21 April All roads were going to the historic city of Legazpi, Albay, were the SVD Brothers Assembly. There were 25 participants composed of Ni-Vanuatu, Chilean, Indonesian, Hungarian, and Filipinos. It was a multicultural and international group.
The first session focused on revising the SVD Brothers Formation Program by Br. Noel Tecson. He presented the result of the one year consultation/research coming from 3 SVD Provinces. The guide question was: What do we expect from a Brother candidate coming from Pre-Novitiate, Temporary Vows, Theological/Missiological Studies, Temporary Assignment, and Second Novitiate (Preparing for Perpetual Vows)? We agreed that it should be observable and specific enough but keeping in mind the Constitution 502 and the SVD Philippines Formation Program. Among other things, we came up with five aspects that should be present in each level of formation namely: professionally competent, team player, servant leader, prophet, and pray-er.
The second session was on the on-going formation facilitated by Br. Eugenio Orog. The topic was on Wholeness which means achieving peace because all the facets of life has been fully in place - not perfect as we normally understand it - we don't commit mistake but rather teleios (Greek derivative of perfect) meaning to complete still or to reach to the end. Example, the runner finishing the finish line. Then after through group sharing we tried to answer the existential questions: 1. Who am I? (Identity),2. Why am I? (Motivation),3. How am I? (Friendship/Intimacy), 4. Whose am I? (Personal Experience of God PEG), Where am I? (Change and Transition)
There was an animated sharing/discussion that we had to extend the time for group work. One participant commented that it was his first time to know the life of a Brother. And he was much appreciative about it.
The meals were also a time for bonding and sharing. The welcome dinner was prepared by Chef Roberto Clemeña together with his wife Rose Salazar - a very good friend of SVD. The entire community of the Divine Word College plus the in-coming President Fr. Nielo Cantilado graced the occasion. The SSpS Sisters of Irosin, Sorsogon traveled all the way just to be with the brothers.
The next assembly in 2018 will be hosted by the Southern Province.
(as reported by Bro. Eugenio Orog).