Brothers Celebrate Lifelong and Full Commitments.
This past August The Servants of the Word celebrated the lifelong commitment of our Mexican brother, Francisco Aguilar, at the brotherhood center in Chelsea, Michigan. On the same day, Luis Arce (Costa Rica) renewed his full commitment. Also, renewing his full commitment June 18 in Northern Ireland but unable to attend the commitment ceremony in Michigan was our Bavarian brother, Michi Schöberl.
Making their first full commitments this year were Dale Arconado (Philippines), Noel Delgadillo (USA), and Joseph Fahd (Lebanon). God has blessed The Servants of the Word by adding to us men who are making fervent and wholehearted responses to his call. Adding greatly to the significance of this event is the fact that the six men who made these commitments hail from six different countries!
Some have asked, “How long does the discernment process take, and what does this process look like?” The lifelong commitment culminates what is typically an eight-year period of discernment that begins with the initial investigation and “trying out” of our life as an affiliate and is then followed by two years of being an affiliate in training. At that point, the brother comes to our international formation house in Ann Arbor, Michigan, for a period of two years. Toward the end of these years of guidance and formation during which the brother matures in his understanding of our call, he discerns whether he desires to make a more significant commitment. That commitment is called the “full” commitment, meaning that the brother is fully a part of the life of The Servants of the Word. However, the full commitment is made for one year at a time for at least three more years, so that during this extended period the brother can gain experience in living out our life apart from the formation process. At the end of that time, the brother may request to make a lifelong commitment.
After having made his lifelong commitment, Francisco Aguilar, affectionately called “Panch,” now resides in Monterrey, México, where he is a member of the local Sword of the Spirit community, Jésed. He will continue his service working with university students in Monterrey.
Of his first full commitment, Noel Delgadillo said, “On the day of my full commitment I felt a deep sense of peace and at the same time an excitement that is hard to explain. If you’ve ever gone bridge jumping, you know there is this moment when the senses are heightened and you realize that you are fully alive. It can be exhilarating and dizzying all at once. I felt fully alive when I made my commitment to live with The Servants of the Word. I’m very grateful that the Lord has given me peace, joy, and grace to take this step in my life.”
This fall Luis Arce will travel with Luis Manuel Bravo to Honduras (four months), Costa Rica (four months) and Quito, Ecuador (four months) where they will run temporary households. Michi Schöberl will continue his work in Belfast leading the faith development work for Youth Initiatives, bookkeeping for The Servants of the Word, and leading the GAP program in Belfast.
Of the three brothers who recently made their first full commitment, Dale Arconado will be handling bookkeeping duties and serving in our university outreach in Manila. Noel Delgadillo is living in Grand Rapids, Michigan, and serving as the Grand Valley State University UCO chapter leader. Joseph Fahd has moved to London, where he is helping to start the Koinonia mission school and juggling various responsibilities in our brotherhood household there.
Our Servants of the Word Covenant states, “We believe that he has called us together to be a brotherhood where men of many Christian churches and of many races and nations can live and serve the Lord.” Looking back over the past forty years, we see that God has certainly done this.
This article is from our 2011 Fall Servants of the Word Newsletter [653KB PDF].