Monday, August 17, 2020
I take this opportunity to present this new Hand-book to the Institute and especially to our houses of formation, according to the instructions of the General Council to the General Secretariat of the Mission (SGM). I request you to welcome this Manual as a valid tool to facilitate your reflection on the theme of Justice, Peace and Integrity of Creation (JPIC). After studying the Manual, send your opinions to Rome explaining how you found it and also giving practical suggestions on how best to include this reflection in your programme and draw profit for your formation and missionary service. (Fr. John Baptist Keraryo Opargiw, on behalf of the members of the General Secretariat of Formation and of the General Secretariat of the Mission). In the picture: Father José Rafael Pérez Moreno, Comboni missionary, in Spain. [See attachments]
GENERAL SECRETARIAT OF FORMATION
MANUAL FOR BASIC AND ON-GOING COMBONI MISSIONARY FORMATION
ON THE VALUES OF JUSTICE, PEACE AND THE INTEGRITY OF CREATION
To the attention of:
All formators, scholastics, novices and postulants of the Comboni Missionaries.
Dear confreres and candidates,
Peace and best wishes in the Risen Lord! Unfortunately, we are all still going through a very difficult time due to the COVID-19 emergency. In the spirit of solidarity, we add our voices in prayer so that the Lord will help all humanity in a such a duress to cope with the Coronavirus pandemic.
I address you on behalf of the members of the General Secretariat of Formation and of the General Secretariat of the Mission regarding the joint initiative on the place of Justice, Peace and Integrity of Creation (JPIC) in formation. The collaboration between the two General Secretariats on this topic has passed through the following cornerstones and premises:
proclamation of the Gospel of the Kingdom of God and its values and also from the tradition of the Institute where the commitment to make common cause with people who suffer, to seek ways of justice and peace is a commitment that is typically part of the Comboni heritage. The Ratio Fundamentalis speaks of the intricate relationship between formation and mission in the context of integral and holistic formation. (Cf. RFIS nn. 25; 99 -113)
Therefore one of the concrete fruits of this collaboration between SGF and SGM is the MANUAL FOR THE BASIC AND ONGOING COMBONI FORMATION ON THE VALUES OF JUSTICE, PEACE AND INTEGRITY OF CREATION which has been published in Italian, English, French, Spanish and Portuguese.
I take this opportunity to present this new Hand-book to the Institute and especially to our houses of formation, according to the instructions of the General Council to the SGM. I request you to welcome this Manual as a valid tool to facilitate your reflection on the theme of JPIC. After studying the Manual, send your opinions to Rome explaining how you found it and also giving practical suggestions on how best to include this reflection in your programme and draw profit for your formation and missionary service.
You can send your answers to the following addresses: firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com
Fraternally in Christ and in St. Daniel Comboni,
Fr. John Baptist Keraryo Opargiw, MCCJ
Secretary General of Formation
Rome, April 25th, 2020
THE CONTRIBUTION OF THE SECRETARY GENERAL OF FORMATION
TO THE PRESENTATION OF THE HANDBOOK FOR THE FORMATION
ON VALUES OF JUSTICE, PEACE AND PROTECTION OF CREATION
MEETING OF THE CIRCUMSCRIPTION SUPERIORS
ROME, FEBRUARY 26, 2020
The General Secretariat of the (GSF), in dialogue with the General Secretariat of the Mission (GSM) and the formators, is to ensure that there are courses on Justice, Peace and Integrity of Creation (JPIC) and interreligious dialogue in the formation of our candidates. (Maia 2017 2.3.1, 1)
The analysis of reality and social formation must become a constitutive element of our Comboni formation. Formators and young people in initial formation must be provided with the necessary tools for social analysis and theological reflection on reality. (Maia 2017, 4.3.1, 2)
The Final Document of the 2017 General Assembly of Formation Maia invites us "to grow in an incarnated spirituality, nourished by a mutual illumination between the Word and reality. In fact, reality is the privileged place for formation, given that it is experience that transforms and not just ideas.”
1. I have chosen these quotations to introduce the presentation of the new Handbook on formation on JPIC values because in fact they help us to see the issue within the greater context of formation for mission, a theme that is linked to initial and ongoing formation:
1.1 It is linked to initial formation, because in it the values which form part of the Comboni spirituality are transmitted; where the candidate learns to get out of a monopolizing appropriation of the vocation, as if it were an exclusively personal fact, to enter into a social, ecclesial and missionary vision already present in the intuition of St. Daniel Comboni. The Comboni charism necessarily implies a specific model of mission which must inspire the Comboni formation in its objectives, goals and means.
