I want to begin by expressing my gratitude for this opportunity to speak about the life at the Internal Seminary of CLAPVI-South (composed of the Provinces of Argentina, Chile, Peru and Ecuador). At this time the Seminary is located in Tabacundo, Ecuador. The house, at the time of its foundation, served as a retreat center and a center of formation for the laity. Father Isaías Barriga states that the intended use of this house was formation and rejoices today when he sees the house being used to form Missionaries that the Church so urgently needs … his joy is even greater because the house is being used to form Missionaries from South America.
This experience has had some years of planning. We can go back to 1993 when the Provinces of Argentina, Chile and Peru came together as “the Southern Cone” in order to collaborate in this stage of formation. In 2010 the Province of Ecuador became part of this group which then became known as CLAPVI-South. It is customary to change the site of the seminary every three years, but when Ecuador was proposed as the site there was no adequate and/or available house. Therefore, Argentina became the site until the present time when this property became available in Ecuador.
The goal of Vincentian formation in the internal seminary is to provide the seminarian with a firm foundation for living the life of a Vincentian missioner, committed to “following Christ, evangelizing the poor” … our internal seminary, therefore, provides seminarians with opportunities to experience and reflect upon the interplay of Christ-centeredness, prayer, life together, and dedicated service. They begin to live wholeheartedly the Vincentian way of being “contemplatives in action” (Ratio Formationis, p. 45).
Mindful of those principles that are stated in the Ratio Formationis, the local community plan seeks to foster development on the various axes: Vincentian formation, human formation, spiritual formation, intellectual formation, apostolic formation and community formation. All of this is able to be accomplished as a result of the collaboration among the distinct provinces that compose CLAPVI-South … the confreres have been most generous in responding to requests to present various themes to the men in formation.
During the year 2015-2016 there are five young men participating in the program: two from Argentina, one for Chile, one from Ecuador and a young man from the province of Colombia.
For the year 2016-2017 it is expected that there will be nine young men: four from Argentina, Rolando Adalberto Vera, Cirilo Antonio Mazacote Jara, Wilfrido Adolfo Gonzales Ibarra and Mateo Jesús Godoy; four from Perú, Harol Alberto Hernández Hernández, Tomás Ramos López, Cristian Gerardo Mozambite and Sebastián Jesús Ramos Romero; and one from Chile, Cristopher Grof Miranda, (There are no candidates from Ecuador).
The whole Church is called to follow Christ, who describes his mission in Luke’s Gospel in a clear, focused manner: “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me; to proclaim ‘Good News’ to the poor he has sent me” (4:16). This calling is given to every Christian at baptism. The vocation of the Vincentian is to embrace this baptismal calling, draw strength from the whole community of the baptized, and then be a sign to what life in Christ is meant to be (Ratio Formationis, p. 13).
In order to accompany the future Missionaries, it becomes clear that formation ministry requires dedication, commitment, and generosity. It is hoped that those who are being formed now will later continue this ministry which is part of the Vincentian vocation. We ask that you continue to pray for us and for the success of this ministry.
Translated: Charles T. Plock, CM