On June 1-3, 2018, Brazil held its first National Militia of the Immaculate Assembly (M.I.). The Assembly took place in an atmosphere of communion in diversity with the M.I. International President, Friar Raffaele di MURO, also present.
Some seventy Militia members from across Brazil gathered in Brasilia, at the São Boaventura Institute, along with their respective regional assistants and presidents. Members of the M.I. International Council also participated, including M.I. International Vice President, Angela MORAIS and Councilmember Friar Sebastiano QUAGLIO, OFM Conv.
On the first day, the Most Reverend Janusz Marian DANECKI, OFM Conv., Auxiliary Bishop of Campo Grande, Mato Grosso do Sul State, held a conference and celebrated Mass. He was once in charge of the M.I. headquarters in Brasilia. During his presentation, he reminded everyone that this was a historical moment upon which the future of the movement would be built. In his homily, he mentioned the friars and Militia members who had given rise to the M.I., and he spoke about how important it is for the Movement to collaborate with particular churches and to promote the laity in leadership positions.
During this important meeting, Marcelo MENESES was elected M.I. National President. Marcelo is from the M.I. headquarters located in the Brasilia Federal District.
The second day started with Mass presided-over by Friar Raffaele DI MURO. Friar Raffaele invited everyone to have an open heart, like Mary, and like her, to be ready to set out on a journey of bringing Christ to the world.
Friar Raffaele led the second part of the elective session. Matilde LUVISOTTO from the M.I. headquarters in São Bernardo do Campo, São Paulo State, was elected Vice President. Three Councilmembers were elected as collaborators: Caroline Leandro DE PAULA, Lea Lúcia PACHECO and Lucas PESSOA.
The Economic Council composed of Maria do Perpétuo Socorro GOULART, Helenice ZAQUEU and Paulo TEIXEIRA was also elected.
Friar Raffaele had to leave for Rome, but he thanked all of the M.I. groups and urged them live in communion, collaboration and sharing, in order to build a path to the future together.
The new M.I. National President, Marcelo MENESES, along with the M.I. International Councilmember Angela MORAIS, continued the work of the Assembly. The participants formed different groups in order to present proposals to the new council regarding communion, evangelization and formation. Then they discussed various issues and priorities and presented proposals to the council that will guide activities in the coming years.
Everyone experienced the presence of the Holy Spirit leading them on this journey. The Spirit could be seen in the variety of ways the M.I. was expressed across Brazil. This diversity was not an impediment; it was a treasure.
On the last day, the Militia members discussed their local status and challenges in the apostolate.
The first meeting of the National Council was also held. I went right to work on suggestions from the Militia members and instructions from the International President.
This new stage of the journey of M.I. in Brazil has been entrusted to Immaculate Conception, with the certainty that she will “guide this work with extraordinary love,” as Saint Maximilian Kolbe used to say.
Sara CANEVA, Father Kolbe Missionaries of the Immaculata