by: Br. Ron Calderon
Last July 16 the seminarians of the St. John Eudes House of Formation with Rev. Robert Leus, CJM attended the Dialogue with Archbishop Jose Rodriguez Carballo, OFM DD which was held at the University of Santo Tomas Medicine auditorium. Archbishop Carballo is the incumbent Vatican Secretary for the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life. The dialogue that is aptly held in light of the observance of the Year of Consecrated Life is a half day event with a talk by the Spanish archbishop and official of the Vatican Curia, followed by a question and answer forum and capped with the talk of Fr. Rolando Dela Rosa, OP. It was attended by about five hundred consecrated men and women and their formands from different congregations with formation houses in various parts of Metro Manila.
The archbishop gave a stirring wake up call for all consecrated men and women and the formands under
|picture from AMRSP FB page|
their care. He emphasized that formation should be rigorous on the part of both formands and formators: formands should seriously learn through a holistic and experiential formation and formators should authentically witness Jesus Christ, sharing an authentic presence in the community and a religious accompaniment of the young ones in formation. Formation, according to the archbishop, should be demanding but not rigid which can be drawn from the perfect image of Jesus' accompaniment of his two disciples on the way to Emmaus.
Archbishop Carballo reminded the different congregations that formation should touch on the four aspects of religious life: (1) Intelligence that is well informed, (2) the heart that is full of passion, (3) the hands that are compassionate and the (4) feet that should be firmly grounded on personal conviction.
The archbishop's talk was followed by a few questions from the participants and then a short break ensued.
Shortly after the break, Fr. Rolando de la Rosa, OP gave a funny but very enlightening talk to remind consecrated men and women of the Apostolic Letter of Pope Francis to All Consecrated People. Fr. de la Rosa started with the uncomfortable statistics on the number priests and religious in the country and the common view of Filipino priests and religious from colonial times and the present. This is to emphasize the point that consecrated men and women should look back to the past not just with gratitude but also with
|from left to right; Ron Calderon, Martin Nguyen, George Diones, Josh Fernandez, Azam Mansha, Rev. Robert Leus, CJM and CJ Vales|
caution not to miss the things we can learn from past mistakes. Then the talk continued with many funny images and situations in the life of the religious. He encouraged, at the end, all who are listening to attract new vocations by being witnesses, when people see that consecrated men and women live lives radiating with the joy and beauty of living in community.
The day was very enlightening to the CJM seminarians. The dialogue that was started in the UST Medicine Auditorium will continue in the more sublime and challenging life of these seminarians as they journey with their formators toward a more promising and hopeful life in community.