Tuesday 14 June 2016

Processing

In personal accompaniment / spiritual guidance, and in pastoral accompaniment, the absolute need to help a person access his experience, what he is going through. A boy enters one of our boarding schools, for example - perhaps even an apostolic school, which still exists in parts of the Salesian world, or an aspirantate, one of the traditional ones, or one of the newer types. Who thinks of exploring and helping the young person explore what he is going through as he makes several transitions: from the small circle of his family to the larger environment of the school; from his local culture or sub-culture to the "salesian" culture of the school; from his local language or languages to the English that is used in the school; and so on ? And yet here it is that the drama is taking place.... Our rectors certainly need to be formed to be able to "accompany" in this sense: helping the young person to access and process his experience, often quite painful.

I have been speaking about a young person entering a traditional salesian house, but it could very well be the case of a young salesian entering into his new missionary destination: a young salesian from Vietnam or India, Sri Lanka or East Timor, trying to settle down in one of our provinces in Europe or America, or else in Africa or Asia.... The absolute need is for him to find someone who can help him face the inner challenges, shocks, turmoil. This is not fantasy. One of our provincials here in these days was sharing something along these lines. 

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