//Vocation Promoters & Prenovitiate Directors meet in Goa

Vocation Promoters & Prenovitiate Directors meet in Goa

The annual meeting of the Jesuit Vocation Promoters and Prenovitiate Directors (VPND), was held in Pedro Arrupe Institute (PAI), Raia, Goa, on 5-8 October 2023. Besides Fr Somy Mannoor (JAM), the new Secretary of the Conference Secretariat for Integral Formation (CSIF), and Fr Dinesh Braganza (GUJ), the resource person, there were twenty-three vocation promoters and prenovitiate directors representing sixteen regions/provinces.

The meeting started on the evening of 5 October, when Fr Menoy D’Souza, the Vocation Promoter of Goa welcomed everyone. Fr Pedro Rodriques, the superior of PAI, gave us a glimpse into the history of the Goa Province. The next day began with the Mass by Fr Roland Coelho, the hosting Provincial, who stressed the need to listen to the youngsters to enable them to listen to the voice of God.

Formal sessions on all the three days began with a prayer led by Fr Rosan Roy (KER), Fr Menoy and Sch Swapnil Borges (GOA). The first day was spent on sharing the reports, the second day with Fr Dinesh Braganza’s input and practical sessions on Emotional Fragility and Psychospiritual Integration; and on the third day we had a panel discussion, evaluation and planning. We found the time to visit Rachol Seminary and the Bom Jesu where we celebrated the Mass presided over by Fr Somy. He was present throughout the meeting. While Fr Ajit Soreng (HAZ), Michael Kerketta (RAN) and Brian D’Souza (BOM) were the moderators, Frs Wesley D’Costa (BOM) and Salomon Anthony (MDU) were the General Secretaries and Frs Dheeraj D’Souza (KAR) and Neelam Kerketta (JAM) were the secretaries for the first and the third day.

The presentations and deliberations highlighted the best practices and the challenges. Those participating for the first time said that they not only learnt new things but also were pleasantly surprised to know various types of Prenovitiates and Vocation Promotion methods. Scarcity of vocations, ‘full-time’ vocation promoters burdened with other ‘full-time’ responsibilities and poor knowledge of English of the candidates on their arrival were more or less important issues depending on the provinces. But other issues seemed to touch all the provinces: lack of personal involvement of the Jesuits other than the appointed main vocation promoter in vocation promotion, poor faith-background of the candidates, difficulty in understanding the candidates, and in the prenovitiate, emotional fragility and high dropouts.

These were days of great sharing, conviviality and deliberations, and that we enjoyed coming together to enrich one another with hope, amidst challenges, that it is the Lord who has begun this work and He will continue as He wills (Const #812).

We congratulate Fr Somy Mannoor on his leadership. We highly appreciate Fr Menoy D’Souza, Sch Swapnil Borges, the PAI and the Bom Jesu communities and the entire Goan Jesuit Province for their warm hospitality and care. And we, the VPND team, look forward to meeting again for a more in-depth meeting next year somewhere in Southern Zone. We wished one another a fruitful year back in our region/provinces doing everything, and, as Fr Michael Kerketta kept reminding us, with patience.

– W.K. Pradeep, SJ (KHM)