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14.10.2019 00:26:20 660x read.
The 10th Day of The Leadership Workshop and Con-con Friday, 11 October 2019.

The 10th Day of The Leadership Workshop and Con-con

Friday, 11 October 2019

Report by Bro. Valentinus Daru Setiaji


We started the tenth day of the Leadership Workshop/Con-Con with a morning prayer led by Bro. Andrew Makocho on behalf of Malawi delegation. The theme was “Steadfastness” taken from the ten virtues of Bro. Bernardus Hoecken. Some quotations from “The Rules of Conduct of Bro. Bernardus Hoecken” on “Steadfastness” were read by the brothers in turns as part of the reading and reflection. Some of the inspirations cited from Brother Bernard's writings include: “Steadfastness is more rooted in faith and confidence…. The Superior must proceed with fairness and steadfastness, as everyone knows his office is beset by great and burdensome difficulties…. We can neither strengthen nor increase our faith except through suffering. That is why the much suffering apostle Peter says: The same afflictions (as yours) are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world (I Peter 5:9)”.

It is interesting that Bro. Bernardus Hoecken quotes suffering as one of the conditions to strengthen our faith and make us grow in steadfastness. Yet many people escape from suffering. When suffering comes - it's definitely inevitable in our lives - they struggle by choosing a lifestyle that seems to provide happiness, even though it is not real and very temporary. Such life choices, instead of making us more steadfast, it actually makes us move from one type of suffering to another.

One of the ways of sufferings that results from such a lifestyle is the suffering that must be endured by mother earth. Pope Francis also saw such a reality, that the erroneous human lifestyle that had led him/her to decline also degenerate mother earth. In his Encyclical Document “Laudato Si” (LS), Pope Francis states: The human environment and the natural environment deteriorate together (LS 48). A certain way of understanding human life and activity has gone awry, to the serious detriment of the world around us (LS 101). Furthermore, he explained the importance of the role of leadership to create a better relationship between the two parties, the human and his/her sister earth. Pope Francis states: These situations have caused sister earth, along with all the abandoned of our world, to cry out, pleading that we take another course. Never have we so hurt and mistreated our common home as we have in the last two hundred years. Yet we are called to be instruments of God our Father, so that our planet might be what he desired when he created it and correspond with his plan for peace, beauty and fullness. The problem is that we still lack the culture needed to confront this crisis. We lack leadership capable of striking out on new paths and meeting the needs of the present with concern for all and without prejudice towards coming generations (53). 

In that spirit, we tried to spent some time in our Workshop to learn together what “Eco Leadership” is. This is also in line with the General Chapter 2018 resolution on caring for our environment. For that reason, the first part of the morning session was meant to deepen our awareness on “Eco Leadership”. The Provincial Councils of Ghana and Indonesia, who have been asked by the General Council to prepare a presentation on “Eco Leadership”, became the facilitators of this session. 

First, Bro. Michael Sidharta, on behalf of Indonesia Province, presented what they had prepared. In Indonesia province, “Eco Leadership” is understood first of all as a practical step on how a leader can motivate his followers to be involved in caring for the integrity of creation. They don’t emphasize “Eco Leadership” theoretically but by action. For that reason, uniting with the “Caring of Our Environment” movement in the Church and society, Indonesia Province set a program to start the awareness creation from our own backyard, for example by planting trees and flowers in our communities or schools, implementation of 4Rs (Reduce, Re-use, Recycle, and Repair) principle in daily life, making and using organic fertilizer, etc.

After a few remarks and short discussion, Ghana Province took the opportunity to deliver their presentation. Bro. Clement Naangpire enlightened the participants on the basic understanding of “Eco Leaderhsip”. “Eco-Leadership” is more than just “Eco-friendly” or “Eco-Lifestyle”. “Eco-Leadership” is a kind of integration of several leadership approaches, namely the Controller, The Therapist, and The Messiah, to adapt to the context of the new environment using the “eco-system” discourse in order to achieve its goal, and also to care for people and the planet. Bro. Clement explained that “Eco-Leadership” is founded on connectivity, recognizing how networking has transformed social/religious relations and our interdependence with each other and the environment. In his presentation, Bro. Clement also underlined the importance of leadership formation based on the fact that leaders cannot be trained but are formed through multiple experiences. This includes hardships and sufferings in life, as mentioned by Bro. Bernardus in his “Rules of Conduct”.

Grateful for the availability of the provinces to share their rich experience and knowledge in “Eco-Leadership”, we moved to the last part of the morning session. Bro. Remy Nyukorong, the General Treasurer, was in charge of facilitating the last session. He presented on “the Spirituality and Administration of Goods: Economy at the service of the Charism and Mission” based on the document of Pope Benedict XVI entitled “Caritas in Veritate”. The document issues a vigorous call for transparency and vigilance on the administration of our goods to guarantee a proper functioning. He also highlighted the need of collaboration and dialogue with the local ordinary and the lay experts due to the complexity of economic and financial issues today. To end his presentation, Bro. Remy said that to be responsible and accountable in the use of our goods means to be in service of our mission, thus  we should start from small, everyday choices. Everyone is called to do their part, to use the goods to make choices in solidarity, to care for creation, to confront the poverty of families who live next door. This means acquiring a life style in the name of justice and sharing.”

We didn’t have an afternoon session. Participants were free to use the rest of the time according to their needs. In the evening, we concluded the program of today with the usual Eucharistic celebration.

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