Congratulations to the eight MSC who have completed the first online Training for Facilitators of Ongoing Formation – Julius Katjipa (Southern African Section of the Irish Province), Jaime Rosique Mardones (Deacon, Spanish Province), Darwin Thatheus (Indian Union), Bogey Cabrera (Philippines Province), Joshua Gopini (Indian Union), Bob Irwin (Australian Province), Roy O’Neill (Australian Province), Ireneo Lee (Korean Province).
Together with their Trainers; Georges Diabone, MSC (U.A.F.), Ireneo Lee, MSC (Korean Province), Tony Nolan, MSC (Irish Province), and Chris Chaplin, MSC (General Leadership Team), these men celebrated their achievement on Thursday February 10, in a moving online ceremony.
A wonderful surprise was the presence of Brian Gallagher, MSC from the Australian Province, author of Communal Wisdom: a way of discernment for a pilgrim church, and founding Director of the Heart of Life Spirituality Centre in Melbourne, who unexpectedly joined us online. Brian helped us with some of the ceremony, a welcome inclusion for a man who has trained many facilitators over the years.
The ceremony also acknowledged Edwin Borlasa (Philippines Province), Bonaventure Mboyo Longomo (U.A.F.), and Yonys Mendoza (Venezuela Community of the Irish Province), who also participated in the course. The presence of Bonaventure and Yonys highlighted the need for the course to be translated more fully into French and Spanish. Humberto Henriques (General Team) and Georges Diabone supported these men as Trainers in their attempts to navigate the course in a language not their own. Our gratitude goes out to each of them and we laud their efforts.
A central part of the ceremony was the testimonials of the participants, we share some here.
Roy O’Neill MSC
Although I was familiar with being a facilitator, much of what was there was an extremely helpful revision for me. It was a very orderly way to re-train in the necessary skills of facilitation. It also provided me with other aspects of facilitation that I had not considered and challenged me to reconsider how I might put them into practice in the future.
I found the materials used exceptionally appropriate and presented in a very creative way. The inputs by members of the Ongoing Formation Committee were nicely paced and rich in content. The use of other ‘outside’ video resources were apposite and cleverly incorporated into the learning process. The use of Peaceful Warrior while lengthy was captivating. I had read the book years ago
I became much more aware of my need to be an ‘interior’ kind of person in order to operate effectively as a facilitator. The inner reflection processes seem to be an integral part of the facilitation process both for the participants and the facilitator. That whole section on Mindfulness and Self-Monitoring really spoke to me. I have already begun the process of finding ways to develop this inner self. Henry David Thoreau said: “What lies before us and what lies behind us are small matters compared to what lies within us” I think I am going to take that as a kind of guiding dictum in the years ahead.
Thank you very much for making this course available. It is clear that a huge amount of work from many people has gone into the construction and administration of this course. Something of such quality does not happen without devoted effort. Thanks.
Bogey Cabrera MSC
First of all, what surprised me is that I was able to finish the facilitation course. Truth to tell, on my part, I needed some perseverance to be able to complete it. Part of the reason is the Province concerns that needed attention and part of it, is that the course was not easy and simple and therefore had its demands in terms of time.
The second surprise for me as I went through the course is that facilitation demands a continuing transformation of oneself such as deep listening skills, empathy, self-awareness, sensitivity to what is happening to the group, discernment skills, etc.
I am thankful for this Ongoing Formation Facilitation because it has taught me that there is the MSC way of facilitating, the way of the heart in facilitating. I highly recommend this course for more MSC confreres to take in the future.
My personal hope is that I grow in the skill of facilitation in practicing it whether formally or in my conversations and engagements with MSC confreres and people. Perhaps, when I am more trained through practice I can be of assistance to the ongoing formation programs of our Province after my term as Provincial.
Lastly, I am grateful and thankful that I took this course because it reminded me that ongoing formation is really ongoing, a lifelong endeavor. In the midst of busyness in ministry, one should never get tired of learning and/or acquiring skills precisely to journey towards our desire: to be good and effective MSCs for mission.
Darwin Thatheus MSC
I am Darwin MSC from India. I am happy to say that MSC Ongoing Formation Facilitators’ Training Course is so enlightening and enriching!
