Group Sharing

English Groups

Q: – Does “Justice” as God’s intervention to save those in “unjust situations” address the charism (s) of your religious community/-apostolate?

  • Some of our congregations have adopted justice issues in our ministries and apostolates, especially in the last three decades through General Chapters. While other congregations by history are engaged in the ministry of justice.
  • For all however, to respond more concretely to unjust situations confronting their immediate environment, congregations delved into reading the signs of times beset by wars and migration to work with and for the migrants.
  • The case of the Cameroon crisis was specified whereby a congregation opened new communities in Nigeria to serve the needs of the refugees.
  • Congregations by their charisms see elements of justice emerging from the biblical context that is addressed in their ministry and the stress is on the – Indigenous people – The marginalized – The vulnerable.

As congregations, all elements including resources are embedded in this ministry. The complexity of unjust situations had to encourage congregations to seek creative ways of working with other groups; the realization that to change unjust situations in political society would demand corporate voices. We take it as a challenge to address unjust structures/situations and move into justice by educating and conscientising our sisters and brothers to improve and free people to live lives as God’s people made in his image.

Q: – “The first step in justice issues is asking people for the help they need (not impose wants on them) and channelling resources to such specific needs”. Does this “first step” make sense in our apostolates of witnessing to the Gospel?

  • Missionaries are often concerned with meeting the immediate needs of the people, hence the challenge to ask of their needs.
  • However, we see that social justice is broader than mere meeting needs.
  • The sense of justice in our apostolates of witnessing to the gospel is – first build a relationship of trust, respect, and understanding of the people.
  • The sense of justice is a relationship with God, others, and nature/ecosystem which is also termed as the right relationship.
  • Overall, needs have to be discerned to rightly develop the people.
  • It is important to carry out a need’s assessment of, See, Judge and Act to determine what to give.

Q: – Mechanisms for dialogue between and among members should be in place in every religious community. Suggest ways your communities tackle or should attend to racisms and privilege status of some members that seem ubiquitous in communities.

First of all, within the congregation, we need to follow the principle of solidarity or mutuality in both the powers: economic and demographic powers. There is a need of exchange of finances and personnel.

Secondly, it is a challenge to integrate new members in a new country in the global north. However, they need to be accompanied constantly. It is a greater challenge to come to Europe or America because the receptivity of the people is poor. They may say, ‘we don’t need you.’ While missionaries who went to global south were received happily. One reason could be that they took funds along.

The groups also suggested other ways to enhance dialogue, and achieve justice. They are:

  • Creating atmosphere that is conducive, demonstrates respect and values every culture. Therefore, need to encourage people to speak and listen without biases.
  • Changing our mind-sets to enhance going beyond our individualism.
  • Practice of inclusion in terms of language, culture and governance.
  • Generate very international leadership teams and mission members wherever possible.
  • Congregational advisory boards to include non-members and experts from different fields
  • Address specific issues of conflict like food, tribalism and racism
  • Maintenance of general funds, with contribution from every province and the right and access to the funds by every province
  • Training of interculturalism, training of formators for different congregation by collaboration of congregations
  • Missioning members across provinces for experiences
  • Opening up dialogue for reverse course, by way of reviewing original mission plans, where applicable
  • Visitations by general leadership level, to individual communities to enable one on one conversation with individuals, for effective listening, at grass root levels.

Q: – Synodality and ecology are justice issues receiving attention now. Hopefully, religious communities will be founded to address those needs if none exists already. Any suggestions about synodality and ecology as imperative of mission today?

Synodality and ecology are imperative to the mission today and these are not optional. This is a journey of compassion needing a long term to arrive at. Aspects required of reaching the goals include – learning together -discerning together and – working together.

Q: – Economic power must cede place to demographic reality for the maintenance of established (religious/congregational) structures for the continuity of our religious communities. What are your thoughts?

There have been various answers pertaining to the above question. Following are the various responses:

a)We live in multicultural communities. Every culture is unique, every culture needs redemption. The problem is that one culture becomes a point of reference. However, it is natural to have one culture of reference. In the past, the culture of the founder/foundress was the culture of reference or the dominant culture in the congregation. All were made to think that that is the culture of the Church or congregation. But in fact, it was the culture of the country where the founder/foundress came from for eg. Germany. Now that the members from founder’s culture are in minority or extinct, that culture should not be imposed on the whole congregation.

b)We need to take the spirit behind the traditions of the founding generation rather than outrightly taking the traditions away completely.

c)The problem of racism and privileged culture could be reduced with proper facilitation to open discussion and dialogue among members of the community.

d)Dialogue, faith-sharing, renewal programmes both at the intra-congregational and inter-congregational could help in being open to other cultures and mindsets.

e)At incarnation, Jesus did not give up his divinity/Godhead. When we go to a new place, it is not advisable to give up our culture fully but to be open to other cultures and learn from them. Concurrently, the new culture or the people need also to learn from the missionary coming from another culture.

Q: – Conflict of interest in leadership or in the exercise of authority should be legislated fairness

purposes. What do you think?

Leadership is an important element in any organization/congregation. It has to be exercised in all fairness. By and large, it is being followed. Any appointment to different positions ought to be done not based on one’s friendship or culture or nationality, but based on person’s merits and aptitude. Also, this principle needs to be followed in distribution of funds.

Sometimes, leaders may tend to do favouritism to members who bring money to the congregation. We need to have a team decision with checks and balance with proper discernment.

Q: – Vocation recruitments of migrants should be prioritized to respond to vocation shortages in North-Atlantic contexts. What are the advantages or disadvantages of this suggestion?

