The Enrichment Program For Post Novices In The Region Of Asia Oceania
Br. Johanes Maria Vianney, OMI
Monday October 4th to Friday 8th October 2021, the Wisma de Mazenod Scholasticate Community joined a five-day Enrichment Program which was organized by the AOFC (Asia Oceania Formation’s Committee) in collaboration with the OST (Oblate School of Theology) using zoom application. This online activity started at 18.00 and ends at 20.00 (Indonesia Local Time), maybe too early for San Antonio 06.00 am, maybe also too late for Australia 22.00 pm. This Enrichment Program was attended by all OMI Brothers who were at the Post-Novice level throughout the Asia-Oceania region, from Indonesia, the Philippines, Japan, Korea, Australia, Bangladesh, Pakistan, India, Colombo, and Jaffna. This enrichment program provided a deeper understanding of the Founding Father’s charism and oblate values. On this Enrichment Program, the participants reflected a theme: “Internalization of Oblate Values”.
For five days, the participants were invited to explore topics related to the world of the Oblates and of course the charism of the Founding Father, Saint Eugene de Mazenod. Participants were also invited to present the Scholasticate in each area where they live. The dynamics of the short meeting lasted only about two hours, but could be managed into activities that enriched the formandi. The OST team who are indeed competent in presenting topics helped all participants to understand clearly the meaning of the Oblate Values, the way to internalize the values and to actualize those into daily life.
What also very enrich the participants was a sharing group for 45 minutes which is held in a breaking room zoom whose aim is to deepen further the material that has been conveyed through personal and community experiences. From this short meeting, the participants were invited to communicate each other and get to know each other acknowledging that they came from different units. By sharing, of course, the participants were invited to understand and explore the Oblate values which are sometimes forgotten. Even Father Bonga who lives in the community of Aix en Provence France said that the basic strength of Oblate values comes from the Founding Father and also through spiritual worship in the community and most importantly the book of Constitution and Rules of our Congregation which should not be forgotten because it is a part of the Oblate values.
The Enrichment activity also invited the participants to think broadly about the world of missions and religious life. Even though being a missionary is not easy, from the time of formation, Oblates have being trained to be ready to become missionaries, even if it’s just learning. Learning is also part of the mission as said by Fr. Thomas Klosterkamp OMI in his presentation about actualizing Oblate values into practice. All of the presentation given by Oblate Fathers Frank SANTUCCI, David MUÑOZ, Thomas KLOSTERKAMP, Cleber LOPEZ, and Julito DELA CRUZ were interconnected and complimentary to each other. Those all really support our calling to serve the poor and most abandoned.
Finally, the participants were reminded again that all the process of this vocation journey comes from the Lord Jesus who has chosen us to be His disciples by being ready to become a missionary who is happy and full of joy proclaiming the Good News to poor people around the world with all their difficulties and challenges that come with it. We young Oblates are happy with our choice as religious missionary, and so grateful for everything we have a beautiful gift of the Oblate Charism. Oblate Charism is not something frozen in texts, but keep alive and dynamic in in the hearts of every Oblate whatever the changing context of world is.