In the programmatic letter 2018-2024, in number 3.1.3, the General Government states that it wants to “promote and support our own theological institutes, particularly in Taubaté and in Hales Corners” during this sexennium.
In this perspective, members of the Dehonian Study Center were commissioned by the Superior General to make visits to the Sacred Heart Seminary and School of Theology (USA) and the Faculdade Dehoniana (BRA) in November and December 2019. The contacts were immediately extended to our other academic institutes in Brazil, La Faculdade São Luiz in Brusque, ESIC Curitiba and with this also to ESIC Spain.
From February 20-22, the Superior General, Fr. Carlos Luis Suárez Codorniú, invited the directors and academic deans of these institutions to Rome for a first meeting. In addition to the representatives of the academic institutions invited, the Superior General, the Vicar General, Fr. Stephen Huffstetter, the General Councilor, Fr. Artur Sanecki, and the members of the Dehonian Study Center participated.
It was an opportunity for the General Government to express its conviction that academic teaching and research, the formation of the clergy, are clear expressions of the Dehonian charism and find an inspiring reference in the life of the founder, Fr. Léon Dehon. Since this was a first initiative, it was necessary to know well the realities of each of the institutes represented and of the Dehonian Study Center.
It was not about presenting a prepared program, but about identifying first possibilities of collaborating to strengthen, at the academic level, the Dehonian configuration of the institutions. The succession of sincere and constructive dialogues during these two days highlighted the hope and conviction of moving forward together. Consequently, it was decided to take a short book of Fr. Dehon and to investigate it from a multidisciplinary and international perspective. This also translates the conviction of all the participants that the path is built by walking.