I would like to thank the Trainers who have worked hard to compile the materials and presented them to us in a more skillful way. The course is so valuable to me because as a new facilitator trainer I feel that it has changed my thought process and given me more effective skills that are required for the Facilitators. This course is very much helpful to MSC to learn more and to update our skills according to the science of time which is important in this modern era.
I encourage and recommend this course for MSC, those who are struggling to find their own talents and self-esteem. God bless you all and keep you in good health.
Bob Irwin MSC
Congratulations to the ongoing formation team for producing such an excellent, current, helpful course on being a facilitator.
Fortunately, Covid provided me with the opportunity to escape busyness and complete this course. I am eternally grateful for the opportunity.
There are many aspects of the course that make it very helpful and enriching. The content is relevant, allows to move from what I knew to many new insights and techniques. It certainly provided many insights into using facilitation skills for multiple situations.
The people involved by zoom helped in understanding various skills, and added a great warmth to what can be dry, when work is done by Internet.
I renewed old acquaintances and met dynamic MSC from around the world. Wonderful.
Of course, I would recommend it to any of my brothers. Lack of experience in facilitating or even IT skills, or age are not a problem. My trainer made it so much easier.
I hope I can now be of more use for the ongoing formation for my MSC brothers in Vietnam.
Joshua Gopini MSC
I found MSC Ongoing-Formation Facilitators Training Course interesting, challenging and rewarding. I learnt a lot and consider myself lucky to have done this course. All the topics presented in the course impressed me and are very much relevant in the Indian context. I really appreciate the richness of the “Spirituality of the Heart”, when I go deeper I am met with new inspirations and new enthusiasm. Some of the values of our founder and human psychology explanations are really challenging. It stretched my capacity for listening, with genuine desire to understand the other. I see myself a little differently and clearly now than before. I am really proud about the values of my founder and the way the program was conducted having a community of learners from different countries and the mentor Tony Nolan who was very patient and helped me to understand the course content better.
I really appreciate the initiative of the Ongoing Formation Commission has taken to enrich our congregation based on the values of our founder. I sincerely thank the leadership team for giving me this opportunity to deepen my understanding of the Spirituality of the Heart. When I help others to grow I am also growing. If possible all the members of the congregation be given this opportunity to attend these courses. Thank you.. Joshua MSC
Jaime Rosique MSC
The course was a surprise for me from the start. I didn’t know what to expect and I was a little bit surprised and unsure about me participating in the course, as it was designed for a very specific role for which I didn’t know I would be assigned in the future. In fact, I asked Chris Chaplin before registering. I did so as he reassured me that it would be beneficial to me whether I would end up facilitating or not in the future. After completion, I wholeheartedly agree with him, and I am very grateful for the opportunity of doing it. I really liked the innovative approach to teaching. I was expecting reading materials and then some questions or exercises for reflection and the first activity I came across is what you think a facilitator does/ Find a suitable image before receiving any input whatsoever. That inductive way of teaching and the companionship of fellow students and trainers made the course very enriching and inspiring.
At the graduation ceremony the opening hymn from the late Br James Maher MSC (Moving Forward in the Spirit) had a line that for me sums up my whole experience of the course and what I have to expect for what lies ahead: “READY AND OPEN TO GOD´S SURPRISE”
To the Generalate Team, to the Trainers and the fellow Trainees: Thank you from the heart for envisaging this course, for making it possible, for encourage us to participate and for your support and availability throughout. And for my Provincial Superior for allowing me to participate in this course. God bless you all. AMETUR
Julius Katjipa MSC
With gratitude and appreciation for this opportunity that has been granted to me, in being trained as a Facilitator- I thank the Lord, and express my appreciation to my supervisor Ireneo Lee, for his patience and gentleness in assisting me by encouraging me in completing the course, not forgetting my group: Bob, Bogey and Darwin for their sharing, advise and encouragement during our case-study sessions.
What a blessing it was: an enrichment that stimulated the curiosity within me. Opening a new reality of being present, reflecting, discerning and acting with a willingness of learning, understanding, changing and achievement. Therefore my hope is to avail myself, activating the skills, so that our entire entity benefit from the selfless facilitation assistance, by seeing, observation and interaction. Living with a deep conviction and authenticity.