Brother Jesús Etayo, O.H., Prior General, gathered with the Brothers of the Asia Pacific Region this past week in Seoul, Korea. Brother Edward Francis McEnroe, O.H., and Brother Stephen de la Rosa, O.H. represented the U.S.A. Province at the conference. In Brother Jesús' opening address he encouraged those present to plan an discern and said, "We are being asked to reach out and heed the promptings of the Holy Spirit to discern what kind of Order our Lord and the Church wants us to be, in the foreseeable future." He impelled the leadership present at the conference to set out on mapping both a direction and framework that will allow this new era of hospitality to unfold. Brother Jesús also alerted those Brothers present that this will require a comprehensive discernment process. This goes beyond a SWOT Analysis into a realm of faith and trust in Divine Providence keeping the legacy of Saint John of God alive. He indicated that this question is of much greater depth than that of maintaining a relevant Mission. It is about assuring that the spirit of hospitality emerges in a new era.
Sister Eden Panganiban, SSpS from the Congregation of the Missionary Sisters Servants of the Holy Spirit facilitated the sessions toward an awareness of need for simplicity and humility in the life of a Brother of Saint John of God. "We are called to examine our life of Brotherhood and Mission" Sister Eden said, "In the light of humility as a way of sustaining and nourshing our journey of discovery".
The Brothers both in small group discussions and plenary sessions worked at affirming each other on the path toward this emerging future of the Order in the Asia Pacific Region. Special focus was given to the areas of initial and ongoing formation and leadership development. While the distances and cultures of the region are a challenge, it is essential to foster relationships regionally and globally that will allow our life of Brotherhood and mission to grow.
The conference was hosted by the Korean Province and we thank the Provincial, Brother Michael Lee, O.H. and the Brothers and Co-workers who offered a warm and hospitable environment making us feel at home during a time of intense discussions.