The mandate to “go and proclaim” denotes urgency, action, clarity, careful consideration and commitment. This is the general impression that the document of the 18th General Congregation imprint on us lay collaborators. The sole determination of the 18th GC that is to follow Jesus Christ closely who chose poverty for Himself seems to be a reverberating mandate of our vocation as baptized Christians. It is consistent, provocative and radical. It leaves us asking: “Have we been authentic in our Christian discipleship? How grounded are we in the poverty of Christ in the context of our mission in school. Despite this questioning, we are impelled by the determination with a sort of joyful anticipation for what can be done and what can happen in the next six years as we embark ourselves into a renewed commitment to the shared mission. Although we humbly recognize our personal struggles and limitations, we are hopeful because the six calls that were highlighted in the document, namely: common discernment, ecological protection and integration, response to the cry of the migrants and refugees, engagement with the youth, openness to the Spirit, and universal promotion of union and articulation serve as our guideposts and source of direction.

 

As an educative family, we share the following personal impressions on the varied levels of context as to our functions and responsibilities. We concede our short-sightedness and the lack of depth of our understanding of common discernment. We see the need to understand discernment on the personal level before entering into communitarian discernment. We are ruminating on the questions: What is common discernment? What is the process? When is this needed? It is imperative for us be in the rhythm of discernment so that from which we can ascertain our actions to align to the 18th GC determination for the next six years. We see the need of common discernment to see the connection between our ecological projects and social apostolate to varied realities. We also admit the need for self-conversion and a renewed commitment to heed the cries of the environment, as well as to our marginalized brothers and sisters. As educators and parents, we recognized the wisdom and wealth of listening to the young people who can conjure more creative and non-conventional responses to the realities of our times. Hence, we are compelled to be more deliberate in giving them spaces of encounter, processing, clarifying and deepening their experiences through values integration. We recognize that more can still be done to make the Holy Sacraments attractive to them. We pray and hope that we remain perceptive and receptive to the steps of the Spirit just like the Samaritan woman who received Jesus’ Living Water for us to be renewed and gradually become credible witnesses to discipling the ways of Jesus who chose poverty for Himself. We hope that our modest measures within our areas of responsibilities can forge ripple effect such that more, especially the young under our care, may see, feel, and become inspired by our growth in the style of Jesus according to the charism of Mother Foundress St. Candida Maria de Jesus.

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