By FIN Soc Com
Cavite, the Philippines, FIN Province, 21 September 2021 -- Last September 14-16, 2023, the practical trainees of the Philippine North Province (FIN) had their formative encounter and seminar at Balay Indang, Indang, Cavite. Their seminar had the theme of “Ministerial Boundaries, Power, and Self-Care.” The talks and sessions were given and facilitated by Fr. Jake Adrian E. Lopez, SDB, delegate for the Commission on Formation of the FIN province. The practical trainees were also accompanied by their current in-charge, Fr. Marlon Eleosida, SDB.
The series of sessions began with the explanation of boundaries in ministerial relationships. The first part had the focus on laying down important definitions of what ministerial and ministries are, and what boundaries, and their different kinds, mean and entail. Within these definitions are also found distinctions made between boundary crossings and boundary violations, two terms that seemingly share the same meaning but are in fact different from one another. Boundary crossings, for example, can be beneficial to the one being ministered to by the minister. There are some significant crossings of boundaries like going out of one’s time, another such boundary that exists between the minister and the one being ministered to, to give out a service or render an act of kindness. Boundary violations are on the other hand completely harmful to the one being ministered to, often resulting in the destruction of otherwise helpful relationships.
The importance of self-care was also discussed to the practical trainees, with special emphasis on sustaining healthy relationships with regard to oneself, others, and God. Self-care particularly entails maintaining taking care not to be burned out and stressed, relating more with one’s friends and confreres in the Salesian community, and being faithful to a regular schedule of spiritual exercises such as the ones advised by Don Bosco Salesians should do, namely, morning meditation and a daily visit to the Blessed sacrament.
The input given by Fr. Jake to the practical trainees surely enriched the young Salesians in their own pastoral experiences as a new school year began. The gathering also provided an opportunity for the practical trainees to bond together and reconnect, sharing significant experiences relevant to where they are now in their pastoral formation.