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Hello sisters and brothers,
Please find attached letter from from our president Fr. Rodrigo Moya and please share to other members of the Verbum Dei family.
Heirs of a Charism, Open to the Dynamism of the Spirit
18th of February, 2019
Dear brothers and sisters of the FMVD,
I hope you are very well, living with joy and generosity to the work of evangelization. I cordially greet you all from Rome. I am writing you to transmit the general objective of the government plan for this sexennium. In the General Board held in December 2018, we were able to elaborate the government plan, almost in its entirety. I found it very interesting to share with you the spirit of the general objective in the light of the V Ordinary Congress. I hope it is very helpful for all.
General objective of the sexennium plan:
Looking at the world and the signs of the times, we will promote in the entire FaMVD, a missionary, prophetic, itinerant and expansive spirit, so that we can joyfully form apostles and evangelizing communities. To do this, we deepen into the roots of our charism and legacy received from Jaime Bonet so that we renew our missionary consecration and we transmit it with creative fidelity to the new generations.
1. Looking at the world and the signs of the times
This is our desire: to lift up our eyes and to see the great harvests of the world and learn to read the signs of the times of today's society. I recognize that we have lived a long period of the foundational stage, in which circumstances have necessarily led us to turn our attention on ourselves, to strengthen the internal structure and the FMVD's proper law: structure of the government, the necessary rules to live our consecration and charism, (Constitutions, Directories, Rules, etc.). It is a necessary stage centered on "strengthening the pegs of the tent" so as to expand and guarantee the permanence and transmission of the VD charism. We acknowledge with gratitude that this stage, though it is not completely finished, has done big realizations.
The V Ordinary Congress has made us see that after all we have lived, this is the time for us to lift up our eyes and see the world to which we are sent in mission. It is time to look beyond ourselves and it is time to see the great harvest to which the Lord sends us to proclaim the Good News. That is why in this sexennium, in a special way, we want to look at the world and the signs of the times.
2. We will promote in the entire FaMVD, a missionary, prophetic, itinerant and expansive spirit.
The main task that the V Ordinary Congress has entrusted to the new General Board is to impel and encourage the mission of the entire VD family. We are asked as a government, in a special way, to engrave a missionary imprint and to promote the apostolic dynamism throughout the Verbum Dei. Certainly, it is a daring and demanding task, but we recognize in it the will of God and we count on his Grace to carry it out. We are excited to engrave a missionary imprint and a prophetic, itinerant and expansive spirit on the entire missionary family.
- A missionary imprint. It is necessary that all the members of the FaMVD grow in conscience and in experience of knowing ourselves hot-branded for a mission in this world. The fulfilment of the mission entrusted to us by Jesus, as Pope Francis says, “is not just a part of my life or a badge I can take off; it is not an “extra” or just another moment in life. Instead, it is something I cannot uproot from my being without destroying my very self. I am a mission on this earth; that is the reason why I am here in this world”. For us, this mission are with these main characteristics:
- A prophetic spirit. In order to embody and engrave a missionary imprint, it is necessary to enliven our prophetic dimension and grow in the preaching of the Gospel. We would like that others may identify us, in a special way, through our preaching: an existential preaching, that reaches the hearts of people and prepared in the warmth of daily prayer. A preaching based on the truths of faith and on the personal assimilation of our themes of “life and love”.
- Itinerant and expansive spirit. Missionary itinerancy is another aspect that has been highlighted, both in the Family Symposium and in the V Ordinary Congress. It has been an aspect that has led us to question ourselves whether our intention in founding a community is to establish ourselves in it forever or if we have the desire and interest to leave a missionary family mature enough and formed so that the members of the FMVD expand and go to other places. By itinerant, I do not mean to make constant changes "without rhyme or reason" in the missionary life, but to embody the evangelizing model of our patron Saint Paul, who formed evangelizing communities; and his itinerant experience was to encourage the disciples' faith and to form “relevos” (successors) that he could leave in his place. I think that Verbum Dei is now in a moment where we can either choose stability of sedentary model or we can be defined by an evangelizing model where itinerancy is an essential ingredient of our missionary spirit. This depends solely on us and on the options we take. Furthermore, we will be expansive if we truly live this missionary and itinerant spirit.
3. So that we can joyfully...
I must confess that in the first formulation of the general objective it was not included the adverb “joyfully”, and that a board member said: "I miss the word joy somewhere." This intervention was echoed in all of us because we recognized that joy is an essential ingredient in evangelization. Carrying the Good News of the Gospel is truly authentic when we do it joyfully and willingly, when we are the first to enjoy it.
However, I am aware that evangelizing also has a component of effort, as the Psalm: “Those who go out weeping, carrying seed to sow, will return with songs of joy, carrying sheaves with them.” I hope that in our communities there is a smell of joy and happiness that makes us attractive and authentic evangelizers. In order to make this visible, we must fight against everything that smells to persons who are grouchy, gloomy, hopeless, sad, irritable and bitter; being persons as such, we would lose the joy of the Gospel.
4. Form apostles and evangelizing communities
Here is the intention and the purpose of our full-time dedication to prayer and ministry of the Word: to form apostles of Christ and evangelizing communities. Let us say that this is the "spearhead" of our mission and our specific and genuine contribution to the Church. The first step is to form persons sent to the mission and who are trained to give reason for their faith. The second, which is more difficult, is to form communities of evangelical life with an evangelizing dynamism. Nevertheless, to "form apostles and evangelizing communities," it is necessary that we are not at the center of our evangelizing activity and we know how to do and to form people in faith, who in turn can train others. Making our local communities, communities of evangelical life that evangelize others, is really a challenge that we have ahead in our missionary work. It is a challenge that we want to face with the Grace of God, in this sexennium that we have ahead.
5. To do this, we deepen into the roots of our charism and legacy received from Jaime Bonet
Another beautiful thing is that we are growing communally in the awareness that we are heirs of a charism that does not belong to us and that in order to develop it and transmit it to others we need to be open to the dynamism of the Spirit. I believe that in this post-foundational stage, we need to look with gratitude at the life of our founder Jaime Bonet and deepen into the roots of this inheritance that we have received from him. We are in the stage in which we must necessarily enhance and strengthen the historical heritage, so that it constitutes for us an important root and foundation in the living-out and transmission of the charism.
6. So that we renew our missionary consecration and we transmit it with creative fidelity to the new generations.
As you can see, the general objective of the government plan is beautiful, but at the same time ambitious, because it intends to renew and vitalize our missionary consecration. It requires the effort of all and the co-responsibility of all. Without this co-responsibility of all to live and faithfully transmit the Gift we have received, not only that this gift may faithfully reach new generations, but also, it is the specific contribution that we give to the Church as Fraternity. For this, we rely on the Holy Spirit, who accompanies the evangelizing journey of the whole Church for the good of our society and our world.
Rodrigo Carrizo Moya
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