Divine Word Missionaries
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Formators’ Course in Spanish/Portuguese

MESSAGE FROM THE PARTICIPANTS OF THE (SPANISH/PORTUGUESE –SPEAKING) FORMATORS’ COURSE

The focus of the course will be the person of the formator, his identity as a Divine Word religious missionary. Formation demands that the formator have an awareness of his own identity an SVD religious missionary in order to accompany with clarity and confidence the growth process and the integration of the formandi in their spiritual life and in the charism of the Society (Letter of invitation for the Formators’ Course 2007”.

As formators we came together in Steyl/Oies/Nemi from April 25 to June 25, 2007. We came from 10 different countries working in 15 provinces/regions. We thank God for the grace of being able to serve the Lord through the Society of the Divine Word. We also thank the generalate, the organizers of the course, formation teams and provincial/regional superiors for the opportunity that we were given here to prepare ourselves to accompany the process of formation in the Society. We feel that this preparation will help us in our work in the provinces/regions in view of being better prepared to accompany our formandi.

During this period we had the possibility to be in touch with the historical roots of the founding generation of the Society, with its spirituality and charism to proclaim the Divine Word (expressed today) through prophetic dialogue present in the SVD characteristic dimensions.

The course had has its theme: “On the Journey: follow me”.

We studied three main topics:

  1. Our personal history by giving emphasis to the human and psychological aspects of each one. The central point was for each one to take a look at what motivates us and to continue to deepen our own formation process as SVDs and formators.
  2. The History of the Society and Founding Generation: It was very important to go back to our roots and to rediscover our identity, spirituality and SVD charism where our internationality is a very strong point. It was striking to perceive that we belong to a very large family, the Arnoldus family and that we are not isolated in our provinces/regions. We were also enriched by the sharing of our life and work as formators. Our pilgrimages to the historical places linked to the Founding Generation, the eight day retreat and other times of reflection suggested by various facilitators helped us to review our own faith experience and commitment as messengers of the Incarnate Word.
  3. Social reality and the Society today: We felt the challenge to look at the reality of people and cultures with whom we work and who are being affected by a pluralistic reality. We tried to discern how SVD formation can respond to the challenges around us in a concrete way in our formation programs.

We suggest:

  1. To the Generalate:
    • to promote the decisions contained in the chapter documents, especially specialized studies for formators.
    • to continue to organize courses such as the present one.
  2. To the Zones:
    • to give continuity to the preparation of formators by organizing courses at the zonal level.
  3. To the Provinces/Regions:
    • to become aware that formation is a project that involves all confreres.
    • to plan adequately for the number of formators as well as their preparation.
  4. To the Formators:
    • They should take care of their health, spiritual life and ongoing formation.
    • Continue to update ourselves in order to serve God through the Society in a more efficient manner.

We thank all who supported us during the time we spent together with your prayers or through your presence. We wish you all God’s blessings.

Nemi, 23 June 2007

The participants in the Formators Course 2007.