Endings are also Beginnings
by John Michael B. Bahaya
“Where should I begin?” This is always a hard question for me to answer whenever I write something. It became even harder when I was asked to write an article about the Postulancy program for the Newsplorer. But in this article, I like to begin it with the idea of “endings.”
End. Coming here in Dumaguete City for the Postulancy program signifies an “ending” for the seven postulants. It means the end of the collegiate formation for John Michael B. Bahaya, from Kiblawan, Davao del Sur; Irvin Jonathan Balio, from Talamban, Cebu; J-louie Martinez, from San Jose, Antique; and Erlito Viñas, Jr., from Carigara, Leyte. It means an end of the Post-Graduate Aspirancy Program for Jon Rey Ismael Batayola, from Palo, Leyte. It also means an end of the Aspirancy Program for Dennis Galan, from Buenavista, Guimaras; and Junedel Pinatacan, from Tambulig, Zamboanga del Sur. Finally, it also means an end of the summer vacation and be prepared for Postulancy formation.
Now, as we meet these endings, new beginnings arise. We join the Redemptorist Dumaguete Community and its staff, the new family where we belong. On May 6, 2015, we have our orientation with Fr. Gerry Griffith, the formator and Fr. Ryan Joseph Parantar, the Socius, and began to lay down plans for the program. On May 17, 2015, we were formally accepted and introduced to the faithful in the Church. We dedicate ourselves to the formation program with its new challenges to nourish our vocation.
For the past weeks in the Postulancy, we deepened our relationship with God as we journey in the higher level of formation. We have explored the parish area and conducted popular mission in Pangas, Bantayan, Dumaguete City one month. We also accompanied Fr. Colm Meaney, C.Ss.R. in mission in the Gawad Kalinga village in Bayawan City. Lastly, we have undergone the Personal Integration and Process Encounter in Cebu City to be more in touch with the Spirit that lives within us.
Indeed, endings are also beginnings. We will never forget the things we learned in the past and bring it with us as we face the present and the future. Endings make way for new beginnings to come in order to form our lives into what God has planned for us. And as we continue journeying with the Postulancy program, we expect more endings and beginnings. For we trust, that God, who is without beginning and end, will accompany us throughout the whole Postulancy program.
by Jon Rey Ismael P. Batayola
“We are not human beings having a spiritual experience. We are spiritual beings having a human experience.”
The quote from the famous French Jesuit philosopher Teilhard de Chardin reminds us that we are not mere human persons but rather spiritual beings. As beings created in the image and likeness of God, we are hence capable of transcending over our human experiences and bring it to the spiritual realm.
The start of the new quadrennium marks the beginning of new life, new challenges and new opportunities for growth in the ministry and vocation of the Redemptorists. With this, the Redemptorist Retreat Ministry continued its service with an ever growing desire to be of help to those people who need human and spiritual guidance. Same as Teilhard de Chardin, they believe that it is important to take every human experience to a much higher consciousness and eventually reach Divine experience.
Last June 20-28, 2015, the Redemptorist Retreat Ministry, led by Fr. Julius Martin Malacas, C.Ss.R. and accompanied by Miss Mylene Gorecho and Miss Malou Caminade, conducted the seminar called Soulwork and Personal Integration Process Encounter Session (P.I.P.E.S). This ‘therapy’, as Miss Mylene would prefer to call it, helps people in formation delve into their human aspect and address human issues so to achieve a more mature perspective in life. It was attended by formands and some formators coming from different congregations such as the Salesians of Don Bosco, Redemptorists, Carmelites of Our Lady, Order of Carmelites, and the Augustinian Sisters of Divine Love.
During the therapy, it was always being repeated said that the activity is a process of HOLENESS to WHOLENESS to HOLINESS. Through activities such as journal writing, dream interpretation, play, and catharsis, among others, the team of facilitators helped the participants to deal those unconscious parts of the self and bring them to consciousness. The self is moved to look and recognize areas of ‘unfreedom’ such as fears and anxieties. The self, now broken, is challenged to pick up the scattered pieces so to make a new whole. The process was also a form of search for the Spirit within. It was an activity of listening to the true self which was hidden behind the many masks one creates as he or she lives with others in this world.
“We are spiritual beings having a human experience.” Indeed, despite the many negative experiences one had undergone, he or she recognizes that life never ends there. There are bigger and much better reasons to live life. In the first place, we are created by the Divine, we are God’s beloved children. The therapy sets then a new life perspective for the participants. The formands continue their journey bearing in mind too that in spite of the unpleasant memories, still there is a chance to change, a time to be forgiven, a time to start life anew.