In today’s context, vocational promotion needs to be done with utmost care.

a)Rather than doing vocation promotion among migrants alone, our focus ought to be on vocation recruitment in general. Rather than continuation of our congregation, our focus should be on continuation of mission. Congregations could collaborate with one another in mission like UISG in South Sudan so that the shortage of vocations may not affect the mission work.

b)Catholic migrants from the global south either don’t feel free or don’t fit in parishes in Europe. The fault lies on both sides: the receiving communities and migrants.

Grupo Español 

Q: – ¿Cuáles son los puntos de resonancia o disonancia al llamar a nuestros tiempos “Era de la Justicia”?

Por un lado, estamos de acuerdo con llamar a nuestra era “Era de la Justicia” porque Dios continúa visitando a su pueblo, hay signos de los tiempos, y los reconocemos como Vida Religiosa, la gente también los reconoce. También vemos que continúan surgiendo profetas, como Papa Francisco. Dios no se ha cansado y hoy también quiere iniciar o ha ya iniciado un nuevo tiempo con una propuesta de justicia. Siempre ha habido profetas y las gentes, en todas las épocas, han tenido un anhelo de mayor justicia. Pero, a diferencia de otras épocas pasadas, hoy existe una conciencia y expresión mucho más colectiva en la búsqueda de justicia. La gente joven no se calla y dice las cosas como están…nosotros, como Vida Religiosa, también tenemos más conciencia, aunque si los pasos que damos son tímidos…

Por el otro lado, vemos que tenemos un sentido de Justicia muy intelectual, o incluso virtual, que no nos empeña en un compromiso de denuncia y transformación social. No nos queremos exponer, no queremos pagar el precio…al menos en nuestros países europeos somos muy pasivos.

Nos parece que llamar a nuestro tiempo era de la justicia es demasiado ambicioso, una definición que le está grande…¿porque? Porque vemos que la violencia, grande o pequeña, nacional/internacional/global o domestica está creciendo…se están legitimando guerras cada vez mas armadas y se promueven incluso juegos para que los niños y jóvenes aprendan a matar y se nos hace difícil llamar a nuestra era “Era de justicia”. Porque también vemos que cada uno tiene una interpretación personal de lo que es justicia, tenemos una pluralidad de interpretaciones y cada uno escoge los valores o la visión que le va bien, no compartimos una ética común y esto hace difícil un compromiso común para promover la justicia.

Dentro de nuestras comunidades religiosas, de nuestras Congregaciones, hay un sentido fuerte de justicia, de la dignidad personal de cada miembro, todas tenemos derecho a recibir un trato justo, a participar, a opinar, a hacer y deshacer dentro de la congregación hasta el punto de que el papel del Liderazgo ha cambiado mucho, y algunos miembros lo llegan a considerar innecesario. Nos preguntamos como la Vida comunitaria y los votos religiosos puedan ser compatibles con el despertar de este sentido de justicia en los miembros. En referencia a esto, pensamos que el estilo sinodal que la Iglesia está recuperando es la fuerza salvadora de la Vida Religiosa pues este es nuestro estilo genuino, el único que puede salvarnos del individualismo que está destruyendo nuestras comunidades…es el estilo que nos ayuda a buscar un bien común, construyendo comunidad.

De consecuencia, surge la pregunta: ¿de qué Justicia estamos hablando, de una justicia del individuo o de una justicia comunitaria, del pueblo, incluso global y planetaria? Porque no siempre la justicia que busca un individuo equivale a la justicia que necesita un pueblo entero o una comunidad o todo el planeta….¿Qué tipo de justicia busca nuestra era?

Reflexión del grupo Español

Simbolo: Todas En La Misma Barca

Introduccion: El simbolo de la barca, es el que nos ha inspirado para significar lo que hemos vicido en estos dias de seminario. Todas Y Todas En La Misma Barca. Una barca fragil, como son fragiles nuestra vida, la vida de las comunidades y de nuestras congregaciones. Tenemos la fuerza en el Amor y en la fuerza del ser Todos, Todas Juntas.

La unica certeza que tenemos es la realidad que vivimos: El CAMBIO

Canto: Todo Cambia de Mercedes Sosa:

Retos para el Camino:

En nuestro grupo, nos hemos interrogado mucho sobre los temas que aquí nos han presentado.

La reflexión y el compartir ha sido mucho mayor de lo que aquí presentamos. Cada una lleva de Nemi un equipaje más pesado del que trajimos y lo hemos representado en algunas frases y palabras que nos alimentan y dan nuevas luces a nuestro camino personal y de nuestras congregaciones.

Las frases que sintetizan nuestra reflexión:

  1. BANI El Nuevo Entorno Que Nos Toca Vivir
  2. Fomentar el Diálogo siempre y en todas las etapas
  3. Interculturalidad
  4. Misión como justicia,
  5. Promotor de la diversidad, guardian de unidad
  6. Vulnerabilidad, incertidumbre, fragilidad
  7. Camino de Corresponsabilidad –sinodalidad
  8. Sabiduría de la comunidad, en la comunidad.
  9. Sentido de Pertenencia-internalización
  10. Formación permanente en todos los sentidos
  11. ¿Qué cambiar de la estructura de la formación?
  12. Testimonio de Evangelio-coherencia de la VR
  13. Cómo salir de nuestras autoreferencias congregacionales para vivir el Evangelio
  14. Fortalecer nuestro enamoramiento de Jesús, por medio de la contemplación.

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