The Art of Accompaniment Book | Page 25

What is Accompaniment? 15 Mentoring Mentoring resembles coaching or training one another in various as- pects of faith or life. This type of relationship might include either informal or formal spiritual direction or catechetical instruction, as in the RCIA process. The recent Synod on Young People, the Faith, and Vocational Discernment also names social mentoring, or forming others in the social teaching of the Church as an important form of mentoring In society and in ecclesial communities that are ever more inter- cultural and multireligious, there is need for accompaniment that focuses specifically on relationship with diversity, that sees it as a mutual enrichment and as a possibility for fraternal communion, against the twofold temptation of retreating within one’s own identity and of relativism. (Final Document of the Synod of Bishops on Young People, Faith and Vocational Discernment, 94) Mentoring can also include activities or endeavors outside spirituality or faith: Accompaniment cannot limit itself to the path of spiritual growth and to the practices of the Christian life. Equally fruitful is accompaniment along the path of gradual assumption of responsi- bilities within society, for example in the professional sphere or in socio-political engagement. (Final Document of the Synod of Bishops on Young People, Faith and Vocational Discernment, 94) Because of its holistic character, accompaniment that emphasizes mentor- ing in careers, hobbies, or lifestyles is capable of evangelizing and forming towards mission. For example, mentoring is helpful in developing leader- ship qualities, problem-solving skills, and specific habits; relationships es- tablished as intentional relationships of accompaniment with more seasoned co-workers, life or health coaches, or those who share similar interests can be means of evangelization, holiness, and mission. Mentoring, when used as a dimension of accompaniment, fosters growth in holiness through ev- eryday circumstances and interests.