From October 2 (evening) to October 4 (noon) the Region will gather at Providence Spirituality Centre in Kingston for an assembly. It will give the Region a chance to discuss further the ten-year plan, the work of the Migration Commission, Vocations, finances, and our Region’s anniversaries. Roger Phaneuf and Peter Sanders celebrate their 50th anniversaries of ordination. So keep the dates open. Further information will be provided soon.
Theological Seminar in Yogyakarta
Between July 20 to 25 Gustave Lulendo and John van den Hengel took part in the Theological Seminar: Charism and Devotions in Yogyakarta, Indonesia. All of the reports and pictures have been made available through the good services of the US Province communications. The papers delivered prior to the seminar and the summaries given during the Seminar will be published hopefully during the Fall. The work begun through this seminar is far from complete. We hope in the future to come back to the topic.
Here the final message of the seminar:
From July 20 – 25, we were together in Yogyakarta (Indonesia) for the theological seminar of the Congregation which had as title “Charisms and devotions: Towards an inculturated Dehonian identity.” We were more than fifty confreres from more than twenty countries, an expression of a Congregation truly international.
The seminar – when put alongside those held at Lisbon (2008) on the Theologia cordis, at Brusque on the Missio cordis (2010) and at Taubaté (2014) on Anthropologia cordis – has succeeded in deepening the bond of our charism with the devotions which express it and give it form. We have confirmed the richness of the spiritual legacy of Fr. Dehon which needs to be re-stated each time again in new forms. At the same time, we have understood how our identity must express itself, of necessity, in plural ways in order to be in touch with different social and cultural forms.
The seminar was prepared by the work of the continental theological commissions (some constituted only recently) which they shared. Each presentation was largely worked out in its own context. Alongside listening to the discussions and the reflections, there were moments in which we were given the opportunity to see first hand some ecclesial and culturally significant experiences: the Mass with the renewal of vows at the scholasticate; the participation in the ballet of Ramayana in front of the Hindu temple Prambanan; the visit to the Buddhist temple Borobudur; the pilgrimage to the sanctuary of the Madonna at Sendansono and the one, built in Javanese style, dedicated to the Sacred Heart at Ganjuran. All this was possible thanks to the outstanding welcome and the perfect organization by the Indonesian Province. To them we owe a debt of sincere gratitude.
It was the task of the continental theological commissions to develop the richness of the intuitions of these days. But this presupposes a broader involvement of the whole congregation. The seminar was only an initial push in order that the communities, the provincial assemblies, the commissions of the different entities could follow up on the reflections. A great number of the aspects of our legacy merits to be taken up again and deepened. For example: Eucharistic Adoration, which places us before the anterior gratuity of the love of God and the service of reconciliation to which we dehonians are called. Our charism is rich and current. It pertains to each one of us to make it come alive by building an identity which we must constantly deepen and by giving testimony to a love which enriches the union to the Heart of Christ and which translates into faithful practice.
From Yogyakarta we send greeting to all with the wish that our Sint Unum may grow daily more strongly and that “with open heart and mind” we may live for the service of the advent of the Reign of God.
Communications in the Congregation
The sector on communications in the Congregation has been quite busy in recent months. Communications was a major issue at the last General Chapter. In spring the General Administration set up a Communications Commission with Fr. Radek Warenda (vice general secretary) as its director. Besides Fr. Radek, members of the commission are Fr. Stefan Tertünte (Centro Studi Dehoniani), Mary Gorski (USA) and Fr. Antonio Rufete Cabrera (ESP). Andrè Lorenz of André Lorenz Medien (Germany) and Fr. Pedro Iglesias (secretary general) are also working with the commission.
The commission’s work is based in the Mission Statement that was developed and approved by the General Council earlier this year. With that statement as a backdrop, the commission hopes to develop a communication strategy for the congregation. This includes creating a common identity for the congregation; in marketing terms this is often referred to as a “corporate image.” It is a set of visual cues, such logos and colors, along with words or phrases that quickly bring to mind the organization that they represent.
Whatever the ministry, whatever the community, it should easily be identified as “Dehonian.”
The commission has developed a website about the Mission Statement. Click here to access it. In the months ahead more initiatives from the commission will be shared with the congregation.
Youth day in Pliszczyn, Poland
From June 26 to July 1 about 500 young people gathered for the XXIVth Dehonian Day for Youth in Pliszczyn Poland. The young people did not only come from our parishes but also from other parishes in Poland. A very enthusiastic tradition has developed around these Dehonian youth days. The theme of this year was: Fired by the power of the Spirit.
The young people live in tents and take part in giving personal witness and in prayer. They are also given an opportunity to listen to all sorts of great discussions and presentations. But more important, perhaps, is the opportunity to form new friendships, to receive reconciliation, and to eat the famous soup.
It would be difficult to imagine to hold this festive gathering anywhere else. It has become a yearly event to which the ever generous inhabitants of Pliszczyn contribute greatly to make this event memorable for the youth. This year the groep Exodus gave a concert attended not only by the young people but also by the local people. During the event the local bishop came to confirm the youth of Pliszczyn. A wonderful event!
Ordination of Bishop André Vital
On July 8, André Vital Félix da Silva, scj, of Brazil was ordained Bishop for the diocese of Limoeiro do Norte by Bishop Virginio Bressanelli, our former Superior General. Bishop André was known in the Congregation for his theological work. He was a member of the Latin American Dehonian Theological Commission. His motto is
“Aspicientes in Jesum”.