Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Strategic Directions of the Prelature of Opus Dei 2017: Action Items Relevant to Formators

Last March 3, the website of Opus Dei published the Letter of the Prelate of Opus Dei containing the resolutions of the General Congress which delineates the strategic directions of the Prelature under its new head, Msgr. Fernando Ocariz. 

Since the letter covers apostolic undertakings like schools and other educational initiatives, here is a list of the priority action items in outline form that are relevant to formators in schools whose inspiration comes from the teachings of St. Josemaria and Opus Dei. 

Action Items Relevant to Religion Teachers, Mentors and other Formators

St. Josemaria: not true that people are closed to the faith. To everyone, announce Jesus Christ.

All with Peter to Jesus through Mary
Reaffirm filial union with Pope

Build on rock
Renew desire to incarnate and communicate spirit of Opus Dei, the teachings of St. Josemaria 

Current Challenges in the Adventure of Formation
In the first place, the centrality of the Person of Jesus Christ.
This means:
Go deeper into contemplative prayer in the midst of the world, and to help others to walk in paths of contemplation;
Rediscover value of ascetical means;
Reach whole person: intelligence, will, heart, relationships with others;
Foster inner freedom, to do things out of love;
Help to think, so decide with personal responsibility;
Trust in the grace of God, to deal with voluntarism [relying on willpower alone] and sentimentality [influenced by feelings than by thought]
Expound the ideal of the Christian life not confused with perfectionism, teaching to live with one's own weakness and that of others;
Take on attitude of hopeful abandonment, based on divine filiation.

Seek resources for the development of apostolic work
Students must have great desires to build society
Promote in all a great professional drive
Renewed urgency: Promote many vocations
Dynamism of “going forth.”
More necessary: Give priority to personal dealings: brings greatest fruit

Giving and receiving formation
First place: supernatural means
Effort to (a) use understandable language, positive, encouraging, hopeful, (b) facilitate the active participation of those attending; (c) show the practical impact on family and social life, so that the unity of life grows
Sincere interest for others
Training and formation of those in personal spiritual direction, priests or laity
Strengthen the Christian identity of the undertaking, the quality of its management and the service offered to society

In the Church
Develop mutual appreciation among the faithful of the Church: relationship with people of other institutions and realities of the Church
Deal closely with Bishops and priests of geographical area, and to collaborate with them if possible
Collaborate in catechesis, premarital courses, social work, in parishes or other places that need it
New apostolic challenges
All including young to be protagonists of new culture, new legislation, new fashion. To overcome the contemporary relativist mentality
Continuous self-improvement in gift of tongues. Empathy: take into account concerns of neighbor; not to overwhelm, not to fall into monologue; respect the dignity of each person, over and above their errors
Get help of experts to understand complex areas. Demand for professional competency: to perfect creation
Form those experts
Develop, with prudence and with daring, a plan of formation adapted to each person
Train opinion leaders; to promote information initiatives; use social networks
Importance of witness so as to be heard. Present attractive witnesses of Christian life.
Full support to undertakings [schools]. Through schools, make it possible that more people are dealt with
Start new educational centers from the earliest childhood: form parents and children.

Importance of family
Families to learn deep meaning of the virtue of hope
Study practical ways to support mutual love between spouses and Christian life in families, to promote the sacramental life of grandparents, parents and children, especially frequent confession [family catechesis]
Create public opinion in favor of large families and reinforce the attention to these families who are already in contact
Priority: Guiding and educating families [Educhild, etc]
Initiatives to reach many young families

Apostolate with youth
Young as apple of our eyes
Clear priority of formation of the young: Help to become souls of prayer, talk and listen to God
They learn value of true friendship, the importance of study, reading and professional excellence to serve the Church and society; fortitude, temperance, service
They learn to give reason for their faith
Help youth and their parents to value attractiveness of a total self-giving to God, and vocation to form a Christian family
Develop attractive ways to continue dealings with graduates (former parents and students): young professionals, single or newly married. Professionalize alumni associations
Young and married: do works of mercy, spiritual and corporal
Deep study of Social Doctrine of the Church, through courses and conferences
Promote research with wide impact. Collaborate with prestigious intellectuals 

Some priorities
Spread of the complete works of Saint Josemaria
First priority above all: union with God, starting with contemplating Jesus. Jesus in Bread and Word
Important: Accompany the family and the young
Urgent: enlarge the heart: tenderness to all poor, in need

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