Thursday, August 20, 2020
“Fraternal greetings from Rome! I am now at the end of my mandate as Secretary General of Formation (SGF) and I take this opportunity to address you with this letter in all simplicity. (…) Finally, I would like to introduce to you my successor P. Elias Sindjalim who is scheduled to take over as new Secretary General of Formation on August 1st, 2020.” (Fr. John Baptist)
TO THE SUPERIORS OF CIRCUMSCRIPTION,
FORMATORS AND VOCATION PROMOTERS
Fraternal greetings from Rome! I am now at the end of my mandate as Secretary General of Formation (SGF) and I take this opportunity to address you with this letter in all simplicity. Thinking about the eleven years I spent here at our General Headquarters, I feel full of gratitude to the Lord for calling me to be part of the great Comboni Family and for sustaining me in the service of animation and coordination of formation in the whole Institute.
I am also very grateful to the three General Councils for the trust placed in me. I sincerely thank my colleagues of the General Secretariat of Formation and the Council of Formation as well as the other members of the General Administration for the fraternal and enriching relationship. A sincere thanks to each of you Major Superiors, formators and vocation promoters with whom I have had many opportunities for fruitful interaction and collaboration. Thanks to you formators and vocations promoters who shoulder the direct responsibility of the formation of our candidates. Certainly, there have also been difficult and tiring moments on the journey we have made together and I hope that everything can serve to teach us something in order to improve the quality of our service to the Institute and to the mission.
There is an important commitment in the field of formation that the General Council has entrusted to the General Secretariat of Formation to be carried out involving all the confreres for the evaluation of our Comboni formation. This work concerns us all and I exhort you to offer your contribution willingly so that all together we can bring this process to a good end.
We know how an in-depth analysis of the Comboni formation reality and of the life of the Institute reveals to us also the “Achilles heel”, which lays bare the critical points of our formation process, that is those factors, which prevent a fruitful formation as preparation for total consecration for the mission. We have reflected for a long time in the General Secretariat of Formation on these challenges and frailties which we must face as an Institute in the current context of globalization, interculturality and the change of geography of vocations. I have handed over to the General Council all this material which can, at an opportune time, serve in the revision of our formation. Therefore, let's continue with our commitment in the field of formation between challenges and hopes. So far we have done fairly well, but we are also aware that there is still a long way to go and hence we are all invited to try to do well the good that the Church and the Institute propose to us in the field of formation. Comboni continues to exhort us: Courage for the present and above all for the future!
Finally, I would like to introduce to you my successor Fr. Elias Sindjalim who is scheduled to take over as new Secretary General of Formation on August 1st, 2020. I wish him a good and fruitful service to the Institute in this new responsibility. I count on your collaboration to facilitate the ministry of the new SGF.
Fr. John Baptist Keraryo Opargiw, MCCJ
Outgoing Secretary General for Formation
Rome, July 25th, 2020 - Feast of St. James, Apostle