Every year in August, we, the Canossian Sons of Charity in the Formation House, gather together as one family to start our planning for a formative Journey. This formative year (2020-2021) started with a three-day planning session in the presence of our Community Superior, Fr. Mateo Suarez, our formator, FdCC, Fr. Ralph Jayson Santos, FdCC, and the five Religious Brothers.
On the first day, with God’s love and mercy, we look back on our journey with gratitude and we were thankful for what God has given to our community over the past year. This is also a precious opportunity for each of us to look back at ourselves to see our achievements, our problems, our shortcomings, and our limitations that we have encountered in the past year. To help us identify these, we have asked to answer the question “What are the sets of feelings are you unwilling to experience?” We then transformed it from the negative feeling it is to a positive expectation from which we have formed our objectives and were able to propose our community project for the Academic Year 2020 -2021.
The second day was the most important. We spent this day discussing two topics. On the morning meeting, our main discussion’s focal point was on the Four Pillars: community life, prayer life, apostolate, and Academic life. Based on each pillar, we have set goals to achieve in this formative year. The goal for Community Life is “to be welcoming and supportive” and “to be creative listeners,” for Prayer life, “to be diligent, active and responsible learners,” for Academic Life, “To be led by Christ, [and to] become Christ-like leaders for others,” for the Apostolate life.
Taking from these goals and our chosen biblical icon, “The Journey to emmaus” (Lk. 24:13-35), we came up with our theme which says: “Live, Love, Learn and Lead.” The Theme of the year is a guideline for us to walk together in brotherly love. The road to Emmaus is a road that each Canossian must walk as we journey on the road of faith, hope, love, sharing, and meeting Christ Jesus.
Our afternoon schedule was a talk about the topic “Youth Ministry and Project Initiation”. We were taught about How we should initiate projects, developing the work breakdown structures, risk management, and closing the projects.
Because of the global pandemic, our apostolate life this year also changed. Instead of being sent to the parish in Tondo (The San Pablo Apostol Parish), or other pastoral areas or communities as we had regularly done in the previous years, this year, we were forced to stay in the seminary and do apostolate online. The situation is inconvenient, but fortunately, with the aid of technology, we can still connect with people with whom we want to share our mission and the word of God outside the seminary.
The last day of our planning ended with the “Palarong Kanosyano,” which was a mini sports fest held here in the seminary. As simple as the games played and the activities may be, it still brought us a lot of joy and laughter. We are hoping that our new formative year would also bring us as much joy and happiness as we did on that sports day. Finally, we ended our activities with the celebration of the Holy Mass which was led by Rev. Fr. Ralph Jayson Santos, FdCC, which was followed by a simple dinner in commemoration of the success of the activity.