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Orientation Course for New Missionaries 2018

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Orientation Course for New Missionaries

149th Missionary Expedition

Missions Sector 2018

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ORIENTATION COURSE FOR NEW MISSIONARIES - 2018

Purpose of the Course

The enthusiasm and faith of the missionary who goes to the missions are not enough, even if they remain fundamental criteria. It is essential that the missionary, even if he goes only for a few years, makes a careful examination of the reasons for his going to the missions. On the other hand, it is important that the departing missionary is provided with the necessary tools to encounter a new people and take on the personal attitude of openness, which is respectful and trusting towards the ‘other’ in order to foster a pleasant, efficient, humble and discreet presence. Certainly the missionary is a gift and a blessing, he brings new strength and vitality to the Province and the local Church; the richness of his faith and culture and his own personal gifts enrich the Province and the local Church, but without adequate preparation the newcomer could actually become a disturbance or un uncomfortable presence because he is incapable of fostering mutual dialogue with the new reality.

The Orientation Course for New Missionaries is envisioned as an immediate preparation of the departing missionaries. It is through prayer, witness of life, sharing of experiences, personal reflections and through a joyful life with other course participants that the new missionary is helped in verifying, deepening and sometimes even discovering the fundamental reasons for his going to the missions. The orientation course for new missionaries is intended primarily to be formation (foster values and attitudes necessary for a missionary) not information (acquisition of new knowledge or ideas)!

Presuppositions

The preparation for missionary life begins years before in the home Province of the missionary, where the candidate is accompanied in discerning his suitability and the necessary qualities leading to the option for missionary life. The home Province of the missionary has the commitment to provide the departing missionary an opportunity to take part in meetings or courses for departing missionaries, if they are organised in the country of origin.

The Missions Department has published the Missionary Formation of the Salesians of Don Bosco as essential guidelines on the path leading to the choice of candidates for the missions. A confrere who has difficulty in integrating in the ordinary life of the community in his home Province is not meant to be a missionary for the culture shock and the new and more challenging environment in the missions will not only not help solve these problems, they might even aggravate them.

The Province which receives the new missionary has also the commitment to guide and foster the integration of the new missionary in his new cultural social and ecclesial context. This requires an assiduous initial accompaniment. This means, above all, to ensure that he has a spiritual guide and, during the early years, a missionary who could accompany him on his first steps in mission. It is also essential that within a year in the missions the new missionary is given the opportunity to participate in courses organised by local church or conference of religious to better understand the local culture and promote a proper inculturation.

Prerequisites

To benefit from the course, each participant needs to make the necessary preparation before coming to the orientation course, and in particular to prepare the following written works: 1) A brief presentation of the essential elements and characteristics of one’s own culture, including those which need to be healed, ennobled and perfected; 2) A brief presentation of the country where he will work as a missionary (geography, culture, social and political situation); 3) A brief presentation of the Salesian Province and of the local Church of his new mission. The easy access to the Internet makes these preliminary works indispensable prerequisites in order to participate in this course to ensure that it becomes a truly educative experience.

Methodology

The course will use the modular approach and the workshop method . Each module will have four components: a) the personal experience b) listening and evaluating through the input, c) personal reflection and sharing d) the re-formulation of one’s own personal understanding on the topic. As components of the methodology, great importance is also given to sharing the Word and the preparation of their daily journal which helps each participant to reread his personal experiences in the light of the topic(s) of the day. Several other activities will be organised (e.g. sports, visits, programmes, meetings with other Salesians in initial formation, etc.) to foster interaction and inter-cultural exchange among participants.

Recipients

The participants are the new missionaries, the majority of whom are young post-novices who have little or no theological training and pastoral experience. A few will have a previous missionary experience. The vast majority has no command of Italian thus translations will have to be made.

Human Resources

Fr. Guillermo Basañes (Councillor for the missions), Fr. Gianni Rolandi (course coordinator), Fr. Martín Lasarte, Fr. George Menamparampil (Missions Sector), Br. Jose Luis Muñoz (Social Communications Sector), Fr. Jean Claude Ngoy (Comunità “San Giuseppe”), Fr. Luigi Cei (Archivio Centrale Salesiano), Fr. Peter Gonsalves (Università Pontificia Salesiana), Fr. Pierluigi Cameroni (Postulator for the Causes of Saints), Fr. Luigi Dobravec (Catacombs); Br. Cosimo Cossu (camerette - Sacro Cuore), Fr. Maurizio Verlezza (Genoa), Sr. Assunta Quaglia, Sr. Luigina Silvestrin (Mornese), Fr Luca Barone (Colle Don Bosco), Fr. Eligio Caprioglio (Chieri), Fr. Rafael Gasol (Valdocco).

The Councillor for the Missions

Fr. Guillermo Basañes will have a personal talk with every member of the 149th missionary expeditions and will be available for other personal talks during the entire course. During the pilgrimage to the Salesian Holy Places, Fr. Guillermo will have a second round of personal talks with every missionary.

Duration

twenty-eight days from 3rd to 30th September 2018. Arrival before 5:00 p.m. on September 3rd. Departure is after 3:00 p.m. on September 30th, if you are departing from Turin, or October 1st if you are departing from Rome.

Venue

Rome (Sede Centrale Salesiana) and Piedmont (Salesian places)

General Objectives

The orientation course for new missionaries is envisioned as an aid to the immediate preparation of new missionaries before their departure for the missions, in order to provide them with the necessary tools as they encounter a new culture by having the correct personal attitude which fosters a pleasant, efficient, humble and discreet presence. It is composed of four nuclei: introductory, anthropo-cultural, missiological and Salesian.

At the end of the course each participant

  • Deepens his own missionary motivations and the purpose of his going to the missions
  • Is prepared to respond to a new situation and a new culture at the start of his missionary life
  • Acquires a style of relating with the other which is respectful of the other’s culture and values in order to foster a relationship which is mutually enriching
  • Visits important Christian shrines in Rome in order to foster a profound sense of Church
  • Visits the places of Don Bosco to foster a deepening of one’s own charismatic identity as a Salesian missionary
  • Evaluate one’s own experiences in order to make a Christian and Salesian rereading of one’s own life