Formation: key to freedom and innovation in the Sisterhoods

The complexity of today's society demands a formation that, together with personal experience, will provide the tools for analyzing the environment and making the necessary decisions with freedom.

August 22, 2022-Reading time: 3 minutes

It is not easy to innovate, let alone be disruptive. Only with rigorous preparation and a thorough knowledge of the fundamentals can you try to explore new paths.

Is it necessary to innovate? People and institutions, including fraternities, cannot remain isolated from their environment, determined to do better every day. the usual. The currents of thought are continuously modifying the social models, so it is essential a permanent analysis of reality to anticipate changes and remain faithful to its purpose in the new circumstances, not remain isolated in a non-existent reality; that is the innovation that must promote those responsible for the institutions, in our case of the brotherhoods. That innovation is not done in a vacuum, nor through trial and error, the personal conditions required to undertake this process with guarantees are: training, reflective experience and a clear awareness of the personal freedom.

It is advisable, or rather essential, that the older brothers and sisters and members of the governing boards try to acquire a adequate training in Christian anthropology; moral theology; canon law; history of ideas and brotherhoods, as well as training in management of people's organizations.

This training is the one that provides the necessary tools to analyze the social reality, without assuming the analysis and the consequent story made by others. The story is constructed by me based on my own criteria and my reflective experience. There are people to whom things just "happen" and others who are able to draw lessons from these incidences by contrasting them with their pattern of thinking.

From this point on, the necessary decisions can be made to keep the brotherhoods faithful to their mission, which is what innovation is all about.

This approach is uncomfortable for those who live in their bubble in which they move comfortably between altars of worship, processional outings, social activities and election meetings. Their apparent conservatism, dressed in a certain moral superiority, hides a populist mentality, lacking in fundamentals and in need of an opponent to assert themselves against, usually someone who could burst their bubble by trying to present the real world to them.

People affected by this mentality do not fully understand the value of the freedom. They renounce it, preferring its existence as a set of facts and actions that follow one after the other, without a subject rooted in being. They ignore how the freedom of Christ, manifested in obedience to the Father even to the Cross, is what illuminates the meaning of our freedom, which confers on the person his dignity and his elevation to the condition of children of God. A freedom that does not depend on ideological fashion or the opinion of the majority and that acquires its fullness when it is discovered as a divine gift with which we can collaborate with God in the creation of the world and in the construction of history.

This freedom has a double aspect: freedom of coercions, interferences, impositions and freedom to to do or to be something, to commit oneself; a freedom understood as an ethical task that is, moreover, personal, without taking refuge in the anonymity of massification in which individual responsibility is lost and with it the possibility of living an authentically human relationship with God and with others.

All of this has costs that one must be willing to assume. Today, Goya is recognized as an innovative artist and the aesthetic revolution brought about by his works is studied. Caprices and its Black Paints as an ideological expression of the Century of Reason and an anticipation of contemporary painting; but that innovation was based on his great artistic and technical training, which he left evidence of in his early stages. The road was not easy, until he reached this freedom of artistic expression he had traveled a long path of study and training, he endured bitter criticism, even, with his Caprichos, aroused the interest of the Inquisition who saw in these engravings possible doctrinal deviations.

Today's society is very different from that of fifty years ago and the sisterhoods have to respond to this new situation, they have to innovate to remain faithful to their mission; this innovation requires training that, together with personal experience, will provide the tools for the analysis of the environment, and to make the necessary decisions with freedom, assuming the corresponding responsibility. 

Of course, it is more comfortable not to take risks, to limit oneself to doing "business as usual", without exposing oneself to failure or criticism, but sliding the brotherhood towards mediocrity.

The authorIgnacio Valduérteles

D. in Business Administration. Director of the Instituto de Investigación Aplicada a la Pyme. Eldest Brother (2017-2020) of the Brotherhood of the Soledad de San Lorenzo, in Seville. He has published several books, monographs and articles on brotherhoods.

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