Vincentian Formators Meeting in Columbia

by | Feb 22, 2014 | Uncategorized

clapviLatin American Formation Personnel have concluded the first week of a two week course for format ors being held in Columbia. The following represents the highlights of the first week in English translation.

Day 1- February 17, 2014

After gathering for prayer and the Eucharist, which was presided by Father José Jair Vélez (Executive Secretary of CLAPVI), we assembled together to begin our work.  Juan Albero Casas Ramirez, a professor of theology, presented the theme: Accompaniment from the Perspective of the Emmaus Event (Luke 24:13-35)

Summary: As persons who accompany others we are not meant to walk beside another nor to go ahead of them pointing out the way.  We should not be behind them, pushing them forward nor should we be shouting out the goal toward which we are headed.  We should not be standing with our arms folded nor pointing the way while not taking a step ourselves.  To accompany another is to walk together, to help and be helped, to listen and to be listened to, to understand and to be understood, to forgive and to be forgiven, to love and to be loved, to allow one to stumble and fall and become lost, to demand that one rise up anew, to extend the hand and to continue the journey; to allow oneself to be guided and burdened and healed.

Some questions that were presented to the group for reflection:

  • Do we walk in harmony with the rhythm of our communities?
  • Are we concerned about the realities of our communities?
  • Do we make time to listen to the history of our communities?
  • Do we participate in the process of discerning the reality of our communities in light of Jesus’ plan?
  • Are we builders of the Kingdom of God?
  • Do we build community as Jesus did?
  • Do we seek to discover the presence of God through our communion with others?

Day 2 – February 18, 2014

 Father Daniel Arturo Vásquez, rector of the seminary of Nuestra Señora del Carmen of the Archdiocese of Villavicencio, presented the theme: Saint Vincent de Paul as a spiritual companion.

Summary:  Throughout his life Vincent was accompanied, sustained and helped by other.  At the same time he accompanied others on their spiritual journey.  He knew how to give and how to receive.  The objectives of spiritual director should be: 1] assure the following of Jesus; 2] the practice of prayer; 3] the necessary ascetics in order to follow Jesus.  Thus, among the various qualities of a good spiritual director, the following were highlighted: 1] a spirit of prayer; 2] a profound relationship with God; 3] a concern for the whole person.

Day 3: February 20, 2014

 After the celebration of the Eucharist which was presided by Fr. Luis Alejandro Suarez Ojeda from the Province of Venezuela, we gather together to begin today’s work.  Ms. Lidia Yolima Ortiz Ortiz, a psychologist (specialization in family therapy) and professor, presented the theme: “Psychological Accompaniment in the Vocational Process”.

The presentation was founded on the three foundations that are basic to every person: the psychological dimension [every individual has a psychological construct, that is, a way of interaction with his surroundings.  The essence of the person is good because God dwells with him/her but there are structures that can change that essence but we also have manners of behaving and these can be changed by the individual]; the historical dimension [one must always be aware of the values and life experiences of the individual]; and the spiritual dimension [here we are dealing with images of God, understanding of sin, encounter with God in prayer].

We were then presented a list of characteristics that are required for accompanying another:

  • natural gifts {internal gifts that make people seek one out as a companion on the journey};
  • contemplative attitude; an ability to love and be loved;
  • convinced that life is a process; an awareness of being a sinner who is forgiven;
  • give witness to one’s commitment; optimistic; an awareness of being the face of Christ for the person who is being accompanied;
  • accepting and trusting their own humanness;
  • awareness of the Pygmalion effect (expectations of the one accompanying another do influence behavior of one being accompanied).

Day 4: February 21, 2014

 Father Ilson Hubner from the Province of Curitiba presided at the Eucharist.

The presentation today was given by Irene Ulloa Ulloa, a psychologist and a professor who specializes in alternative therapies: “Approaching the subject of sexuality and affectivity in formation”.

This presentation outlined a formation for celibacy (an understanding of human sexuality, mature intimacy, ability to establish boundaries, living as celibates in the midst of a non-christian world, formation of one’s conscience].  Each of these points was fully explained and in the afternoon we gathered in groups to discuss this theme at greater length.

Day 5: February 22, 2014

Today’s presentation was given by Father Germán Dario Medina, rector of the Major Seminary in Bogatá: “Personal Accompaniment in vocational discernment and response”.

Summary: The model proposed by Amadeo Cencini is focused on the reality that the subjective world of the young man is projected to the one who is accompanying him who receives this information, and who then, in light of various anthropological, Christian and ethical values transmits this “new” information back to the young man.

This process involves accepting and understanding the person and his various experiences without condemning the person.  This means that one obtains a profound knowledge of the person.  There is an instrument, a type of “personality map” that consists in knowing seven basic aspects of the individual: 1] the history of the individual; 2] his degree of perception with regard to the past; 3] the content of his affective memory; 4] the type of hermeneutic; 5] the world of his desires; 6] his values; 7] areas where there is consistency and a lack of consistency.

The objective of this is to enable the person to perceive in a realistic manner (without any deformation) the action of God and thus able to respond freely to this activity in a free manner.  It is also intended to make the young person aware of and open to the action of grace.  Finally this manner of accompaniment is intended to enable the young person to clothe himself in the sentiments of the Son as a result of his relationship with God and his relationship with his neighbor.

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