MESSAGE TO AFRICA-ZONE DEHONIAN FORMATORS
We, delegates of Dehonian Formators from Mozambique, Madagascar, Cameroon and DRC gathered at the Biannual Dehonian Formators Meeting in Africa from Tuesday 08 to Friday 11 November 2016 at Mgr Grison Center in Kisangani in the DRC, reflected on this theme: “Dehonian religious life in Africa: 50 years after Perfectae caritatis” with the following five sub-themes: the relationship between our charism and our spirituality: a challenge for the Dehonian life in Africa, our apostolic works, means of subsistence or expressions of our charism, fraternal life in community: between traditional solidarity and modern individualism, collaboration between SCJ entities of Africa in order to live the internationality of the Congregation, current challenges of initial and permanent formation in consecrated life facing new cultures.
Given the importance the Church attaches to the formation of religious and priests,
Taking into account that the Congregation of Priests of the Sacred Heart of Jesus considers formation as a priority of priorities,
Since Father John Leo Dehon expects his religious to be “prophets of love and servants of reconciliation” and to work for God’s reign to come into souls and society,
Understanding that this reality is possible only through a serious formation of the Dehonian religious,
Having reflected during the conference of the Meeting of the Dehonian Formators of Africa-Zone in Kisangani in DRC from 08 to 11 November 2016,
We recommend to the Dehonian Formators of different formation houses in Africa:
• That each Dehonian entity in Africa be open to host candidates from other entities in its formation houses
• That each entity be open to intensifying collaboration with other entities by sending candidates to study philosophy, theology and other sciences in other entities.
• That Formators be available to work in formation houses of other entities in need.
• That Formators instill into young people in formation the desire to work with the marginalized in society (children who have lost their family ties, abandoned sick people, homeless people, prisoners, etc.).
• That they help the formees to become more involved in the pastoral work of our apostolic works.
• That they introduce certain techniques of traditional African youth education in the formation of candidates and Dehonian religious (proverbs, riddles, initiation rites, tales …).
• That they insist on respecting the values of fraternity, solidarity, service, sharing, gratuity, forgiveness, charity and the sense of belonging to the community and to the congregation.
• That they train young people to the good use of means of social communication and internet
• That they insist on SINT UNUM to fight all kinds of anti-values that are prevailing more and more in our African societies (tribalism, favoritism, calumny or slander, bribery/corruption, spirit of vengeance, hatred, jealousy …).
We want to recommend to and inform the Dehonian formators of different formation houses in Africa
• That a social networking group Whatsapp called: FORMATORI SCJ AFRICA has been created on 09 November 2016 and a Facebook page on the vocation animation and formation in our African entities will be created by the end of November 2016 to facilitate communication between Formators in Africa.
• That Fr. Charles Aimé Koudjou, SCJ from Cameroon was chosen to be in charge of communication for the activities of Formators in Africa.
• That each formator send news of formation with photos of formation activities of his entity to this social network.
• That the Commissions of Vocation and Formation of each entity prepare well the future meeting of the formators SCJ of Africa-Zone and if possible may the number of participants of each entity be the half of the formators plus one in order to facilitate the exchange of experiences during the meeting.
• That the Mozambican Commission of Vocation and Formation prepare the next SCJ formators’ Meeting to be held in Mozambique in August 2018 (preferably after 12 August 2018) on the theme: “What Dehonian Formation in Africa Today”.
We welcome the presence of the delegation of the formators from Madagascar composed of Fathers Roland Raveloson and Prosper Rakotoson who arrived in Kisangani on Friday 11 November 2016 due to the administrative difficulties of obtaining the visa.
Dear confrere Formators, we have received a noble job of forming the priests of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. Let us remember that these young people whom we form today will be our confreres, our tomorrow’s superiors. The future of the Congregation of the Priests of the Sacred Heart of Jesus is in our hands. Let us become aware of our role, love this work and help these young people whom the Congregation entrusts to us to be good Christians, good religious and good Dehonian priests. Let us put Christ at the center of our preoccupations.
Let us help these young men to be true prophets of love and good servants of reconciliation. Let us help them “get out of the sacristy” to “go to people”, to the “existential peripheries”. This implies that we ourselves are actors and guides. We wish you a fruitful apostolate in your formation houses. God bless you.
Vivat Cor Jesu. Per Cor Mariae!
Done at Kisangani, on 11 November 2016
Participants in Africa-Zone SCJ Formators’ Meeting
From 08 to 11/11/2016 at Mgr Grison Center in Kisangani (DRC).