The proclamation of the God is the bounden duty of all Christians by virtue of baptism, the sacrament that configures them to the Eucharistic Christ and incorporates them into the mystery of the Triune God, in view of contributing to the Church’s mission (cf. Mt 28:19-20). A priest undertakes this task with greater commitment in virtue of the commitment made before God and before the Church to serve his people.
On 7 May 2023, the Fifth Sunday of Easter, the parish community assembled for the eucharistic celebration at 11 am, when Fr Elibien Joseph sss assumed canonical possession as the new Parish Priest of San Cristóbal. It was a celebration comprising three significant stages:
1. The Eucharistic Celebration was presided by the Vicar General of the diocese of Chosica, the Reverend Fr Víctor García. This was an event characterised by various signs of communal, fraternal and harmonious meaning with the presence of many priests of the diocesan clergy, the four congregations of the parish jurisdiction, the police presence of the Police Station of Caja de Agua and representatives of all the groups and movements of the parish.
Fr Víctor addressed the community on the passage from the Gospel of John in which Jesus described himself, saying: “I am the Way, the Truth and the Life” (Jn 14:6), thus helping the people to understand that Jesus is the centre of the Church. He must be the point of reference for every Christian, and any pastoral service entails looking to Jesus regarding his total dedication to the service of humankind. This should be the perspective in which to see the new path beginning with the new Parish Priest, Fr Elibien, in order that a fruitful animation is carried out for the community’s wellbeing.
2. A personal look at the community: the community of Lima has more than 50 years of history during which many Blessed Sacrament religious have contributed to pastoral and evangelising animation always in harmony with some diocesan clergy. It is quite a challenging community, comprising different situations, customs, traditions and traces of former religious.
I feel encouraged to undertake this new eucharistic mission in the light of the synodal context that the Church is living; a process involving learning, openness, listening, being available and, above all, humility and prudence in pastoral work from the perspective of the SSS Rule of Life: “We will make our parishes into authentic communities so that they shall be: places of proclamation and the living of the Gospel, places of prayer, eucharistic adoration and festive celebration, places of sharing, fellowship and of human development.” (RL 41)
3. A moment of fraternal gathering around the table – The Congregation always cultivates the spiritual tradition of the Eucharist around the table of fraternal sharing. At the end of the celebration all participants had lunch in the house of the Sisters of the Gospel – Caja de Agua – raising a toast that expressed the wish and will to begin this new pastoral, evangelizing and missionary journey in the Parish of San Cristóbal.
May God guide us in this mission as a parish and community of faith!
Father Elibien Joseph, sss
Parish Priest of San Cristóbal