To all the confreres of the Congregation
From July 20 – 25, we were together in Yogyakarta (Indonesia) for the theological seminar of the Congregation which had as title “Charisms and devotions: Towards an inculturated Dehonian identity.” We were more than fifty confreres from more than twenty countries, an expression of a Congregation truly international.
The seminar – when put alongside those held at Lisbon (2008) on the Theologia cordis, at Brusque on the Missio cordis (2010) and at Taubaté (2014) on Anthropologia cordis – has succeeded in deepening the bond of our charism with the devotions which express it and give it form. We have confirmed the richness of the spiritual legacy of Fr. Dehon which needs to be re-stated each time again in new forms. At the same time, we have understood how our identity must express itself, of necessity, in plural ways in order to be in touch with different social and cultural forms.
The seminar was prepared by the work of the continental theological commissions (some constituted only recently) which they shared. Each presentation was largely worked out in its own context. Alongside listening to the discussions and the reflections, there were moments in which we were given the opportunity to see first hand some ecclesial and culturally significant experiences: the Mass with the renewal of vows at the scholasticate; the participation in the ballet of Ramayana in front of the Hindu temple Prambanan; the visit to the Buddhist temple Borobudur; the pilgrimage to the sanctuary of the Madonna at Sendansono and the one, built in Javanese style, dedicated to the Sacred Heart at Ganjuran. All this was possible thanks to the outstanding welcome and the perfect organization by the Indonesian Province. To them we owe a debt of sincere gratitude.
It was the task of the continental theological commissions to develop the richness of the intuitions of these days. But this presupposes a broader involvement of the whole congregation. The seminar was only an initial push in order that the communities, the provincial assemblies, the commissions of the different entities could follow up on the reflections. A great number of the aspects of our legacy merits to be taken up again and deepened. For example: Eucharistic Adoration, which places us before the anterior gratuity of the love of God and the service of reconciliation to which we dehonians are called. Our charism is rich and current. It pertains to each one of us to make it come alive by building an identity which we must constantly deepen and by giving testimony to a love which enriches the union to the Heart of Christ and which translates into faithful practice.
From Yogyakarta we send greeting to all with the wish that our Sint Unum may grow daily more strongly and that “with open heart and mind” we may live for the service of the advent of the Reign of God.