The pandemic does not stop the formation and missionary projects. A group of Dehonians are preparing for the South American mission through social platforms.
The pandemic context has many changes for people’s lives. SCJs who are faithful to the spirit of Fr. Leo John Dehon has undertaken a path of preparation for the mission in South America (Argentina, Uruguay, and Paraguay).
The sessions are held on Tuesday at 9PM central (Mississippi), 11PM Argentina, which implies that in India and Indonesia it is the morning of the next day. Participants give their greetings saying “good night” or “good morning” depending on their location. It can be on Tuesday and Wednesday at the same time, thanks to Zoom.
These missionaries have delved into the history of the province and the customs of the local countries. Last week, we saw the options of the province and the different ministerial opportunities the SCJs carry out in South America. There are personal activities to deepen the experience through Powerpoints, videos, and music.
Here we have an impression from a participant (Fr. José Richard, scj). “Go into all the world and preach the Gospel to every creature” (Mark 16:15).
The command of Jesus to His disciples is very vibrant and is still inspiring many today. Due to the COVID-19 situation, the missionaries were supposed to go to Argentina but were held up. And so there was an initiative from the Argentinian Province to initiate us into the mission via the Zoom application. I found it to be very useful and helpful and has helped to understand vividly the culture of Latin American in general and in particular, Argentina, Uruguay, and Paraguay.
The webinars highlighted through powerpoints and videos: the way of life of the people in society which included food, daily activities, and passion, they also covered the spiritual and liturgical activities and events from the ecclesial context of Latin America.
The other most important factor for me to learn was about the Argentinian Province’s mission consisting the Dehonian presence and mission in Uruguay and Paraguay. The different activities that we are engaged in includes the pastoral and social life of the people.
The webinar on “Missionary Training” has given me an overall idea and picture of the Latin American culture and the Dehonian mission in these three countries. So I feel I will not be blank and a stranger when I reach the mission. This has enabled me to also take a serious note of spiritual and mental preparation that I need in order to prepare my heart and embrace another culture and way of life.
I am happy to be part of the mission in our Argentinian Province, and my concern is to learn Spanish which is altogether a new language for me but I am confident that I will be able to make it over the course of time.
I must appreciate Fr. Juan Domingo (Provincial Superior) for taking the initiative to organize the webinar and Br. Diego Diaz as the facilitator. Thanks to both of them for the enriching and informative sessions”.
We join in praying for this experience and encourage other SCJs to continue being creative as our founder had asked us to be.