The new President of the Canção Nova Community, Father Wagner Ferreira da Silva, was received by the Custos of the Holy Land, fra Francesco Patton, on 22 September. Father Wagner was elected head of the Catholic charismatic on 28 February 2023, after the death of the founder, Father Jonas Abib, on 12 December 2022.
A long story together
The meeting is part of the collaboration between the Custody of the Holy Land and Canção Nova, which dates back to more than 15 years ago and which in 2000 gave rise to the Franciscan Media Center, which then became the Christian Media Center (CMC) in 2014. The Custody’s multimedia center was created with the intention of taking the beauty of the message of the Holy Land all over the world (there are currently 55 partner TV stations) and from its very start it has benefited from the collaboration of the community of Brazilian origin. Canção Nova is currently present with 14 people and two missions: one in Jerusalem, where there is the head office of the CMC, and the other in Nazareth. Father Wagner visited both communities.
In the beginning
Canção Nova is a Catholic charismatic community, founded in Brazil by Father Jonas Abib in 1978. In 2008, it was recognized by the Pope. The name recalls the topic of the “Song of the Redeemed” which goes through the whole story of the salvation. The Community wants to be this song for the Church and for the world. The episodes that inspired its creation included the request made to Father Jonas by his bishop, to implement the Apostolic Exhortation Evangelii Nuntiandi (1975). Number 45 of the Exhortation was to have sketched out the path of Canção Nova: “Our century is characterized by the mass media or instruments of social communication, the first proclamation, the catechism or the further deepening of the faith, cannot do without these means (...) it is through them that she [the Church] proclaims ‘from the housetops’ the message of which she is the depositary.”
Communion of charismas
The relationship between Canção Nova and the Holy Land began with pilgrimages, then the intuition of Father Jonas to make the Holy Places known in Brazil through the media. At that time, the Custody was reflecting on how to spread the message of the Holy Land all over the world. “The relationship between the Custody of the Holy Land and Canção Nova is a relationship of communion of charismas and collaboration between charismas,” said the Custos of the Holy Land. “We try to look after these places and ensure that the encounter with the Lord takes place here; Canção Nova ensures that this message “is proclaimed from the housetops”, that it is proclaimed all over the world through the means of communication, to bring the earth a little closer to heaven.” “In this collaboration of charismas, Canção Nova started this service,” Father Wagner stressed. “The Providence of God has allowed us to work with the Custody of the Holy Land through the CMC, to take the message of Jesus and of the Gospel all over the world to everyone in the world.”
After the death of the founder, the Canção Nova Community was called to reflect on its path. “It is a time of listening to the Lord, to understand what he wants from us now, and a time of community and personal responsibility,” Father Wagner said. He identified, amongst the challenges, that of professional qualification, serving professionally, to transmit – this is evangelization – the beauty of the Gospel and the joy of the encounter with Jesus.”