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24.06.2023 06:15:58 283x read.
ConCon 2023, Roncalli Retreat Centre, Salatiga, Indonesia Report Day-9, Thursday, 22 June Reported by: Bro. Valentinus Daru Setiaji

ConCon 2023, Roncalli Retreat Centre, Salatiga, Indonesia


Report Day-9, Thursday, 22 June


Reported by: Bro. Valentinus Daru Setiaji

In a quiet and composed mood, the House began the day with a morning prayer led by Bro. Fransiskus Asisi Dwiyanto, the leader of Indonesia province. He took us through the great gift of God, Mary, from whom we can draw inspiration on how to walk our consecrated life, learn about our changing selves and grow older gracefully. The focus of this morning's prayer was particularly meant to get us ready for the discussion of today, which is about the care of our senior members and Mary, the source of Joy, trust, and courage. 

When the house converged in the hall for today's first session, the Chairman outlined the day’s schedule: Care of our Senior members (Resolution 20A); Mary's Immaculate Conception Source of Joy, Trust, and Courage (Resolution 30B); and Promotion of Association (Resolution 29B). Afterward, he invited Bro. Wim Luiten, Superior of the RHN to share his experience and reflection on the care of our elderly brothers in The Netherlands. 


Bro. Wim began his sharing by stressing that caring for our elderly brothers is the primary responsibility of the board of RHN. Constitutional motivation can be found in article 30 of our Constitutions: More than work, and the new article "The Elderly Brothers". Growing old is a time to practice "letting go". It is not an easy task. The elderly need attentive care and accompaniment. Thanks to the Team FIC, which consists of four dedicated ladies who work hand in hand with the board of RHN to do that crucial task. 

In his presentation, Bro. Wim shared several points of attention meant to guide us in dealing with our vulnerable confreres, a.o: a) To know the brother and to explore the state of the other person is essential, b) explore feelings by asking questions calmly, c) be patient if it takes more effort for the person to say something, d) listen carefully and acknowledge the sadness, not talking around it, e) show endurance: often hearing the same story, f) man is the measure of all things: try to empathize with the person, g) visit regularly and allow sharing, h) offer space but keep your own border,i) find patience and strength, e.g. to absorb anger .      


Bro. Wim also explained a little bit about the future of the RHN, some concerns on how to form a Council, seek alternatives for governance by involving lay council members, and how the care of brothers should be guaranteed. 

The moving part of his presentation was when he shared the reflection of Bro. Nico, one of the elderly brothers who lives in "De Beyart" care home. The title of his reflection is "The Blessings of Aging." To be happy in old age is possible when we have faith, sincerely thank God for everything, and are ready to share continuously with others. In effect, the House was very impressed by Bro.Wim's sharing.

Some important points arose from the discussion, a.o. all provinces must prepare their brothers for old age. It is advisable that they also develop/plan programs, train professionals who will provide the needed care for our senior members, and establish a team that will collaborate in this task. To conclude the session, Bro. Augustine thanked Bro. Wim and commended him for sharing his experience with the House on this vital matter. 

After a short break, participants returned to the hall for the second session to discuss Resolution 30B. Through this Resolution, the GCH urges the GC to help our brothers understand (the dogma of) the Immaculate Conception of Mary. Bro. Valentinus took the House through a presentation based on the conclusion of last year's Con-Con in Ghana and gave them some questions to guide the discussion. One of the questions was, "What concrete actions have you taken to follow up on our congregational conference on this matter?" In answer to this, the Provincial Superiors gave their contributions: Ghana province took Mary as the theme during canonical visitation to the brothers, and the yearly provincial recollection. In Malawi, Mary Immaculate Conception became the center of their reflection in the annual retreat. The provinces of Chile and Indonesia have also taken some actions on this essential matter. At the end of the session, the Chairman declared that the third session would begin at 16:00 instead of 15:30 and asked Bro. Frans Dwiyatno to conclude the session with a prayer.


The last session discussed Resolution 29B: Promotion of Association, facilitated by Bro. Raphael. He reminded the House through a powerpoint presentation on what was done at the last Congregational Conference in Ghana. In his presentation, Bro. Raphael emphasized the need to treat our co-workers with dignity and respect. In fact, they are the first associates of FIC brothers. The Resolution inspires us to establish closer relationships with our co-workers and pay attention to them by giving them the opportunity to know and participate in the spirituality, ideals, and values of the Congregation. No less important is to make FIC visible in our institutions. The result of the discussion on possible ways of promoting association among the laity and people of goodwill is supported by the entire House. In particular we are to continue to create opportunities for our co-workers and collaborators to know who an brother FIC is, our identity, mission, values, etc. To end the session, the Chairman thanked Bro. Raphael for his facilitation.  


After having the spiritual fellowship in the Eucharistic celebration followed by a fraternal fellowship through the dinner, the GC convened with the Provincial Superior of Malawi at 20:00. The meeting ended at 21.05 and concluded with a prayer by Bro. Raphael. Marching towards the end of the Concon, the participant's enthusiasm and commitment to carry out their tasks remained high, making the day, indeed, a fruitful one.

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