“Revisiting the ‘Treasure’ of the Dehonian Identity on Social Commitment as a Region”. This is the theme reflected upon by the SCJ Philippine Region as they ardently conducted the annual Regional Assembly on February 8-12, 2021. Due to the restrictions from travel and physical distancing, the Region convoked through the new platform of communication via Zoom Online.
Facing the recent pastoral challenges brought about by the pandemic and the socio-economic and political situation in the country, the Region aims to revitalize and revisit their social commitment according to the charism of Fr. Dehon. This effort of reevaluating and invigorating the Dehonian social commitment also marks as a response to the call to mission to the Filipino people as the country commemorates this year the 500th birth celebration of Christianity in the Philippines. Hence, the SCJ Philippine Region proposed that they not merely offer social programs and projects but share to the local Church the unique gift of the Dehonian Spirituality.
On the first day of the Assembly, Fr. Carlos Codorniu, SCJ, the Superior General, gave his greetings and message to the members of the Region. He reminded the confreres of the importance of making our social commitment grounded on the Gospel and founded on the charism of Fr. Dehon. Fr. Vincent Sri Herimanto, SCJ, the General Councilor to Asia, also accompanied the Assembly. Towards the end of the Assembly, he reminded the Region about the Programmatic Letter of the General Administration.
To help the Region in their reflection and workshops, three resource persons were invited to give important insights on the theme: Fr. Rogel Abais, SJ, for a reflection on the Biblical foundation of Social Commitment; Bro. Karl Gaspar, CsSR, on the Awareness on the Prevailing Social Issues in the Philippines; Fr. Stefan Tertunte, SCJ, on Fr. Dehon on Social Commitment.
The assembly concluded with a closing message from Fr. Lukas Siswo Sasmito, SCJ, the SCJ Regional Superior.
By: Fr. Patrick L. Gutib, SCJ