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Lavalla200> | Week6

 

Interculturality was the theme of the sixth week of formation in Camaldoli

La Valla 200>

21/06/2018: Italy

During the sixth week in Camaldoli, Italy, participants of the Lavalla200> programme had the opportunity to reflect on interculturality.

Father Sebastian Michael, a priest of the Society of the Divine Word (Verbitas) from India, approached this topic in an integral way, with the knowledge accumulated through his academic studies on culture and mission.

The module began with the differentiation between animals and men. Men create a culture and immerse themselves in it, that is, in a complex environment that includes knowledge, beliefs, art, morals, customs and other capabilities of the human being as a member of a society.

The participants also had contact with the different definitions of culture. Fr Sebastian believes that culture is the journey a community undertakes to meet its basic needs, to socialise and to have a meaning. It was clarified that the culture is energized by the social, economic, political and religious relations of a certain community. He affirmed that every culture has a soul with positive aspects and others to be improved. This implies that one culture can and must learn from the others.

Participants were explained that a culture is affirmed through its social, economic, political and religious relations. He affirmed that every culture has positive aspects and others to be improved. This implies that one culture can and must learn from the other cultures.

One of the points the course addressed was that each person looks at the world through the lens of their own culture.

In this context of building intercultural communities, some personality profiles may appear: “the destroyers,” those who consider their culture as the predominant one and position themselves in such a way that they reject the others; “the egalitarians”, who value their culture while respecting others and, finally, “the creators”, those who manage to find values in their culture of origin, but have the gift of knowing how to take advantage of what is best in other cultures, to give creative answers to emerging needs.

The last topic that was addressed was the Christian mission and culture. According to Fr Sebastian, Christian mission involves the encounter with many realities.

For him, those who dedicate their lives to the proclamation of the Gospel carry with them “their mark of origin” and, throughout their formation, they will find different cultural visions with similar religious expressions.

In fact, in their missionary work, they will often encounter other religions. In that context, it is necessary to remain open, never forgetting who Jesus Christ is and the need of building his Kingdom.

The week ended with a day of internalisation, so that the participants could process all the knowledge acquired in the formation. They also wrote a letter to the superior general with the result of their personal discernment they have done up to that moment. These letters can help superior general Brother Ernesto Sánchez and the general council in deciding where to send the participants on mission.

The week closed with a visit from Brother Valdícer Fachi, new director of the Collaboration for mission international (Cmi) secretariat, and Luiz da Rosa, director of the Institute’s communications.

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