San Ignacio de Mojos (Beni), May 2 (ANF). – The atmosphere of the Beni population of San Ignacio de Mojos is continuously impregnated with spirituality and religiosity, of what once were the Jesuit reductions of Mojos, back in the XVII and XVIII centuries. But, unlike what happened to several of them after the expulsion of the Jesuits from America, in Mojos the traditions cultivated by the natives and missionaries have kept alive; proof of this is that today in the missionary temple took place the blessing of the new door, which was carved entirely in wood and the key were handed over to the Corregidor del Gran Cabildo Indigenal and to the sacristans, custodians of the church.

Fabio Garbari, SJ, the parish priest of San Ignacio de Mojos, blessed and opened the new door of the missionary church, which was carved by the masters Eloy Teco and Juan Carlos Noe along with a group of collaborators, all of them Mojos’ residents.

This work is one more work of a series of artistic, cultural, research and publication activities, as well as the ongoing restoration and conservation of the church.

In addition to the inauguration of the carved door, a presentation was made on the progress of the restoration of paintings containing biblical images and the contents of the anthropology thesis on the “Mamitas abadesas”, one of the partialities of the Gran Cabildo, prepared by Father Bernardo Mercado, sj, who also presented the work to the abbesses and members of the Cabildo who were present, through a video that summarized the main elements of the research.

Mercado pointed out that the motivation was to “record all the beautiful things they do and how our young people can also continue what is being presented now”, inviting them to elaborate new publications that present the cultural and religious experience that the Cabildo, the abbesses and others preserve from the works that new generations can carry out in schools and colleges.

He also pointed out that the work carried out gathers the word of the abbesses, based on interviews and dialogues, and that it has been built communally with several members of the parish, emphasizing that “we have here this work that we want to deliver to the Cabildo”, as a way of giving back what we have received.

On his behalf, Fr. Garbari, at the moment of blessing and inaugurating the new carved door, explained that it shows “the crown of St. Ignatius, the silver crown that has the image of St. Ignatius, which is in the center, and then all the other figures are taken from the furniture that is in the sacristy, a piece of furniture that was carved by your grandparents in the seventeenth or eighteenth centuries, so all this is from here, nothing that has come from outside, all this is coming from the roots that Mojos has”.

After the words of the parish’s priest, a song was sung by the missionary choir of the church and a prayer, and then the door was blessed and opened.

In the temples of the Jesuit’s reductions, the quote from the book of Genesis was inscribed on the entrance door, “House of God and Gate of Heaven.” When entering these magnificent works of faith and art, it seems that we were entering -moved by the beauty- to feel in the air that something from heaven was here on earth.

Sergio Montes S.J.


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