Contact Us  |  

    From Formation Houses

    It Depends Entirely on God’s Guidance

    It Depends Entirely on God’s Guidance

    Star InactiveStar InactiveStar InactiveStar InactiveStar Inactive

    Ivan Panistante

    Ivan Panistante, cicm
    Intern in Indonesia


    Regional Preparation for Perpetual Vows: A Story Worth Telling

    Article 67 of the CICM constitution states, “A Confrere who makes perpetual profession publicly proclaims his total and definitive response to the call of Christ in our Institute.”. In preparation for this lifetime commitment, Article 67.3 explicitly states an “adequate period of intense spiritual preparation” for those who will profess it.

    In response to this, the regional assembly of ASIA and RP provinces decided to have a joint preparation for the perpetual vows from February 24–March 16, 2023, at the District House in Jakarta, Indonesia, and a one-week retreat at Erema Village in the mountainous region of Puncak, which is known as a summer resort in Jakarta.

    Seven interns attended the preparation and the retreat: Emmanuel Ngemi Lukimi (RP), Rikardus Jaya Gabut (MG-ASI), Wilibaldus Klaudius Koban (MG-ASI), Elson Magan (IND-ASI), Ivan Panistante (IND-ASI), Kornelis Maximinus Benara (IND-ASI), and Valentinus Sirupang (IND-ASI). At the end of the session, we sincerely thank the organizers, who ensured the whole session had an atmosphere of prayer, reflection, and discernment, as well as those who prayed for the event's success.

    What have we learned?

    The whole three-week session focused on the different aspects of our lives as religious CICM, including Synodality (Mervin Quiros), Church and Pastoral Care (Kaitanus Saleky), Human Development and Sexuality (Hestasusilo Antonius), Evangelization (Fransiskus Sule), Vows (Yulius Thomas Claudius), Multiculturality (Johannes Rudolf Silalahi), CST and Retreat Facilitator (Rene Cabag Jr.), JPIC and CICM History and Spirituality (Jonardo Jonel Dalimag), CICM Administration (Antonious Harnoko and Hirohito Bolo Jr.), and Finance (Peter Koh). However, I will talk about some of my takeaways from this preparation.

    Human Dimension

    Hestasusilo Antonius has emphasized the significance of human development, which provides a great opportunity to better understand oneself, including one's strengths and weaknesses. By studying the psychological aspects of human development, one can comprehend specific behaviors, the underlying reasons behind people's thoughts and actions, and the different impulses and desires that drive us all. This knowledge is crucial for accomplishing our mission in life.

    Self-knowledge is fundamental for missionaries as it enables them to understand themselves and their struggles and accept and resolve them. It is often said that you cannot give what you do not have. Therefore, how can we guide others to know God if we do not know ourselves?

    Hence, my formation process must provide me with proper guidance to develop new skills and foster meaningful human relationships. If I fail in this aspect of our formation, it may negatively impact the other dimensions.

    Spiritual Dimension

    Fransiskus Sule discussed the importance of prayer, the Eucharist, and our priestly identity as CICM religious missionaries. He emphasized that prayer is essential to our lives and will always sustain us as we do God's work. Through prayer, we can discover God's presence among the people and their culture. Fransiskus Sule also reminded us of the role of the Eucharist in our lives as CICM, highlighting the sacramental communion of man with God, which eventually becomes a mystic in action. The session also emphasized the significance of our priestly ministry. Therefore, we should prioritize our spiritual aspect and encourage each other to do the same since it is often neglected.

    As followers of Jesus, our primary goal should always be to develop an intimate relationship with God. He reminds us that we can only bear fruit if we remain in Him (John 15:4-9). It serves as a reminder that God is in control of the mission, and we are simply serving Him. Our documents emphasize that our mission involves becoming like Christ, known as incarnate spirituality.

