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The meeting of formators and vocation promoters in Colombia was quite a surprise

Vocation promoters and directors of formation from the nine Augustinian circumscriptions of Latin America met in Bogota, Colombia, from 11-15 March 2024

Organised by the Institute of Augustinian Spirituality and the International Commission of Initial Formation and Vocation Promotion of the OSA, 24 friars were able to address, in a practical and engaging way, this new workshop on Augustinian leadership and pedagogy; the penultimate one of the present course.

Accompanied by the general councillors, Fr Joseph Farrell and Fr Alex Lam, this new workshop has been "quite a surprise" because of the "methodological novelties" incorporated, in the words of Fr Lam.

"Elías Neira Arellano - coordinator of the talks - has done a great job this week. He has been able to give the workshop a very immersive and innovative approach. I think the participants will be taking away good resources on how the Augustinian leader can touch hearts, take responsibility, and transcend through accompaniment".

The importance of reconciliation, self-regulation and self-care, along with techniques on how to actively listen to enhance communication, were part of the Augustinian leadership workshop. Among other topics, the question of formal and informal authority was also addressed, as well as the impact that today's cultural forces have on our pastoral and evangelising efforts.

For his part, Fr Joseph was "very satisfied" with the way the workshop on Augustinian pedagogy was developed in this new phase of the meeting of formators. "I liked the fact that all the participants were able to reflect in small groups and then share their observations with the rest. Also the way of organising the projects of exteriority, interiority and transcendence which occupied the week … I was especially impressed with the way Fr Elias outlined the different types of leadership and pedagogical techniques through the teachings of St Augustine.”


Next Stop: University of San Agustin de Iloilo

On top of the work sessions, conferences and discussion groups, the formators and directors of vocation promotion also visited the church of St Augustine, where Eucharistic Adoration was celebrated to pray for "vocations to the Augustinian way of life."   Afterwards, according to Fr Farrell, "we had a very joyful dinner accompanied by Colombian music and dance.” Visits to the pre-novitiate, novitiate, the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Health in Bojacá and some of the houses of the Colombian Province took place over the following days.

Both Fr Farrell and Fr Lam expressed their gratitude to the Prior Provincial, Fr Israel Jiménez Ramírez, and the local organising team "who welcomed us and helped to make the week a success."

The final face-to-face workshop of the nine months’ course for formators and vocation promoters of the Order will take place at the University of St Augustine in Iloilo, Philippines, from 27-31 May 2024. 




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