The Province of Brazil Recife (BRE) gathered in Assembly on February 8, 9, 10 and 11 of this year. Due to Covid-19 pandemic, the Provincial Assembly took place in a hybrid manner, with confreres present in the conference room of the Provincial House and others following the event in a virtual room on Google Meet.
The following marked this Provincial Assembly: Firstly, the presentation of the project of revision and updating of the Ratio Formationis Provincialis, presented by the Team of Formators. Secondly, a virtual conference with Father João Paulo Tabarelli Moreira (Superior of the Paraguay Region) on the preparation of the next General Conference, on Fratelli Tutti. Thirdly, the presentation of the reports of the Houses of Formation, Commissions, Father Dehon Social Center, School and Provincial House. Fourthly, it was the celebration of the perpetual vows of Frater Rodrigo Victor, in the parish of Our Lady of Rosary; besides the fraternal sharing the whole assembly.
At the beginning of the session, the Provincial Superior Fr. Josemar de Lima, welcomed with great affection the new fratres who made their first vows last 2nd February: Diego Albuquerque, Douglas Câmara, João Batista, and José Romário. He also highlighted the admission of the postulant Derik Oliveira to the novitiate.
We celebrate the jubilarians with great joy:
- 95 years of life of Fr. Brás Severino (the oldest SCJ);
- 50 years of priestly life of Fathers Carlos Alberto, José de Ribamar and Renato Maia;
- 50 years of religious life of Fr. Renato Maia
- 40 years of priestly life of Fathers Antônio Gonçalves and João Batista;
- 30 years of priestly life of Mgr. André Vital and Fr. Dagnaldo Alexandre;
- 25 years of priestly life of Fathers Francisco Belarmino, Izaú Cavalcanti and Josenildo Cândido.
At the end of the assembly, celebrating the liturgical memory of Our Lady of Lourdes, we give thanks for the six years of priestly life of Fr. Luiz Alípio.
Following are two rich interviews of Fr. Josemar de Lima scj and of Fra. Rodrigo Victor scj, the youngest religious in perpetual vows, about some of the topics discussed above.
Fr. Josemar, the Provincial Assembly is an aggiornamento “for the new times and new works”, as our Founder used to say. How do you evaluate these updates/renovations seen in the Assembly?
The realization of the Assembly of the BRE Province was truly a time of grace in which the Lord, by the power of the Holy Spirit, enlightened all the participants. Despite being a hybrid, it was a time of communion, reflection, and evaluation in order to continue our mission in such challenging times. I evaluate it in a positive way, because we had the opportunity to know how the life of the Province is going, all that is good and what needs to be improved.
What are the expectations for our Province from these “aggiornamenti”?
We noticed many fruits that emerged in this Assembly, and for this, we must thank God:
- Presentation of the updating of the Ratio Formationis Provincialis.
- Development of a social sensibility trying to be aware that solidarity is the expression of our charism, and in this way, from seeing, feeling and caring, the Project “Casa de Apoio Padre Dehon” was presented, which was left to be improved and specialists were sought to evaluate it better.
- Awareness of the progress of the process of shared administration of our school Nossa Senhora de Fátima present in the city of Paulista/PE.
- Presentation of the fundraising project.
Rodrigo, can you briefly describe your Dehonian formation itinerary?
I always say that my vocation arose in the daily life of the Dehonian priests in my city. I do not believe that the “call” happened on an important and emblematic date, but it was by example that I was drawn to this vocation. In the good treatment with people and the care for the sacramental life that my parish priests always had, I felt impelled to seek this life of giving for my history. In my parish, I was an altar boy, catechist and legionary, and I always found myself very inserted in the pastoral life.
I entered the Congregation at the age of 17 on February 10, 2012, at the Seminary Santo Antônio (Paulista/PE) and the following year I began my philosophical studies at the Catholic University of Pernambuco. In 2016, I entered the Novitiate Coração de Jesus (Barretos/SP), where I made my first vows in the Congregation on January 15, 2017. That same year, I moved to the Sacred Heart of Jesus Convent (Taubaté/SP) and began theological studies at the Dehonian Faculty, concluding in 2020. Last February 10, I made my Perpetual Profession. Thus, trusting in divine grace, I am preparing myself for priestly ministry to serve God through the Church and the Congregation in the best way possible.
What message do you leave for the vocations and seminarians who are following this Dehonian horizon?
Throughout my vocational journey, I have always asked myself if I have been walking well, and if my preparation for ordained ministry has been in the direction of making others happy as well. I believe that in the mind of every young person, there is always the uncertainty of the future. Today, in a situation where everything is ephemeral, I always reflect on the importance and responsibility of making a lifelong commitment. As I always say, the Church offered me an opportunity for growth and added values for which I am very grateful. Gradually, being attentive to God’s details, I am realizing the confirmation of the call that He made to me. I realize that religious life and the path to ordained ministry has done and will do me a lot of good, because I am satisfied in what I do, and I believe that this is a path of humanization where I can help many people.