Stages of Community development-Chart

Like any other human group, a religious community goes through different stages of development from its inception to termination. This process is evident if we observe the three year term of service common in many Claretian communities. Each time there is a transfer the community is re-born and the dynamics of dependence, independence and interdepence begin to unfold. The stages  of group development are presented here in eight identificable stages. It is also possible that a community may remain arrested at one stage or regress to an earlier stage or progress ahead towards pooling energy to fulfill the mission of the community. 

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Claretian Community-Bocos

Here is a graphic presentation of Claretian Community in all its dimensions prepared by Fr. Aquilino Bocos cmf. This graph beautifully captures the major tenets of the Claretian community presented in the Constitutions.


Communion For Mission


Bhyju Cmf


 God calls us to community. Through community we can be helped to discover our truest and deepest selves. In the same way the profound social orientation of the human heart, though denied by some, nonetheless gives each of us a deep desire for support of shared ideals and vision. The lonely life of a radical individualist is finally, at a deep inner level, neither very satisfying nor so happily abundant as it could be. There is both an intense desire for an improved quality of communal life and a sense of fear or resistance surrounding it. Candidates entering religious congregations today are very much influenced by the post-modern radical individualism, but at the same time we find in them too a hunger for meaningful community. And so the person is caught up in this ambivalence and it is also reflected in the quality of life lived by religious in the present time. Many begin to question the relationship between community life and mission, their relevance and importance. Many in communities find themselves caught up in a situation of “nesting” and do not know how to move forward. A lot of energy is spent in questions of power and authority in the community and members find the exercise frustrating as the quality of their participation in the apostolic work suffers. Many communities could be better termed as “hotels” where individual members come together only to eat and stay, and the rest of their lives are spent in their own individual apostolate and programs. Many find it hard to make a reality what the Psalmist envisaged in Ps. 133:1: “how good and pleasant it is when brothers dwell in unity.” So an attempt is made here to understand the reality of Religious community and the role of Leadership in their effort to make a reality the apostolic effectiveness. Though these two realities influence and interact very closely in the community dynamics, I present them in separate sections for the sake of clarity. I use the principles of Social Psychology and Group Dynamics which could very well throw light on our understating of community life and the role of leadership. So initially a few concepts from these two branches of psychology would be presented. Then the reality of community and leadership would be situated within a short Scriptural, theological reflection. Then specific aspects of community dynamics and the role of leadership would be discussed. The main focus would be placed on those aspects of the community dynamics that prevent apostolic effectiveness and those aspects that could favour the same effectiveness.

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Group dynamics1


intercultural link

World forum

Intercultural Relations