by J-Louie Martinez – Postulant

Are we ready to go? Let us check. Journal Writing? Check! Personal Integration Process Encounter Seminar (P.I.P.E.S. I)? Check! Community Dynamics? Check! Sexuality? Check!

I guess I’m forgetting something. Anyway, these seminars were held at Holy Family Retreat House in Lahug, Cebu City and were facilitated by Ms. Mylene C. Gorecho, a member of G.A.M.O.T. Resources from Iloilo, and Fr. Julius Martin Malacas, C.Ss.R. from the Redemptorist Retreat Ministry. Fantastic! Now I remember! We also had our P.I.P.E.S. II and Celibacy but unlike those previous seminars we had these last two serious and reflective seminars in Iloilo City. Our P.I.P.E.S II was held at the Chalet House of the Conception Family or commonly called as G.A.M.O.T Resources Centre while our Celibacy Seminar was held at St. Clement’s Retreat House. Both of these seminars were facilitated by Mrs. Cynthia C. Baga, one of the originators of the G.A.M.O.T. Resources and also the sister of Ms. Mylene.

These seminars given under the program of Postulancy were considered as an aid or assistance for us Postulants in order for us to come up with a firm and well-founded decision with regards to our vocation. These seminars leads us to go back again to our past to unfold our shadows and weaknesses. By looking on it again we were taught how to recognize, to process and to accept our past experiences which help us to become fully mature in dealing with whatever neither issues nor problems that we may encounter in our future ministry as a Redemptorist.

Since I am already done with all these seminars, now I ask myself, “How can I make these seminars useful and effective in helping me making a decision with regards to my vocation? The answer lies within the action itself. It is in the giving of oneself during the seminars that makes it effective and useful. This means, we are not only required to attend a seminar and be present there; what I mean of “the giving of one-self” is to become open both body and spirit, giving your whole self to the seminars. At first, during our P.I.P.E.S. 1 I was very shy of opening up myself; but in the end as I learned how to go with the flow of the seminar, I was able to discover a lot about myself.

The seminars did not only help me prepare myself for religious life but it also formed me to become a real person. Now I am in deep gratitude with the Redemptorist Congregation for giving me this very wonderful opportunity of undergoing the formative seminars under Postulancy and also with the facilitators for helping me to resurface my past and helping me to accept and process it. Now I already know who J-Louie Martinez is and he is already fully loaded and ready to go.

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