The Regional Assembly was held at the Sacred Heart Retreat House in Jarillo from January 8th to 11th.
The Dehonians of Venezuela gathered at the Sacred Heart Retreat House in El Jarillo for the Regional Assembly 2024, with the participation from other religions: Fr. Delio Ruiz, an Argentinean missionary in Colombia representing the District of Ecuador, and Fr. Artur Sanecki representing the general council.
The assembly focused on thinking and applying a new dynamic inspired by a synodal model. The groups discussed issues under the guidelines of biblical and Dehonian texts. Each person had a chance to share their reflections within a time frame. These reflections were later collected through discussions. The summary was presented to all the participants. The groups listened attentively and spent time reflecting after each person shared their reflections.
The group considered silence important for reflecting and discussing. The assembly began with a retreat on the afternoon of January 8th. The theme of the retreat was the importance of silence in discernment before proceeding and planning.
The work was divided into four aspects in the questionnaire for the XXV General Chapter: mission, communion, formation, and identity. These aspects were discussed in two days, and each day had two sections, one in the morning and another in the afternoon.
Rafael Espinola, the director of the educational ministry of the Escuela Tecnica Industrial “Padre Dehon,” represented the mission aspect. He attended the meeting of Dehonian schools of 2023 in Brusque, Santa Catarina, Brazil. He shared the vision of the Dehonian education projects of the meeting in Brazil with the assembly. He also reported on the school’s situation regarding challenges and potentials and pointed out the importance of vocational ministry. He thanked all for their religious presence in this ministry.
The aspect of communion led us to reflect on the significance of “Sint Unum,” which means not to be individual but as a group, and reinforced during these days of assembly by fraternal sharing.
On the formation aspect, the aspirants and postulants of the formation were invited to share their vocational stories and requests for the brothers of the Region. They shared about their vocations and thanked God for being part of the Dehonian family. Even though they come from different countries, they can communicate the same message: the love of the Heart of Jesus. In addition, they asked other members to pay more attention to young people searching for happiness, especially those just beginning to make their way with the congregation.
On the identity aspect, they focused on the significance of charism, which is our whole identity of the Heart of Jesus, His oblation of love and reparation for people.
Delio Ruiz shared his experience and current situations in Colombia with the assembly. He mentioned that a mission has been approaching in advancing for people in need. Finally, Fr. Artur Sanecki shared his impressions of the SCJs in Venezuela. He shared the presence of the Dehonian in the country. He was grateful for the opportunity to serve and ministry there. He also shared information on the results of the XXV General Chapter and the most recent missions of the Region.
The assembly was marked by fraternal sharing and having other members from different countries, such as India and Vietnam, signifying an atmosphere of closeness and cultural richness, showing fraternity is possible and universal.