The mission of Catholic Institutions derives from God and ends in Him. As a Jesuit Institution rooted in and inspired by the Jesuit spirituality, charisma, and the Gospel values, our mission comes from God and is directed towards the Greater Glory of God. Thus, as each year begins, we come together as a faith community to pray, reflect and experience the oneness we share in this mission and with its source, God.
The Moment of Encounter
The year 2017 started on a deep spiritual note with a day of recollection for all Silveira House Staff facilitated by Mr. Colbert Mpofu, the Coordinator of the Jesuit Education office in the Zimbabwe-Mozambique Province. The Day began with a reflective exercise on the year 2016, looking back at the moments of consolation as well as those of desolation that we experienced as individuals and as an institution. The exercise comprised of moments of personal reflection in silence and dialogue in groups. To end the session, the participants expressed their gratitude for the many graces and blessings that they had identified in their reflections and also acknowledged the failures as areas in need of improvement and conversion or transformation.
The reflective exercise led to another exercise whereby participants made projections into the near future, the year 2017, guided by the question, what do I need to change in my personal life, family and at work? How can I be more useful?
Participants applied the same methodology as in the first session, that is working though the questions individually first, then as a group. From this exercise, it can be inferred that one cannot grow, reform or transform if there exists within him/herself some disordered attachments, that is, a lack of internal freedom. Therefore, one needs to empty or detach themselves from such attachments for real change or desired transformation to take place.
A number of interesting lessons can be drawn from the examples presented by the facilitator in audio-visual format gathered from external sources, and other drawn from his personal experience of working with Jesuits and other organizations. Among them is the recognition of one’s capacity to be useful to the organization, to self and to other members. One can attract and bear the responsibility to self and to others by fully utilizing one’s strengths as illustrated by the Adidas-ad impossible is nothing (see YouTube Video).
The second lesson on the interaction between the demands of one's assigned responsibility (which requires one to focus on the main objectives) and the demand for attention to other emerging situations (which could be distractions), can be illustrated by the selective attention test (see YouTube video). It is important to keep our eyes on the ball (maintain focus), in the midst of the noise (external factors) around us.
The third and final lesson of the day was on the challenge of integration.
This can be demonstrated by the example of a car, with a powerful engine and a disproportionately light body, which can easily veer of course and hit a tree by the roadside as a result of over-speeding and losing control. An individual needs to exercise prudence as he or she integrates with and into an organization like Silveira House, which has non-negotiable core values, in order to avoid unnecessary conflict, frustrations and being rendered irrelevant to its vision and mission. Therefore, one can be creative in pursuit of the desired end, but the end does not always justify the means. We have values and we mind how we achieve our goals.
Go forth and Proclaim, the Kingdom of God is at Hand
An encounter with the Lord has an effect that stirs one to action. The two disciples who encountered Jesus on their way to Emmaus, once the recognized Him, were inspired to get back to others and announce the Good News (Lk 24:13-32). Three other disciples, Peter James and John encountered the Lord so beautifully that they would have wanted to remain in that state; but their experience was not for them to only hold on to. They had to descend the mountain and bear witness to what they had encountered (Mt 17). In the same manner, to conclude the day, the Staff recited in common the prayer of self-giving by St. Ignatius (the Suscipe), and highlighted a few take home points before dispersing. We hope this year to bear witness to our faith in our encounter with each other and with all the people we meet.
In all things, to Love and Serve!!!