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Tuesday, December 11 2018  - 3 User Online  

08.08.2016 18:32:53 642x read.
Daily Report Congregational Conference and Formators' Meeting 2016 at Syalom Retreat House in Bandungan, Indonesia.

So soon, the 2 weeks Congregational Conference (ConCon) and Formators meeting has come to a close. Looking back with gratitude, it would be said that, it has not only been a time of enriching experiences both at the personal and group levels but also a time of relaxing and fruitful deliberations all aimed arriving at a holistic formation programme for our young brothers as well as attending the governance needs of our congregation. The international blend of participants added flair to our deliberations, liturgy and social gatherings.
Going further, it is refreshing to recapitulate some events of the past two weeks. The first two days of the first week were devoted for recollection. The days that followed highlighted formative issues that covered topics such as: formation for consecrated life, the role of emotions, affective formation and healing of past memories. The call of the 2012 General Chapter for a reflective document on our Constitutions took centre stage on the last working day of the first week. The draft documents on the subject were subjected to further scrutiny in the various provincial groups and the outcomes of the group discussion later presented and discussed in a plenum. 
The weekend though free, yet was inundated with exciting tours around the city of Semarang as well as some places of tourist attraction and historical interest. Some of these places included: The Gedung Batu Temple / Sam Poo Kong (the oldest Chinese Temple in Central Java), The Blenduk Church (the oldest protestant church in Central Java) and a Buddhist monastery (Vihara Buddhagaya Watugong). The tour ended with a nice treat to a typical Indonesian traditional lunch in a fish pond restaurant over shadowed by Mt. Ungaran. 
Sunday was equally exciting as the previous day. Some participants went on pilgrimage to a Marian shrine at Ambarawa while others decided to either stay in or exercise their mountaineering dexterity by going up to the Buddhist temples on the mountain close to the Shalom Retreat Centre. In the evening, the newly constructed beautiful edifices at Shalom Retreat Centre were blessed and commission in a Eucharistic celebration. This occasion brought together people from different walks of life, including Religious, Priests and lay faithful from the local community (Bandungan), Ambarawa and beyond. Present at this occasion also was a cross-section of the Muslim Community of Bandungan to pray with the Brothers in respect of the inauguration of the edifices. The Muslims prayer session concurrently run with a traditional Javanese dance of group of horsemen. This is a traditional dance that usually culminates in what they say “the dancers becoming possessed by the spirit of their ancestors”. At this stage of the dance, the horsemen gallop and neigh really like horses. Some even collapse, yell and roll uncontrollably and could even hurt themselves if not helped by the spiritual leaders of the team around. 
The second week of the Conference was marked by different activities. Monday saw us through with topics such as, Introduction to Counselling/spiritual direction and skills in basic counselling and spiritual direction treated. During the subsequent days that followed, participants split into their constituents groups with formators on one side and Provincial Superiors and General Council (GC) on the other side to concentrate on their respective meeting agendum. The formators on their part drew up a common FIC formation programme and concluded this with a whole day visit to the FIC formation houses in Muntilan. Provincial Superiors and GC in their deliberations looked at the various Provincial Council reports, preparation for the 2018 General Chapter, revision of the Congregational Statutes, possible FIC apostolic Congress, Financial matters as well as FIC spiritual journey. 
Following the sudden death of Bro. Bro. Nicolaus Prasadja which sad event occurred at dawn of 4th August, 2016, the programme of the today (Friday 5Th August, 2016) had to be altered to allow participants attend his funeral and burial Mass at Ambarawa. Thus, each meeting group only had an hour session this morning after which participants in solidarity with our Indonesian Brothers moved to Ambarawa to pay our last respect and give a befitting burial to the late Bro. Nicolaus. For most non Indonesian participants, it was a first time experience of a funeral in Indonesia. The funeral celebration could be described as a simple/modest Christian funeral coloured with subtle Islamic influence. Yet at the same time, it was colourful and moving with prominent attention given in gratitude for the life of the deceased as well as his legacies. The multitude of people at the funeral was unbelievable. The Church was heavily packed to its fullest capacity with Priest, Religious, Staff and co-workers of the Brothers, friends and relatives of the deceased and many other sympathisers from other walks of life who may have experience the late Bro. Nicolaus in one way or the other. After the funeral Mass, the burial took place in the Cemetery of the Brothers not too far away from the Brothers Community in Ambarawa.
At 4.00 pm participants reconvened to wrap-up the ConCon/Formators Meeting. The fruits of the Formators meeting (The Draft Common FIC formation programme) was presented to the entire house for further scrutiny and acceptance. This paved way for evaluation of the ConCon/Formators Meeting, followed by the closing address of the General Superior. In all, the evaluation suggested a positive and enriching experience by all participants. Participants also expressed gratitude and appreciation to the GC and the PC of Indonesia for their individual and collective efforts that yielded in a successful Conference. As usual, there were exchanges of gifts from Provinces among which the General Superior present the new FIC Logos to Ghana, Malawi and Chile Provinces who had earlier asked for them. Finally a prayer service was conducted by the GC to conclude the Conference. 
By Bro. Seregeous Dery.

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