Saturday 11 May 2013

Vocations

Giuseppe was saying that during his university formation, one of the professors, who was in the high management of Alitalia in Rome, used to talk about 'bilancio delle competenze.' When you are selecting people for your company, learn to distinguish between skills that can be taught to a person, and basic qualities that cannot be imparted if the person does not have them. What is really important is to learn to spot the latter: does this person have the basic qualities that are in harmony with the basic values of my organization? Or: do the basic qualities and values and convictions of this person match the basic values of my organization?

Very useful to keep in mind for 'specific vocations,' vocations to the Salesian life, for example. Which also means that our 'vocation promoters' must be people with a certain experience and competence - perhaps ex-novice masters and ex-provincials. Or, better still, 'vocation promotion' can no more be what it used to be and still is in provinces like ours. It is not a question of 'recruiting,' picking up people from here and there. One of our confreres was telling me that in his province, a young man has to be in weekly contact with a salesian community and in ongoing spiritual direction before he even steps into a salesian community as a resident. That stepping into involves a full year; only then comes the pre-novitiate, and so on. I think this is good. Intake is the best place for hard decisions. Experience shows that it is extremely difficult and often even traumatic to have to 'send away' a young person in later years. Of course we are seeking the will of God; but precisely those that have difficulty migrating to that kind of level will be the ones who need to be told to knock elsewhere, or else that they are simply not yet ready... 

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