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ROME–After two weeks of living together and learning, last Saturday, February 22, 2020, the second edition of the School of Formation of the Augustinian Recollects ‘In Imum Cordis’ concluded. On the last day, the participants made an evaluation and reached a conclusion shared by the vast majority: this process is part of the revitalization of the Augustinian Recollect charism. The School of Formation, organized by the General Secretariat on Formation, is helping to renew the formators themselves, helping them to detect problems they did not know in their surroundings. This, indirectly, also benefits the formation of future Augustinian Recollects.
The meeting, which has taken place in Rome, has continued the line that began to draw the first meeting last year. The 30 religious formators of the different stages have continued to go deep into the heart, learning about different issues related to the formative process and accompaniment. The meeting has revolved around four main themes. First of all, about personal accompaniment. In this regard, participants have learned counseling techniques and practiced on how to accompany people who approach them. José Carlos Bermejo spoke to those present.
The family of origin was another of the relevant blocks. The religious reflected on the importance of families in the development of the vocation. And, as explained by the psychologists María Jesús Boticario and Cristina Pérez, the father and mother of the religious can affect community life and formation … This issue led to a task: that the formators work their own family. The Prior General addressed the third of the main themes: the Augustinian Recollect Charism in formation. Fray Miguel Miró, OAR, spoke about the interiority and service of the Augustinian Recollects to the Church. It was a day of reflection.
Abuse prevention was the last of the areas. This fell on Daniel Portillo, priest and member of the Commission on the Protection of Minors of the Order of Augustinian Recollects. The relationships of power that may exist between formators and formands were reflected, and how this can lead to situations of abuse of power or sexuality.
The Augustinian Recollect formators also had the opportunity to have a talk with Mons. José Rodríguez Carballo, Archbishop Secretary of the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life. The bishop responsible for religious life in the Holy See commented on basic issues. It was a kind talk in which the religious could ask different questions. He encouraged everyone to take care of different aspects of formation for religious life. The Prior General was present at the gathering.
The School of Formation ‘In Imum Cordis’ does not conclude with this meeting. The formators will continue working throughout the year on the issues discussed in this second edition. And it is that this school is not limited to a meeting, it continues to be working throughout the year. All this to channel the third meeting, which will take place next year.