To Progress and Grow in Him

Dear Brothers:


The recently held XXV General Chapter declares among others the following:

“To progress and grow as disciples, called by the Master to be with Him, and to be sent as witnesses and messengers, until we are transformed as was our Father Founder throughout the course of his life (MS no. 75).”

As indicated, this number refers directly to formation. In the next six years the efforts of the Congregation in this area is geared towards this direction.


Joy, a Guiding Star of Formation Process

light of lifeMy novice master Fr. Franz Dirnberger used to ask us frequently, “ Are you happy?”, expecting the response of a “yes” from the young novices. For him an unhappy novice was a paradox and it was an indicator that an unhappy novice was not meant for this form of life, unless he worked out his difficulties and returned to the “natural joy” of consecrated life.

Absence of joy in everyday life or presence of pervading sadness in a Claretian speaks loudly about his vocational integrity. Consecrated life is a free response to the loving call of the Lord heard in the interior of a person. Often one may find it difficult to hear the call amidst so many of the sounds are furies trumpeting within him and he may find himself pulled and pushed by the many attractions they promise. Unless one learns to enter into the zone of interior silence, it is easy to get confused and get lost in the cacophony composed by the conflicting calls. Cultivation of inner silence and practice of meditation and Lectio Divina are important ways to recognize the voice of the Lord and recover the joy of life.


The Change that Changes Everything

the changeLooking at the formation programs which aim at promoting change and transformation, a formator may wonder what is that change which changes everything in a person. In other words, what is that change which, if it does not happen, there is no real change in a person even if one advances in age and accumulate academic degrees. Only very few formees are naturally tuned to benefit from the formation programs and grow towards higher levels of transcendence. It is after initial formation when life offers serious challenges that some religious go through the process of "breaking and building", the Pasqual mystery of dying to the old and rising to new life. Such a change often begins to happen in people at crucial moments of their lives. It can be through an encounter with a person, an escape from an accident, an illness, a failure, an experience of betrayal….


The Center of Formation in our Formation Centers

creationAs we are learning to make sense of the prophetic act of Pope Benedict XVI in his resignation and his onward journey as a fellow pilgrim in contemplation, prayer and study, I would like to take one of his constantly repeated affirmations as central axis for our formation process. The Pope repeatedly said, "being a Christian is not the result of an ethical choice or a lofty idea, but the encounter with an event, a person, which gives life a new horizon and a decisive direction… since God has first loved us" (Deus Caritas Est 1).   He has reiterated it again in his Lenten message.


Encounter of Formators-Iberia

iberia conferenceJuly 26-30,2013, Province of Euskel Herria

The annual meeting of the Prefects of formation and the formators of Iberia From 26 to 30 July, 2013, was held at the Claret residence of Atalaia. This time the meetings was also open to other Claretian organisms in Europe.

The participants of the meeting were: Almeida, Remualdo Vincent de Sousa (Portugal); Armengol, Josep (Catalonia); Hernández, José María (Betica); Kamiruaga, Joseba (Euskal Herria); Lamarca, Juan Antonio (Betica); Przybylo, Lukasz (Poland); Sanz, Jose Ramon (Santiago); Wolf, Stefan (Germany); Zanga, Pierre (France).

The theme of the meeting was as follows: 1. - The impact of social media and social networks in human beings today (Thoughts and culture that surrounds this issue today such as cyber-Antropology, digital culture or cyber culture and digital ethnography or cyber-ethnography) 2. - How to face this reality and place it from the initial formation for consecrated life and provide some clues to place . The facilitator of this topic was Alfredo Hernando.

The meeting began on July 26th evening in the Residence of Atalaia Claret with the welcome and presentation of the participants. The next two days (27th and 2th morning) we dedicated to the theme with the help of Alfredo Hernando. On 28th evening the Claretians dealt with some issues related to the theme in the context of Europe.

On 29the July the participantsvisited some cultural and religious places of the Basque Country specifically the birthplace of St. Ignatius of Loyola (in the morning) and the Sanctuary of Aranzazu (in the afternoon). In both places we got the help and guidance of a Jesuit and a Franciscan respectively. The Eucharist we celebrate in the chapel of the conversion of St. Ignatius of Loyola.

The meeting concluded on the 30th July with morning prayer and Eucharist.

Fr. Joseba Kamiruaga cmf