Triennial Vocation Ministry Meeting

[Spain] On October 19, Daughters of Charity and the Vincentians Fathers of the Congregation of the Mission, met to reflect and deepen the theme of the Synod with the motto “Youth, faith and vocational discernment.”

We began with the morning prayer. Sr Carmen Pérez, General Councillor, opened the Meeting, with a few words centred on the Pope’s speech given to the participants in a National Vocation Congress of the European Church on 6 June 2019: “To help a young man or a young woman to choose the vocation of his/her life, whether as a layperson, as a priest or a religious, is to help to ensure that he/she dialogues with the Lord. Let him/her learn asking the Lord: “What do you want of me? …”

Sr Antonia González, Visitatrice of Madrid-Santa Luisa Province, addressed the Preparatory Document of the Bishops’ Synod for Young people, Faith and Vocational Discernment, evoking the contribution of three clues about Jesus’ meetings with people in his time. These clues can guide the style of vocation ministry and enlighten today: go out, see, call.

  • Go out of certain rigidities, as it has always been done that way, which makes less credible the proclamation of Gospel joy.
  • See, a deeper look to perceive the joys and hopes, the sadness and anguish of today’s youth.
  • Call, move people from what superficially reassures them and often paralyzes them …, to call them to awaken in them a desire.

It is Jesus who walks with us. If we let Him be the SPECIAL GUEST in this great table of Vincentians and Daughters, He will surely open a horizon of newness.

On Saturday, Fr. Rossano Sala, a Salesian priest, addressed the group via Skype. His stay in Rome facilitated that a message from the Pope and Cardinal Madariaga could be addressed to the participants at the Meeting.

Starting from the Synod Document, Fr Rossano took us to four parts:

  1. Time is superior to space: Enter the synod path
  2. In the face of conflict, unity prevails: Openness to missionary synodality
  3. Reality is more important than the idea: living the youth condition
  4. The whole is superior to the parts: Learn to discern

Each of these nuclei was followed by some questions and texts for deepening.

Louis A. Gonzalo, a Claretian, helped us in the reflection and the subsequent dialogue and prompted us to share in groups about what things we would have to let go, which ones to let come, and how to go about our life as consecrated people. The last session was lead by Maite Lopez, with a Concert-Prayer, that helped us to calm and relax with everything we experienced during the day.

On Sunday we began with a brief prayer followed by a conference of our Superior General, Father Tomaž Mavrič entitled, “What we understand by Vincentian Vocational culture”. He made a brief tour of the Vocation Ministry in the General Assembly of the CM of the year 2016 and the process of vocational culture. Father Tomaž pointed out three convictions that came out of the meeting of Vocational Directors of each Province of the CM:

  • News of our missionary vocation.
  • Permanent Formation.
  • Accompaniment to young people

From this meeting came the proposal for the formation of an International Commission of Vocation Ministry with the following arises:

  1. Deep diagnosis and study of vocational reality.
  2. The service of vocation animation. 
  3. Create a network of CM’s in formation. 
  4. Propose accompaniment itineraries.
  5. Facilitate the training of Vocation Ministry agents.
  6. Forums and dialogues.
  7. Center the life and mission of the Congregation on Vocation

He ended his speech by launching two challenges: vocations and training of trainers, stating that “we need to decentralize the vocational concern at the level of the province,… and broaden our gaze with the awareness that we are a community for the international mission. This may be an occasion to listen to our concerns about the challenge of vocations, to offer each other insights in the sharing of experiences, but above all to encourage us to walk together towards this renewed culture of vocations. ”

The meeting ended with the celebration of the Eucharist with thanksgiving for the past weekend and putting everything reflected in the hands of our Miraculous Mother.

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