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Friday, 29 November 2013 15:36

Companions links

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The challenge

The Rector Major said “I believe in the volunteer programme… it is the best expression of what Salesian Youth Ministry is, sharing fully in Salesian community life… You discover the beauty of giving yourself to other people in service…But to be a volunteer is not a vocation, it is an opportunity to develop in the personal project of life.”

He went on to state that volunteers need good accompaniment.

 

The dream

Volunteers have the option of being supported by a “Salesian Companion”, who is:
- A lay person in the UK, committed to the Salesian family as a Co-operator or VDB
- Competent using the internet for communication
- Able to relate well with volunteers (aged 18+)

The role is expected to entail:
- Meeting with them (or at least speaking over the phone) before they leave the UK
- A time commitment of around one hour a week
- Praying for the volunteer and their intentions
- Supporting them with Salesian and other Christian materials for reflection and discussion, including materials relevant to the Salesian and liturgical calendars
- Gently exploring the vocational options open to them on their return to the UK
- The possibility of an ongoing relationship after their return, if desired by both the volunteer and the companion

The role should not include practical, day-to-day issues or issues with the Community; these should continue to go through the returned volunteer and BOVA.

At this stage this is a pilot programme within BOVA, with selected companions supporting selected volunteers in order to trial the idea. When this has been evaluated we hope to expand this initiative to other Salesian family volunteer organisations.

Aim: To accompany volunteers on their faith journey

How?

Be a (virtual) companion on their journey

Be interested in them

Start from where they’re at – listen

Encourage

Pray for them and their intentions

Share something of yourself, including your vocation story

When you feel it is appropriate, gently challenge

Use the “seasons” – both Salesian and liturgical

Use the Strenna/Salesian family theme

Do some research about the host country and culture

“A spiritual companion helps a person notice, savour and respond to the movement of the Divine in the spiritual practice of ordinary life.  The companion is a listening and supportive person who creates an environment where one can look honestly at his or her relationship with the Sacred.”

Resources:

-    Your experience
-    Materials you used/use
-    Scripture
-    The PAL
-    http://sdb.org/index.php?ids=25
-    http://www.sdb.org/index.php?ids=19&sott=43&ty=1
-    http://sdb.org/index.php?ids=24
-    http://liturgy.slu.edu/
-    http://www.sahayaselvam.org/ 
-    http://www.salesianformation.co.uk/

Beware:

-    Becoming their counsellor
-    “Stepping on the toes” of the hosting community
-    Sharing privileged information
-    Pushing too hard
-    Not pushing at all

Read 3003 times Last modified on Tuesday, 11 February 2014 12:44
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