With the Eucharistic Celebration presided by Fr. José Salud Paredes, General Councilor and President of the International Secretariat for Vocation Promotion and Formation, and the report of the Superior General, Fr. Valdir José De Castro, the 2nd International Seminar on Pauline Formation for the Mission began yesterday, November 4, 2019, in the Casa Divin Maestro of Ariccia. About eighty Paulines are participating from all over the world: members of the General Government, Major Superiors, Directors General of Apostolate, General Coordinators of Formation, invited Pauline members, among them, the group of Juniors participating in the Preparatory Course for Perpetual Profession and the Novices of the International Novitiate of Albano.
The main scope of the seminar, as Fr. Valdir wrote in his letter of convocation, is to «increasingly harmonize formation and apostolate». This seminar, in fact, follows and synchronizes with the previous 2nd International Seminar of Pauline Publishers, held in 2017.
In his speech, Fr. Valdir re-iterated that «only by letting Christ form him can a Pauline become a true “publisher”»; for this reason, «it is necessary, in formation, to insist on the identity of Pauline as a publisher». Being “publisher” is, in fact, the most poignant characteristic of the Pauline. For this purpose, the reference to St. Paul’s life, spirit and apostolic action is essential in formation.
The seminar is structured in reports, roundtable talks and group works with an end purpose of drawing up some concrete proposals to be handed over to the General Government.
The speakers of the first day were Mons. José Rodriguez Carballo, OFM, Secretary of the Congregation for the Institutes of Consecrated Life and the Apostolic Life Societies, who presented a picture of the situation of religious life, providing some images with their various meanings: winter (which, in its apparent desolation, prepares the fields for the season of spring, for the bearing of fruits); the “dark night” (a moment of spiritual trial necessary for greater light); and sunset (the one that prepares, in the upcoming night, for a new day); Fr. Rossano Sala, SDB, Special Secretary of the recent Synod on The Youth, with his passionate report helped the participants to reflect on the Apostolic Exhortation Christus vivit and other synod documents, reviving the climate of hope that has been lived on that occasion. The invitation is to accompany young people through empathetic listening, even in the light of the enormous cultural challenges of the present moment.
The round table ended the day, which saw Professor Cecilia Costa (with a report on “Vocation and discernment”), Father Carlo Casalone, SJ (“Welcoming and formative community”) and Sr. Alessandra Smerilli, FMA (“Rejuvenate the Church: The Permanent Formation”).
Ariccia, 5 November 2019