Salesian Missionary Vocation 2015
HOW CAN YOU DISCERN SALESIAN MISSIONARY VOCATION?
1. Persons involved in the discernment process at (4) various levels
- The candidate: evaluation, accompaniment by a spiritual guide, of the confessor.
- The community where the confrere lives: Rector, formators
- The Provincial and his Council
- The General Councilor for the Missions
2. General criteria vocational discernment
Three essential aspects: (1) Right intention, (2) Free decision, (3) necessary qualities
According to Vatican II (Ad Gentes 25) the suitability or the necessary virtues of the missionary, other than the specific lay, religious or priestly vocation, are the following:
- A certain moral strength to overcome difficulties of the mission;
- Patience, understanding, humility, charity in order to discover authentic values in other religions;
- Supernatural spirit to make mission more than something merely philanthropic or social;
- A clear witness and sign of the Gospel to non-believers;
- Communion and obedience in the common apostolate, under the guidance of the local bishop.
In our Salesian experience, in general, we distinguish four fundamental qualities in order to start a serious discernment of the Salesian missionary vocation:
- Spirit of faith and rootedness in Christ, because the missionary must proclaim Christ;
- Capacity for community life, because one will normally be part of an intercultural community;
- Capacity for self-emptying (kenosis) and sacrifice, because his is a life of gratuitous service;
- Robust personality, good health, with the capacity to learn languages.
3. Counter indications of the missionary vocation ad gentes
- The search for adventure and simple desire to change the place where one works;
- Urged on by a third person: parents, confreres, friends, ...
- Escape from one’s own relational, personal, vocational problems, …
- It is to be absolutely avoided sending a confrere as a missionary who has problems fitting in to the ordinary community life in his Province of origin. Once sent to another culture, he will normally find a more demanding environment, which would not be helpful in solving his problems.
4. Insufficient elements
It is not enough to be a ‘good confrere and a good Salesian’; the missionary vocation is a new call not common to every Salesian in the Congregation.
It is not enough to have some vague missionary idea: for example a vague wish to work for poor youngsters or in a poor setting …
It is not enough just to be enthusiastic about the missions, since this may not last long if this does not mature by developing concrete attitudes.
5. Specific criteria for discernment (for the candidate, the Provincial and Council)
( ) Good health, human maturity and psychological balance
( ) Relational capacity, sense of responsibility in the mission, Community-oriented person
( ) Capacity to adapt to the local and Salesian culture, to the culture different from one’s own
( ) Personal prayer life, a life centered on the Eucharist.
( ) Respect for others (lay mission partners, the young), for the different cultures, religions
( ) Commitment to the new country and culture ad vitam, leaving everything for the Kingdom
(jpg Version of the MISSION DAY ANIMATION booklet ENGLISH)