On the first week of the new year, fathers Dwi Watun and Rey Bullas came to visit the German, Dutch and Belgian confreres. The purpose of the visit was to discuss about the future of the three entities. Some ideas were already discussed earlier with Father Santino and now it was the time for Father Dwi to make a follow-up. The three entities asked the general administration what their long-term vision is on the future of the congregation. Fr. Dwi explained that there is no other vision than the vision of the General Chapter: Totus Tuus... Your Kingdom come in us, among us, and through us through the world. This vision – mission invites us to enter into a journey of conversion. The main task of the general administration is to help us with tools to make it happen. In the letter that Fr. Santino wrote for the continental meetings he mentioned that something essential is missing in our congregation - our feeling of belonging to each other, of working or living together. Community life is very important but sometimes it is not experienced. Everyone works hard, but in his own garden. In view of the mission, we are invited to make the boundaries disappear and let us work together.
The Northern entities have reached a critical level. And they are the only ones who can change or do something about that, not the general administration. Reflecting on the situation, they are called not to maintain the structure, but to change their way of life, opening to the new possibilities. What is their mission then? To be loyal to our charism and to be creative in responding to the needs of the world and the church.
According to Fr. Dwi the most important thing is the loyalty for Christ and the passionate love of Montfort for Christ and his Mother. To be available for evangelisation with strong Marian and community aspects is a good news. Our way of living in a community can become good news for others. That ought to be the most valuable part of the mission. We are at the beginning of an important process. What matters is that we need each other, support each other with strength and conviction about our future. The first step is conversion. Montfort’s first followers did not start with a specific project, but they just lived together and put into action the promises they made, dedicated to living out their baptismal vows.
Fr. Rey Bullas was in our entities because of the new ‘news website’ which is designed to build bridges among the entities. He explained to us that it is part of the project of the General Council as a means of keeping our confreres updated about the life of the confreres from the different parts of the world. It is also a venue for sharing of talents and life-giving experiences. It is a meeting-place of the great and experienced missionaries who spent fruitful lives in the mission and the younger but stronger confreres who willingly take the responsibility to continue the mission that is passed on their hands. While the younger ones give hope and assurance of life ahead, the older ones with the richness of their experiences remain the sources of inspiration and wisdom for the younger ones.
As a powerful means of communication, the mission of this website is to unite the confreres and to encourage an active participation of everyone. Taking all the responsibility to construct and maintain a website is not an easy job for a single person to do. There must be a fully functioning team that will provide fast and accurate news and information. Fr. Rey is appealing for the support of everyone for the success of this project. As part of the Montfortian family, everyone can participate in his own way, from data gathering, to news writing, editing, translating, formatting and uploading of photos, etc. If we will not act now, we will be missing the opportunities to hear the beautiful stories of our confreres. These precious stories form part of the life of the congregation. They are our treasures but if we will not invest them they will just disappear and be lost forever. To keep us updated, Fr. Rey is depending only on the support of the confreres. Whatever we see on the website is what each entity contributes. Though the website is a very powerful means of communication it has also limitations. Fr. Rey added that we also need to think of some other ways to reach out all our confreres who have no access to the internet, especially those who are in the remote areas of the mission and our older confreres, so that nobody will be left behind or deprived of communication.
Towards the end of the meeting, together we looked at the website and it is very well done, informative and easy to handle. Compliments to Rey and we promise to do our best to help him.
- Marian Claeren