Curitiba has been the seat of the School of Vincentian Spirituality (CLAPVI), which in 2017 offered its eighth session of on-going formation. Sixteen confreres participated in this session, confreres from Argentina, Colombia, Rio de Janeiro, Curitiba, Chile, Puerto Rica and the region of Panama.
This course on spirituality began on Sunday, January 29 with the celebration of the Eucharist that was presided by Fr. Odair Miguel Gonsalves dos Santos, CM (Visitor of Curitiba) who welcomed the participants and then invited them to gather together for fraternal sharing in the classrooms of the Vincentian Faculty of Philosophy and Theology which are located next to the Motherhouse.
The course on spirituality was developed over the course of four weeks. The first week, which dealt with Vincentian fundamentals was directed by Fr. Marlio Nasayó, CM (Colombia). Two themes were presented during the second week: Latin American theology by Fr. Francisco Salamanca, CM and liturgy by Fr. Gilson Camargo, CM (Curitiba).
The third week was dedicated to deepening one’s understanding of the Vincentian virtues and that material was presented by Fr. Daniel Arturo Vásquez, CM (the former Visitor of Colombia). The fourth week began with a presentation on the biblical foundation of our spirituality which was presented by Fr. Carlos Fonsatti, CM (Curitiba). Then the session ended with a spiritual retreat that was directed by Fr. José Antonio Ubillús, CM (Peru).
The presence of confreres from other countries provided an opportunity for the Province to initiate the Jubilee Year to commemorate the 400th anniversary of the origin of the Vincentian charism. During the time together the confreres had an opportunity to know the distinct ministries of the Congregation of the Mission, the pastoral ministry of Rodoviaria as well as the ministries of the Daughters of Charity. There was also time to visit the city and time to form community among the participants of the on-going formation session.
The Confreres speak about their experience:
Fr. Rafael Frias Reinoso, CM (Puerto Rica – formator, spiritual advisor to the VMY, parochial vicar in the Dominican Republic): this eighth session on Vincentian spirituality provided me with an opportunity for formation, prayer and community. It also allowed me to deepen my understanding of the roots of the Vincentian charism, namely, the following of Jesus Christ and service on behalf of the poor. I came to appreciate the life and the experience of Vincent de Paul as well as the significance of the Vincentian virtues. Furthermore, this was a time for vocation renewal. We were all challenged with regard to the need to return to the fundamental experience of our charism and to examine the way in which we are recreating that charism in the midst of the present-day world and in the manner in which we are involved in the process of evangelizing those men and women who are poor.
Fr. Eric Obaldia, CM (Region of Panama, parochial vicar involved in the formation of ecclesial based communities): the experience during this session has helped me revitalize my biblical spirituality. I came to a deeper understanding of the manner in which Vincent de Paul lived his priesthood as he ministered in the various communities in which he was involved. What was most important for Vincent was the fact that his heart was burning within him (Luke 24:32). At this time of the 400th anniversary of the origin of our charism, our hearts are burning on behalf of mother earth, on behalf of an economy of solidarity, and on behalf of an openness to conversion, reconciliation and renewal.
Translated: Charles T. Plock, CM