QUEZON CITY, Philippines - In early 2015, in one of the core group's meetings at the Montfort Center in Scout Madriñan, a concern of some TTJ participants was brought to the attention of the core group that when we give sessions we tend to give inputs from our own perspectives and oftentimes the link between each session is not established. With that feedback, one good thing happened. Somebody listened and verbalized the need for a 'facilitators training'. And he did not only listen but went without hesitation to Father Mario Belotti with the proposal for a 'trainers training'. Listening, pondering, and putting into action. How Mary-like! And isn't that discipleship? And that opened the door for the three-day TTJ workshop. This can also be said as OPENING THE DOOR FOR JESUS CHRIST. Thus, on April 22 to 24, 2016, 2 whole days (8:30am to 5pm) and a half (8:30am to 12nn) the TTJ Workshop was realized. It was attended by the Montfortian Family (Montfort Missionaries, Daughters of Wisdom, Brothers of St. Gabriel), and the TTJ Facilitators from Manila, Cebu and Bicol.
On the first day of the workshop, Rev. Fr. Richard J. Magararu, SMM, the Delegation Superior of the SMM Philippines gave us an inspirational and welcome message. It was followed by the brief presentation of the history of the Totus Tuus Journey in the Philippines by Ms. Ana Marie F. Fondevilla. The workshop proper started with an evaluation of the past (1986-2016) where recommendations for the TTJ process as experienced in the past 30 years were given. In it major constraints or limitations encountered as participants and/or facilitators were also brought out. The sharing of experiences among the facilitators and the Montfortian family were very inspiring and motivating to all of us.
On the second day of the workshop, copies of the latest edition of the TTJ handbook entitled, JESUS LIVING IN MARY, Totus Tuus Journey were given to all participants. Father Mario, the author, introduced us to the methodology and led us as well or facilitated for us an actual session for us to familiarize its much enhanced methodology. But above all, before going through the methodology, Father Mario admonished facilitators to please be humble. BE HUMBLE! Beware of acts of pride like going off to a session with the intention or presumption of showing off our knowledge. He advised us Before you go on mission, sit for a while with your ego; dialogue with it and invite it to stand aside. Pray, consult and trust more the Spirit than the books you may have read. Again, in Father Mario's words, in conducting the TTJ process We have to do our work with a sense of unworthiness. I need to remind myself that I’m doing something bigger and larger than my own agenda. I’m the mouthpiece and the voice of an awesome word! It’s worthwhile asking ourselves: ”Are we doing God’s work or are we working for God but minding our own business?”
On the last day of the workshop, Father Mario went over the contents of the new handbook with us. Taking pains to present the criterion for the choice of the titles that are placed under the various stages. And last but not the least, we set our sights to the future by presenting to the whole group what we can recommend for a better presentation of the Totus Tuus Journey.
As with the first two days, we ended the sessions with the Holy Mass with Father Mario Belotti, SMM as main celebrant. The homily of Father Mario have touched our hearts especially with these powerful words: “The righteous walk, The wise run, The lovers fly.”
Not all will embark on conducting the TTJ. There are others who will do other things. Either way, we are all facilitators. And in Father Mario's words "...all of us, if we really trust the Spirit and the Love that is motivating us, all of us are facilitators. And all of us are involved in the other things that are part of the story. Love doesn't have limits, boundaries. Love is presenting us with surprises. And we are to be open to those surprises.
So, lovers, fasten your seatbelts and prepare for take-off! Glory to Jesus in Mary! Glory to Mary in Jesus! Glory to God Alone!
-Maria Evelina Deblois
TTJ Facilitator, Manila