Accompaniment Community

by | 6 April 2022 | Blog

“As one participant shared at the end of our meeting, “this is a community of YES”. May we remain open to listen and discern how God’s Spirit is acting in the Church and our world and be available to respond with hope and courage.

This past month, the Discerning Leadership Program hosted the first in-person gathering in Rome for its community of accompaniers. Our group has been convened since 2019 to provide accompaniment for DL Church leaders through leadership coaching, spiritual direction, and group facilitation. After two years of online gatherings, around 40 participants from more than 20 countries met in Rome over the course of 3 days to better get to know each other, engage in co-creative work and discern together the way this community can support and accompany Church leaders as they respond to the invitation to lead in a more synodal way.

Our interactions and working sessions helped us tap into the diversity of our gifts and perspectives. As we took the time to slow down, encounter and learn from one another, what seemed sometimes challenging reminded us of the potential of living diversity as a gift. Being together in Rome offered us a chance to meet with DL alumni, listen to their firsthand experience of the program and get a better sense of their leadership needs and challenges. Our meeting was also an opportunity to review our way of proceeding as a community, and as we look ahead, integrate our experience and discern what steps we are called to take (individually and collectively) as we grow in our ‘journeying together’ and in our service of Church leaders.

On March 9th, we gathered in the rooms (Camerette) of Saint Ignatius for a closing prayer and gave thanks for the gifts of community, friendship, spiritual renewal, and commitment to a shared sense of mission.

Following our three-day meeting, and as a way to engage in continuous learning, the DL program offered members in our group the possibility to get certified in the Leadership Circle Profile. The formation was experienced to be a deeply powerful learning experience and provided us with a framework for transformational coaching conversations.

Our week in Rome was a foundational step in the formation of our community. We are allowing the seeds that were planted in our sacred space of encounter and listening to gently take roots and are continuing our discernment on what being part of this group means to us and to the mission of supporting leaders in the Church. In the coming months, we will deepen our reflection in the context of task forces and continue our conversations online. As one participant shared at the end of our meeting, “this is a community of YES”. May we remain open to listen and discern how God’s Spirit is acting in the Church and our world and be available to respond with hope and courage.

Sandra Chaoul

Sandra Chaoul

Director of the Accompaniment Community for Discerning Leadership

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