Saturday, 14 January 2023 23:23

International congress (3) - In the heart of the world

volunteers of godThe International Congress of the Volunteers of God was held on July 16th and 17th, 2022. On the second day, we were graced with the participation of Volunteers of God who spoke to us from the farthest parts of the world about their way of living the spirituality of the attitudes of life.

The opening was launched by France Robitaille, who, for a period of 20 years, was the coordinator of the Volunteers of God Core Team. She reflected on the potential of our spirituality, inviting us to adopt the Christian attitudes that are so effective in touching the hearts of others. Accordingly, she asked that we, Volunteers of God, all show by our attitudes the strength and courage to make God known by being witnesses of the Gospel, bringing hope and intensifying our outlook of benevolence, compassion and availability, especially towards those who need us most.

Volunteers of God from different parts of the world followed sharing with us how they live our spirituality in their daily lives. Volunteers from India, Thailand and Vietnam shared how they make known the presence of God by abstaining from criticism, abstaining from complain and constantly supporting each other as a group. A touching moment of the Congress was the performance of the hymn of the Volunteers of God from India. The performers were dressed in their traditional ceremonial dress.

Some Volunteers of God, especially those from French-speaking Canada, shared how the pandemic has transformed their way of living the spirituality, using technological means to draw closer to each other, continuing to sow the seed of God at the heart of the world. Similarly, those in Cornwall, Ottawa and Gatineau, shared their conviction that the Gospel and the 5 attitudes of life are the perfect recipe for peace and happiness.

Volunteers of God from Ecuador told us how their experience with the attitudes of life has helped to build their personal and family life, day by day, by being of service to each other within the Volunteer groups.

An English-speaking Canadian Volunteer couple presented their experience of living the five attitudes of life in relation to their married life. The spirituality allowed them to grow as a couple by developing positive attitudes that are also reflected in their intimacy with Christ and their relationship with others.

In the Spanish-speaking countries, including hispanophone Americans, Volunteers testified how their personal and team lives have been transformed through difficult times by living the five attitudes. Volunteers from Cuba mentioned how the spirituality helped them to listen to each other. Those from Spain also experienced how the five attitudes of life associated with the Gospel helped them greatly in getting through the pandemic.

From the Caribbean, the Haitian Volunteers shared how they reflect together on their past actions to analyze their mistakes and face them without fear. They invited us to remain open to the Spirit in order to continue to promote brotherhood and solidarity among us.

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I conclude by simply thanking God for such a wonderful work that is expressed in the diversity of the Volunteers of God who, day after day, strive to continue living the Oblate spirituality centered on the charity of Christ.

Esther Acuña Rios
Leader of the Volunteers of God

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