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4 December

Saint John Damascene and John Calabria
1889, opening of the first Marist school in Colombia

Marist Calendar - December

Marist Province of Brazil Centro-Norte



Vocational Animators Course

19/02/2014: Brazil

The awakening of a vocational culture in consecrated religious life was the topic of the five-day Vocational Animators Course, which took place from January 20 to 24 at Holy Trinity House in Belo Horizonte/MG. With the participation of 102 religious, this course organized by the Brazil Centro-Norte Marist Province discussed the experiential, theological and anthropological aspects of the central topic, with the presence of representatives of other congregations for the first time.

Brother Márcio Henrique da Costa, Provincial Coordinator of Vocational Animation, opened the course with a presentation of the Vocational School project. This was followed by two workshops about Pastoral Planning and Life Projects, under the guidance of Eder D’Artagnan and Hildete Souza, respectively.

Professor José Lisboa, one of the guest lecturers, addressed the “theological foundations of vocation”, and motivated the group to analyze the history of Vocations Ministry in the congregations. “Vocation is always a divine initiative. God is always the point of departure. The person does not choose to follow Jesus Christ, but is chosen by the Father”, Lisboa recalled, and added that every vocation is a mission, not an end in itself. He also invited the participants to identify the difficulties they find in the process of vocational animation, and to share their vision about the “theology and ecclesiology of vocation” in the plenary session.

Sister Fatima Rodrigues lectured on the topic of affectivity and sexuality, and started with two questions: “What kind of religious life do we want? How do we affect others and are affected by them?”

Professor Carlos Eduardo Cardona spoke about the “social and anthropological elements of contemporary youth”. He analyzed the process of social construction of youth values, and the role that young people play in contemporary society. According to this researcher, the fears of today’s generation are to be disconnected from a connected world, to die (from violence), and to remain unemployed.

On the last day of the event, Patricia Ferreira, a psychoanalyst, spoke about the “development of personality and its implications in the accompaniment of vocations”. 

According to the participants, the course offered integration and a positive exchange of knowledge, contributing to a better understanding of contemporary youth. “It will help me organize the work with the Province and the Diocese where we presently live, working with human realities in a more creative way”, said Sister Valdete Pereira from the Congregation of the Piarist Sisters, of Tocantins.

The next course will be held in January 2015 with the support of the National CRB (Brazilian Conference of Religious) and the Catholic University of Brasilia.

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