Equipping New Tools for the Same Tasks


BACOLOD, Negros Occidental – March 1-2, 2024- all the Local Vocation Promoters (LVP) from the different communities of the Province of St. Ezekiel Moreno together with the Augustinian Recollect Sisters and the OAR Nuns of St. Ezekiel Monastery in Barangay Tangub, Bacolod gathered for a two-day worshop with the topic “St. Augustine and the Art of Accompaniment.” The said activity aimed at equipping all the vocation promoters as they accompany the youth in their vocational discernment. Fray Fabian Martin Gomez, OAR, General Councilor and the Head of the General Secretariat for Vocation and Initial Formation, and Fray Rafael Castillo, OAR facilitated the activity.

In the morning of the first day, the topic that was shared by the facilitators to the participants during the conference include Augustinian Recollect Accompaniment where it included the decalogue for Augustinian Recollect Accompaniment. The decalogue includes: (1) heart to heart, where the companion and the accompanied listen to each other, (2)  the school of the one and only Amster, (3) empathy with another’s experience of restlessness and quest (4) attune with the direction of one’s deepest desire (5) trust the works of the Holy Spirit (6) a pilgrim with another pilgrim who wants to become a new creation in Jesus Christ (7) from humility to acceptance, (8) from the word (9) from community, in, through and for the Church (10) love the person and be with him/her from the contemplative sense of life. In the afternoon, the session centered on St. Augustine and the Art of Accompaniment. It was a recorded talk given by Fr. Bruno D’Andrea. The session provides some fundamental orientations for accompaniment, namely, (1) humility, that is knowledge of the self, (2) charity, (3) the art of listening, (4) the art of asking the right questions, (5) helping others know themselves again, (6) the enlightenment that the Holy Scriptures give, (7) unnecessary dependence from the companion (8) accommodation, and lasty (9) creating a community of belonging and mission. The first day of the meeting ended with the celebration of the Holy Eucharist with Fray Don Besana, OAR from the community of San Sebastian College- Recoletos de Canlubang as the presiding minister.

On the second day, the topic on Spiritual Accompaniment in the Letters of St. Augustine was given. The said accompaniment has these features for discernment: empathy, objectivity, light of the Word, emotional setting, prayer and perseverance, and community. The process of Vocational Accompaniment Worksheets was given to the participants. The process has sixteen worksheets: vocation summary, introduction to accompaniment, concept of vocation, general information, autobiography, affectivity/ sexuality, qualities and personal limitations, being a person with others, friendship and relationship with Jesus, kinds of Christian life (different vocations), lifestyle of the Augustinian Recollect, listening to Jesus (prayer), following Jesus in freedom, reading one’s life according to St. Augustine, Augustinian Recollects (who we are, where we are, what we do), global and local social reality, and service to the Church. It was pointed out that the said worksheets need not to be followed step by step. Some worksheets may not be used depending on the response and growth of the person being accompanied. The second and the last day of the workshop culminated with the celebration of the Holy Eucharist with Fray Rafael Castillo, OAR as the presiding minister. 

After an input was given, the participants were asked to go to their respective groups for sharing. In it, they made their comments, areas that can be improved, and their personal experience. As pointed out by the facilitators, the Local Vocation Promoters, as a result of the workshop, were not given additional responsibilities nor tasks. As the participants reported to their respective communities, they are to do the same tasks but with new tools they can use.  

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Fray Paul Demillones, OAR

Fray Paul Demillones, OAR