Under the slogan “Leading by accompanying”, the VIII Meeting of Administrative Teams was held in Madrid. Members of these attended this annual event and from early morning the “Colegio Mayor Berrospe” was a ferment of greetings, hugs, exuberance, wrapped in the joy born of being reunited with so many people known and sharing the same mission.
With difficulty Charo Ros, a member of the EPOE succeeded in bringing us to silence in order to start the day with a moment of prayer. The icon of Emmaus accompanied us all the time as the best image for us to accompany and to accompany us on the road …
“You are the Word of Life, Jesus Master, Jesus Healer”, we listened to the song that prepares our heart for the Word: Apparition to the disciples of Emmaus; and then silence, interiorization for each one to ask where I am coming from, which way I’m traveling, who are those who are with me … ending with another song “Lord of mercy”.
Then Teresa Pinto FI, provincial of Spain-Italy, gives us her opening words and a message from our Constitutions referring to government and evoking the “leadership” exercised by our Foundress who did it not with that language but with a background that can help us here and now. Teresa searched in the Constitutions in Part IX, which looks ahead to Part X and gives a focus to all the others, this mission of leading in our way of being.
Here we are asked, “in addition to appropriate preparation, intelligence and practical judgment” for any Daughter of Jesus or brother / sister who renders this service, to be a person who trusts in God, placing himself/herself in the hands of the Father who loves everyone … to be an example of virtue, strength, love … the humility of one who acts as an equal, a model who builds and helps others grow.
She also spoke of prudence, fortitude in adversity, and if any of this be lacking, to always have a lot of love and kindness for the same congregation and for persons. And Teresa finished by reading a letter from our Foundress wherein are recommended the attitudes that a sister should have when she substitutes for the superior in the community.
Then Raquel Amigot FI, Delegate for Educative Works, presents Lola Arrieta CCV, who is with us today to guide us in the subject. She says that Lola is an expert in searching for tools to improve us: listening, accompaniment, deepening, listening … Lola says that she feels at home; she comes to share the passion for this deeply Christian, spiritual mediation which is that of a believer passionate about life; she has faith in it, to live a way of relating in which we make a difference in the style of Jesus, bringing together, including, wherever we are, accompanying as educators, fellow teachers, families, contexts…
The outline to follow will be:
– A look at the context
– What is accompaniment today and what is not
– In the face of this, what about us
– Some variations on accompaniment
Today we are witnessing an explosion of differences, crossings, to include or to exclude, remoteness, closeness, to accompany is a way of being in relationship, counter-cultural evangelical commitment, where I am you fit in so that you too may be there as well as I, to be and let be.
She reminds us of the great number of courses, methods, instruments seeking something similar: coaching, as an up and coming value, psychotherapy, guides, relationships … but if we are true Christians, if indeed we live faith as essential, to deepen, we have to seek a credible and undisputed leader and in that appreciation we have that mysterious God who brings the order of new creation.
Lola brings us closer to other authors — Frances Torralba, Francoise Doltò, Dolores Aleixandre – and led by her hand we go on this path of accompanying and being accompanied; we become sun-filled. We are and live in relationships, to be a person is a network of relationships and there enters leading by accompanying, to unfold that capacity, to be in relationship in the life that LIFE brings us, filled with dignity for all.
Accompaniment is a science of the heart, to discover, not to analyze as do the psychologists and sometimes soothsayers; spiritual accompaniment is a mediation, solidarity assistance when we get messages from others.
We can sum up in four verbs what accompaniment entails: to connect, to mediate, to clarify, to discern. We lead by accompanying when we create areas where it is possible to express oneself.
The day was intense, full of experiences, informal talks, varied sensations … at the end of the afternoon session we parted, we return to our places, we remain on track, hopefully with hearts afire through the word of Lola who redirects us to the Master and Lord of our lives, true and unconditional companion.
By María Luisa Berzosa FI