The meeting of the Dehonian Spiritual Centers scheduled for this fall is still uncertain. Fr. Artur, General Councillor, introduced the project of presenting the spiritual centers on dehoniani.org.
One of the apostolic sectors that the current general administration’s programmatic letter intended to explore and promote at this time in our history is our spirituality centers. The letter notes, “Our Founder’s great desire was that his Congregation should have houses of perpetual adoration (cf. DG 83:2), where the disciples of Jesus could truly experience the presence of their Master ‘in their midst.’ Centers of spirituality attract the attention of people in the diverse cultures and social systems of the modern world” (Programmatic Letter 2018-2024, 2.3).
Development of our formative-spiritual apostolate could possibly help us respond better to the challenges of today’s world. The first challenge is to find a correct response to the Founder’s desire to have houses of prayer and centers of Eucharistic spirituality in the congregation. The second is to find a response to the expectations and quests of people today: the search for the spiritual, for integration and interior renewal, and at the same time the desire to give meaning to the fragility of life. The third challenge is to improve the sharing of our charism and the life of our communities with the people around us.
As Dehonians, we currently have about fifteen religious houses that are centers of spirituality. They are unique, both in size and in the type of formative and spiritual programs offered. In some of them our members work there full time. In others there are multiple apostolic activities. There are places that specialize in certain areas, such as with families or youth. But there are also houses that are open to all kinds of people and groups who ask.
The pandemic situation has greatly limited the possibilities for meeting and sharing. The programmatic letter foresaw a meeting of those responsible for Dehonian spirituality centers and retreat houses for the fall of 2021. In the coming months we will verify whether it will be possible to realize this plan. Taking advantage of our web page, however, we want to begin to make more known about the various houses for retreats and spiritual formation that exist in the different parts of our congregation. In the coming weeks we will try to introduce as many of our spirituality centers as possible. We hope that the material shared by different entities around the world will help us not only to improve our mutual knowledge but also to feel even closer in our common mission in the Church.