.
Congratulations on your initiatives and a great day of Vida Ascendente!!!!!!
With all my affection,
Susana" (LAI Coordinator for Latin America)
In response to the request of President Orlando Cáceres, the President of LAI sent a message to Peru for the day dedicated to the elderly:
"From LAI President Monique Bodhuin to Peru's National President Orlando Cáceres
Together, on this day of October 1, with other non-denominational organizations caring for the elderly, we make ourselves visible as Christians; Strengthened by our spiritual specificity, we can make people understand the sacred dignity of any more or less old, aging, dependent person, until their last breath of life.
We are called to work together, united in a movement, LAI, which is not an association like any other, since it is in the name of Christ that we are united; to be committed to LAI, it gives an exciting responsibility, it is to be convinced that we are a whole whose cohesion and unity come from the meaning of a mission to be accomplished: this mission is to bear witness to the love of Christ to all those we meet, it is to bear witness to the love of Christ by very concrete gestures with the elders, those whom society sometimes forgets or marginalizes.
I know that Peru is particularly affected by the Covid-19 pandemic and that you are all going through difficult times, especially vulnerable and isolated people. I join in your concern and sorrow; but we must not give in to discouragement or anguish.
May this day be an opportunity to bear witness to the hope that must inhabit the members of LAI: they will do a great service to those they meet, inviting them to look at how God acts, in order to get out of seemingly dead-end situations. Christian hope teaches us to deal with the enigma of our lives with the conviction that "God has already risked himself on this path."
(Summary prepared by Monika Ptak)
In the Democratic Republic of Congo
A mass of thanksgiving was celebrated on October 1 at St Joseph's Church in Kinshasa: attached excerpts from the speech given by President Barthélémy MOPITI UNKENDE and some photos illustrating the event.
On behalf of the National Federation of the Elderly and 3rd Age, of which VMRDC is a member, Barthélémy thanked the parish priest of St Joseph for agreeing to celebrate this Mass of thanksgiving and the Director of the Pastoral Diocesan Centre for his help. He continues: "The elderly Christians send their prayers to God for keeping them alive to this day....
Pope Francis, who continues to care about our future, tells us that if at one time the elderly could populate a small state, today they could populate an entire continent." These words were made "in his speech on 31 January 2020 to the delegates gathered in Rome for the congress "the wealth of many years of life" in which I participated. The Holy Father encourages us and promises to accompany us with his prayers. He asks us, "please," to pray for him as well."