On October 18, all guests from the participating countries (Panama, Mexico, U.S.A., Colombia, Venezuela, Ecuador, Peru, El Salvador, Nicaragua and Costa Rica) arrived in Panama and proceeded to register at the Intercontinental Playa Bonita Resort & Spa. At night, we had a welcome dinner with all the Congress attendees, where we had time to share with our brothers and sisters from the different countries where the Mission is established.On Friday, October 19th, right after praying the Rosary, the Congress started officially with the Inauguration Mass celebrated by Monsignor Oscar Mario Brown, Bishop of the Diocese of Santiago in Panama, with the participation of more than 100 religious, including Archbishops, Bishops, Monsignors, Vicars and Priests attending the Congress. Panamanian singer Patricia Elena Vlieg and her band performed the music for this Mass. At the end of the Mass, Father David Cosca from Panama, sang the Hymn of the Mission For The Love of God Worldwide, which was written by him during the First International Congress in 2010.
Although the Archbishop of Panama Monsignor Jose Domingo Ulloa, was traveling out of the country during the dates of the Congress, we received a video of him welcoming all attendees and imparting his blessing to all after making the religious invocation.There were words of welcome by Maria Elena Gonzalez Revilla, President and Father Jorge Rivera, Spiritual Advisor of the Panama team, hosts of the Congress. And a welcome speech followed by Patricio Slim, Co-Chairman of the International Board of Directors of the Mission for the Love of God Worldwide. After this intervention, the Mission video and global accomplishments were presented.Anibal Salas, former president of the Supreme Court, gave a speech in which he spoke about God in the law, and shared his experiences when through the Mission the Supreme Court was consecrated to the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary. We had the honor of having Msgr. Andres Carrascosa Coso, Apostolic Nuncio of Panama, accompany us during Friday and share with us his words of encouragement and guidance for the Mission.Doctor Maria Teresa Montero, gave a lecture on the message of the robe and gown of Our Lady of Guadalupe and why the natives understood its images so well. She also explained the importance of Our Lady of Guadalupe as Patroness of the Americas.Monica Acquaviva, Director of Global Communications, Media and Public Relations of the Mission, spoke about the great event in Ecuador where the Blessed Mother was enthroned, with the attendance of thousands of people escorting Her in procession, and how the Mission was awarded the status of Association of the Faithful of the Catholic Church by decree.Lilian Peirce, Head of the Mission in Miami presented the new Mission website and announced the 24 hour Mission Rosary prayer line before the live feed of the Blessed Sacrament.Next to the main conference room, we had a permanent Adoration Chapel in which everybody could sign up to accompany our Lord in prayer and adoration throughout the duration of the congress.On Friday the 19th at night, we had dinner at a terrace restaurant by the beach. After dinner we all enjoyed a show of Panamanian folkloric dancers.On Saturday, October 20th, the Rosary was prayed right after breakfast. After the Rosary, the Mass began, celebrated by Monsignor Rafael Romo, Archbishop of Tijuana in Mexico, with the participation of all the Archbishops, Bishops, Monsignors, Vicars and Priests attending the Congress. Monsignor Romo presented John Rick Miller with a gift, which was a medal of the Virgin. Panamanian singer and composer Chely Boyd performed the music for this Mass.John Rick Miller gave a lecture on the home enthronements of the image of Our Lady of Guadalupe and the guidelines on how to do it. He explained it is mandatory that this is presented to the bishop in each diocese and start doing the enthronements after the bishop gives us his blessing and permission to do so.The Vice President of Panama, His Excellency Juan Carlos Varela, joined us in the Congress and gave a lecture on the importance of having God in politics. He also shared personal anecdotes of his life as a practicing Catholic. After his talk, John Rick Miller gave him a pin of the Mission Bell, which symbolizes God’s call to mankind.Her Excellency Lucy Molinar, Minister of Education in Panama, in representation of the First Lady of Panama, accompanied us as well, and gave a small talk on her personal experience as a Catholic and the work she is doing.The former president of the National Assembly, Hector Aparicio, also gave a talk in which he spoke about God in the government. He also shared his experiences when through the Mission and his support, the National Assembly was consecrated to the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary.Michelle Touzard, Head of International Newsletters, gave a lecture on the guidelines for preparing the newsletters, plus the goals and objectives that can be accomplished by using this tool to record the Mission’s progress in each country.John Rick Miller then gave a lecture on the Mission prayers and stressed out the importance of the responsibility we have as Catholics to be informed of our faith and study it in depth. Very soon we will be providing material to start preparing everybody in different aspects of our faith. The first series will be about the Mass.Father Ernesto Maria Caro has founded a website with a virtual university campus, created to provide information and materials for the continuous learning of our faith. He will support us with the series mentioned by John Rick, which we will be able to access in this site: http://www.evangelizacion.org.mxOn Saturday evening, after all the scheduled talks, we shared a moment of prayer and adoration before the Blessed Sacrament. Father Raul Rodriguez from Panama guided this adoration.On Saturday night, we visited the Miraflores Locks of the Panama Canal. After watching a video and going through the visitor center, we could watch some ships passing the Canal from the private terrace. Panamanian musician Tonito Arauz performed live music. The Archbishops and Bishops prayed for all of us and Panama and gave us their blessing.Sunday Mass began right after the Rosary and wascelebrated by Monsignor Flavio Calle, Archbishop of Ibague in Colombia, with the participation of all the religious attending the Congress. For this Mass, the Mercedaries in Panama loaned us a chalice that is the replica of the Holy Grail. The choir from the Archdiocese of Panama performed the music for this Mass.John Rick Miller took this opportunity as well, to thank all the religious for their continuous support to the Mission and their guidance.These are the Global Statistics of the Mission, hat were presented during the Congress:CONSECRATIONS· 223,589 Families· 152 Businesses· 781 Parishes and 19 Religious Congregations· 32 Archdioceses / Dioceses / Episcopal Pastoral Zones· 4 Countries· 40 Cities / States· 10 Military Forces: Army, Navy Air Force· 15 Police Forces· 77 Leaders of Nations and Governments· 17 Government Departments and Ministries· 34 Schools and Universities· 5,000,638 PersonsPRAYER GROUPS· 8,435 Prayer Groups· 179,780 people in Mission prayer groups· 280 Prayer Groups of Children and Youth· 2,747 Children and Youth in Prayer Groups· 500 Arimatheans (male groups)· 16 Daughters of Mary Magdalene (female groups)· 16 Prayer Groups for Businessmen with 160 members in total.· More than 4,000,000 persons doing the Mission prayersMISSION PRESENCE· Established in 452 Cities· 509 active members in committees· 59,541 persons working actively in the Mission· 71 Letters of Approval from Church Authorities· Permission to work in 117 Archdioceses / Dioceses / Vicariates· 3,055 religious associated to the Mission· 227 Active Parishes· 20 Enthronements of Relic Images of Our Lady of Guadalupe· 28,127 Home Enthronements of Images of Our Lady of Guadalupe· 42 Perpetual Adoration Chapels have been opened