1.2 It is linked to ongoing formation, because through it every confrere is constantly challenged on the motivations of his vocation and on the quality of his adhesion. Motivations and adhesion must dialogue with today's world, the journey of the Church and the Comboni Institute. Forming for the mission ultimately seems to activate a double challenge: with the founding values of the Comboni style and with the evolution of the situation in the life of the Church, of the Institute and of today's world.
2. We appreciate the collaboration between the two Secretariats (GSF and GSM). We also appreciate the collaboration within the Comboni Family lived both in the Comboni Social Forum and in the preparation of this Handbook.
3. I underline the proposal of the subsidy to the various stages of Comboni formation by focusing on specific objectives, contents and experiences. In this sense it is not just a theoretical teaching but a real experiential initiation to the mission.
4. Formation for mission today – a mission which for us Comboni Missionaries has the following characteristics:
4.1 The proclamation and witness of the Kingdom of God especially through the values of life as a gift, truth, justice, peace, reconciliation, the safeguarding of creation, freedom and integral liberation from all forms of slavery.
4.2 Dialogue cultivated and promoted in all its expressions (religious, intercultural, social, political ...)
4.4 Inculturation-contextualization always open to catholicity
4.5 Option for the poor as an evangelical choice that gives credibility to our mission.
5. In concrete terms, we can recall the previous steps:
5.1 Questions on basic formation and a certain distance from continental missionary priorities and JPIC themes.
5.2 Maya 2017 strongly reaffirms the importance of JPIC in initial formation.
5.3 Questionnaire on JPIC in formation sent by the Comboni Network in view of the Comboni Forum; the responses (numerous) indicate that there is JPIC tin our formation, but on an academic level; that little is known about the concrete Comboni commitment in these fields; that young people in formation and the formators are interested in JPIC issues.
5.4 Comboni Forum of Salvador: the topic was debated upon and deepened (also at the level of the Comboni Family).
5.5 Letter to the SGF from some formators and young people in formation who participated in the Forum (May 18). The letter carried suggestions that a programme on JPIC in the houses of formation should be defined.
5.6 The SGF translated this letter into various languages, sent it known to the various houses of formation and showed support for the initiative.
5.7 The SGF received another letter from Fr.. Mariano Tibaldo, Fr. Arlindo Pinto, Fr.. Daniele Moschetti, Fr. Joseph Mumbere, Fr. Fernando Zolli and Fr. Dario Bossi, giving continuity to the dialogue and suggesting 5 points to work upon:
5.7.1 Create a JPIC Formation team that visits the houses of formation. This team would offer the houses of formation workshops of study and dialogue on: (i) concrete experiences of JPIC in the Comboni context; (ii) methodology applied in these experiences; (iii) underlying principles on which these experiences are based (SDC).
5.7.2 Define methods of dialogue and studies, aids and materials for initial formation as well as for the on-going formation of the Comboni Missionaries.
5.7.3 Appoint a commission to better develop these methods and materials and to coordinate, together with the SGF, the process of meetings in the Comboni formation houses.
5.7.4 Create a small fund at General Administration level for the management of these activities.
5.7.5 Participate in continental formation assemblies to make these proposals known and debated.
6.1 In line with the topics covered in the Intercapitular, we could link this work on JPIC in Formation to all the reflection on Ministeriality that is being carried out in the Institute.
6.2 We agreed on the importance of the JPIC Formation team at continental level. Here are the confreres proposed: Fr. Daniele Moschetti, Fr. Joseph Mumbere, Bro. Alberto Parise, Fr. Stefano Giudici, Bro. Jonas Dzinekou, Fr. Juan Goicochea and Fr. Dario Bossi.
6.3 The Handbook will be distributed to formators in the various formation houses. It is proposed that each formative community include in its annual planning a formation meeting of at least three days on these themes, inviting the confreres suggested above (or others).
6.4 It is important to see how the theme of JPIC and Ministeriality can also be proposed to Comboni Missionaries in ongoing formation.
Fr. John Baptist Keraryo Opargiw