Journeys of the Pastoral do Turismo will reflect on the direction of the sector

“Towards a Pastoral Laudato Si” will be the central theme

Father Miguel Neto – Photo: Mariana Carriço | Sul Informação

The Pastoral do Turismo, which has the Algarve priest Miguel Lopes Neto as its director, organizes, from the 2nd to the 4th of February, the V National Days, at the Coimbra Major Seminary

“Towards a Pastoral Laudato Si” will be the central theme.

«We really want this to be a space for reflection on the direction that tourism should take, in the context of evangelization and the promotion of the tourist sector along with other religious institutions, in the sense of establishing a bridge between pastoral work and a integral ecology, as proposed by Pope Francis in his Encyclical Laudato Si», emphasizes Father Miguel Lopes Neto.

«We have to look at this topic, at issues related to religious tourism, without prejudice and without being confined around some rigid limits, clearly facing the issues of sustainability, intercultural dialogue, communication, involvement of the religious community and beyond, as a way to show an identity that is the identity of Catholic Christians», he reinforces.

Another novelty brought by these days is that, at the end, “a summary document of the thinking developed over the three days of the meeting will be produced, which will be extremely useful for future work”. This report will be coordinated by Professor Carlos Costa (Specialist in Tourism and Full Professor at the University of Aveiro) and Varico Pereira (from Pastoral do Turismo de Braga, with extensive experience in this area).

These Journeys also have the objective of involving the various tourism agents, in order to be able to have a moment of exchanging ideas, experiences and, above all, of deepening and openness on how to act in this field.

«We propose a broad program, with a group of guests who come from different areas, not only from Portugal, but also from the Vatican, Spain and Brazil: from universities, from the business world, who carry out innovative projects and who work, of course , at Pastoral do Turismo», explains Father Miguel Lopes Neto.

The opening session will be attended by the Bishop of Coimbra, D. Virgílio Antunes, the Secretary of State for Tourism, Commerce and Services Nuno Fazenda; the president of the Social Pastoral and Human Mobility Commission of the Portuguese Episcopal Conference D. José Traquina, the vice-president of the Coimbra Chamber Francisco Veiga, the president of Turismo Centro de Portugal Pedro Machado and the director of the Pastoral do Turismo – Portugal, priest Miguel Lopes Neto.

It is also confirmed the presence of Monsignor Rino Fisichella, prefect of the Dicastery for Evangelization, the Vatican sector that has under its supervision the Pastoral of Tourism, who will hold a videoconference.

All interested parties may apply for the Journeys website.