    At our retreat, Rene Cabag Jr. emphasized using metaphors to explain how our vows apply to our ministry and mission. It's a great chance to reconnect with the divine and gain a broader understanding of the CICM mission through sharing with others in the group.


    Intellectual Dimension

    In the session, Yulius Thomas Claudius provided a detailed discussion of our religious vows’ spiritual, historical, and canonical significance. His explanation gave me a fresh understanding of the importance of our vows as religious people. This understanding enables us to take a prophetic stance toward a modern and pluralistic world. It encourages us to dedicate ourselves to transforming the world towards Christ.

    The founder of our congregation, along with his first companions, has left us with a rich spiritual and historical legacy. Much like DNA, this legacy has been passed down from generation to generation, with the guidance of Jonel Dalimag, we are revisiting the origins of our congregation. It has allowed us to reassess our past, appreciate our forebears’ missionary efforts, and acknowledge our congregation's imperfections. Bro. Jonel encourages us to persist in studying our history as CICM, which helps us to understand our identity and mission.


    Community Dimension

    Johannes Silalahi emphasized the importance of building connections among CICM confreres, especially when cultural, age, and ideological differences threaten to divide us. We must strive for universal brotherhood through intercultural understanding and mutual support. Living in a religious community can be challenging as it brings together people with different backgrounds, beliefs, and experiences. However, this is our calling, and we must embrace the difficulties and work towards creating a community that is not only challenging but also fulfilling.

    Mervin Quiros outlined the three dimensions of synodality: communion, participation, and mission. These dimensions are helpful when discussing leadership, transparency, and dialogue. Hirohito Bolo, Jr. and Antonius Harnoko also noted that leadership and administration present challenges within the congregation. Leaders must avoid viewing their position as a means of control and instead focus on serving the congregation's self-renewal process towards a framework of meaning.

    However, I am left with how we interact with and accept the “otherness of others.” In our modern, pluralistic world, we should embrace the "otherness of others" as a tool for proclamation and celebration. While there are already many documents on multiculturalism, it is essential to evaluate where we stand today and how these documents have impacted us. Are they just pieces of paper, or have they become a reality?


    Apostolate Dimension

    We have a mission to accomplish, which requires us to align our commitment to the mission with our financial resources. Peter Koh strongly emphasized this crucial point. Therefore, before embarking on a new mission, it is wise to consider its financial implications and sustainability. Having a proper understanding of financial consequences can be extremely helpful in planning and fulfilling our missionary commitments.

    Discussions on church missions and documentation, pastoral care, and evangelization help me understand our calling as members of the CICM. According to Kaitanus Saleky, pastoral care is a crucial aspect of our ministry as it deals with issues within the group, provides support, and helps maintain the continuity of our mission. He also emphasized the importance of the pastor's role in leading the congregation.

    CST and JPIC have a significant role in the life and mission of CICM. Rene Cabag Jr. and Jonel Dalimag explained that while our mission is primarily religious, we must not forget the church's human and social role. We should respond to the cries of the poor, use our hands to help, and put our principles into action. CST and JPIC are deeply ingrained in our tradition as a church and congregation. They are essential elements of our mission, and we have the responsibility to help make them a reality.

    As a CICM, we must remain available and flexible to fulfill our mission. Proper coordination and collaboration with other religious congregations and the local diocese are crucial. Therefore, we follow the practices of the local church to guide our actions. Our goal is to assist in building up the local diocese.

    The issue of pastoral mobility is a crucial and challenging aspect of missionary work. It goes beyond just traveling or moving from one place to another. Therefore, it is essential to address this challenge within the congregation. As missionaries, we must be willing to give up our comfort and start anew, even in places where resources are scarce, and our presence is needed.



    Reflecting on the three hectic weeks of preparation in Jakarta, I feel grateful and blessed. However, as one of the seven interns, I recognize that applying what we have learned to our mission is the real challenge. Where will we be in the future? Can we move forward and become global witnesses? I am optimistic about the future of our congregation, as it depends entirely on God's guidance.