Vocational Program in Africa
Is God calling you to serve Him in our Congregation?
Scalabrini Fathers – Missionaries of St.Charles
The joy of following Jesus Christ serving people on the move: migrants, refugees, seafarers and people on the move.
1. WHO WE ARE
The Missionaries of St. Charles – Scalabrinians, is an international Community of religious missionaries dedicated to the service of migrants of different cultures, religions and ethnicities. We are a religious apostolic community called by God to share in the mission of the Church by helping migrants discover and carry out the plan of salvation during human migration and within their lives. We live in small Communities sharing prayer, pastoral work and projects, brotherhood. We explain our commitment to the Lord in the Congregation professing the religious vows of poverty, chastity and obedience. The Congregation was founded on November 28, 1887 by the Blessed John Baptist Scalabrini (1839-1905), Bishop of Piacenza, Italy. It was the period of massive migration from Italy and Europe to the Americas.
It was a far reaching phenomenon whose importance Bishop Scalabrini was able to grasp in both its social and religious dimensions.
2. WHAT WE DO: OUR MISSION
The Missionaries of St. Charles – Scalabrinians are committed to the promotion of human dignity and human rights of migrants, including their faith and cultural values. We are committed to promote the total salvation of mankind, leading migrants in particular, to a rediscovery of faith in their lives with a longing for dignity and justice.
Our primary focus is to be migrants with the migrants and to be in mission with people on the move providing special priority for the poorest migrants. In accordance with the will of the Church and the Institution of our Founder our preference is to serve those migrants who are acutely living the drama of migration. We promote total salvation through spiritual assistance and facilitate human, social and cultural assistance, preventing the causes of evil that afflict migrants. Our migration service includes: • Administering and providing pastoral care in Parishes and Migrant Centres. • Providing pastoral care in chaplaincies for different ethnic communities within our Parishes and outside our Parishes. • Administering and providing pastoral care in seafarers’ centres and visiting sick seaferers in the hospital • Working in church offices for migrants, at diocesan and national level.
3. WHERE WE ARE
We are present with our missionaries in 32 countries and on five continents.
In AFRICA we work with migrants, refugees and seafarers in South Africa (Cape Town and Johannesburg) and Mozambique (Nampula).
We are also in: EUROPE Belgium, England, France, Germany, Italy, Luxembourg, Portugal and Switzerland. NORTH AMERICA Canada, Dominican Republic, Guatemala, Haiti, Mexico and USA. SOUTH AMERICA Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Paraguay, Peru, Uruguay and Venezuela. ASIA AND OCEANIA Australia, Indonesia, Japan, Taiwan and Vietnam.
4. REQUIREMENTS TO BE A SCALABRINIAN PRIEST
A candidate must be a baptized and confirmed, practicing Roman Catholic, 18 – 25 years. The candidate over these years or with other experience would have to give us the good reason to believe that he could adapt to our Congregation.
Spiritual qualities: must be of sound spiritual, spirit of prayer, closeness to the Church especially through the Word of God and the Eucharist.
Personal qualities: a candidate needs a sufficient good health; both physical and mental, Outgoing disposition, necessary maturity, good sense and generosity, capacity of adapting promptly to the new environment and culture.
Candidate must have a secondary school certificate with at least a good minimum of points/percentage in every subjects, especially in English and mathematics.
5. WHAT IF I BELIEVE I’M CALLED TO BECOME A SCALABRINIAN PRIEST?
To become priest in a Congregation is always a long journey, and it’s not easy!
If you think you are called to share the Scalabrinian spirituality and mission, and you would like more information about the Congregation and vocation to be part of the Missionaries of St Charles–Scalabrinians, you can contact with us.
In the meantime,
- grow up your life of prayer
- attend the activities of your Parish
- be committed to your studies or work
- be generous
We can stay in touch with letters and calls. Usually from the first contact you need at least one year of discernment to understand better the will of God in your life.
We invite those who show good signs of vocation to a Special weekend called “Come and see”. Those who are ready to start their formation are introduced in a Scalabrinian Seminary.
A long Journey to discover His will
Many steps and signs to understand if God is calling you to become a Scalabrinian Missionary
Some more notes about our Formation
To the question if a young man is called to the consecrated life, we can answer only after a searching process that, in the Christian tradition, takes the name of “vocational discernment”. To do this, there are some criteria that we have to know very well.
The discernment plays a particular and important role in proximity of the fundamental choices that will determine the rest of someone’s existence. The discernment does not finish with the vocational orientation time, but it continues until the person matures a final and definitive decision, for the whole life, and becomes more specific in view of admissions.
Scalabrinian vocational discernment is the discernment of the Scalabrinian vocation. It regards “the young people who are prepared to follow God’s call to serve their migrant brothers and sisters,” and want to answer by living out the “mission in the service of migrants according to the Founder’s charism,” embodied in the Scalabrinian missionary project of consecrated life.
A permanent attitude on the formation process. The whole formation process is a continuous journey of discernment and ought to be lived in a permanent attitude of discernment. “Our communities must be prepared to follow, and, wherever possible, to welcome the young men who are willing to embrace the missionary life, by offering them the opportunity to develop their Scalabrinian vocation and to grow in it.” “Under the guidance of their superiors and with the specialized help of the formation team, they will develop their personality in a well balanced way and deepen their knowledge of God’s will for them”; “inspired by the Scalabrinian ideal deepen the awareness of their vocation”, reaching a deeper understanding of themselves and becoming capable of a mature personal response. The entire initial formation is pedagogically aimed to this goal.
Candidate’s responsibility. The candidate to the Scalabrinian life or the confrere in formation is the first responsible for vocation discernment. He is the one primarily concerned to know the will of God in his regard, and he has the responsibility of making a genuine response. Hence he:
- assumes a permanent attitude of discernment,
- cultivates a constant openness to the voice of God and to the action his formators;
- directs his life according to the perspective of faith;
- examines himself in the light of the charismatic vocational criteria,
- seeks to know himself in truth, to make himself known and to accept himself;
- makes use of all the instruments and means that his formation offers him, in particular, formation guidance, dialogue with the formation team, especially with the Rector, the spiritual direction, the sacrament of Penance, contacts with the community and their discernment;
- maintains an open and trusting relationship with the Rector of the community, to whom is entrusted the task of formation guidance, so as to provide him with the knowledge he needs to direct, discern and decide.
“My child, if you aspire to serve the Lord,
prepare yourself for an ordeal.
Be sincere of heart, be steadfast,
and do not be alarmed when disaster comes.
Whatever happens to you, accept it,
and in the uncertainties of your humble state,
Trust him and he will uphold you,
follow a straight path and hope in him”.
Prayer to John Baptist Scalabrini
Blessed John Baptist Scalabrini
you were chosen by God to become the faithful servant
and Guide to your people, the Apostle of catechism
and the Father to the migrants.
Guide us in our pilgrimage of life
with the wisdom of your faith and strength of your courage,
so we may face our daily struggles, knowing that in all that happens
God’s providential love is at work in us.
Lead us to fullness of life in Jesus,
to harmony with one another and to openness and welcome
toward our migrant brothers and sisters.
Listen to our prayer and entrust it to Jesus
through the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
Extend your protection to all who live and work
in foreign lands, to their families at home.
Assist us in sorrow and distress
So that, free from fear and with a joyful heart,
we may give glory to God
through Christ our Lord. Amen.
Scalabrinian Fathers House of Formation
Fr. Gerardo Garcia Ponce CS
RECTOR OF THE SCALABRINIAN SEMINARY OF CAPE TOWN
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