predesk

To Progress and Grow in Him

Dear Brothers:

Greetings!

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.

Read more...

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.

Read more...

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….

Read more...

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.

Read more...

To Progress and Grow in Him

Dear Brothers:

Greetings!

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.

The General Government is in the process of reorganizing its internal and external affairs. On my part, I am now familiarizing myself with the initiatives and progress of formation to continue existing best practices while consolidating other programs and exploring new ideas and initiatives that respond to the challenge towards transformative formation.

We still have a long way to go. The good news is that we won’t start from scratch. We have a lot of good things to build on from the initiatives of our brothers who were once entrusted the same responsibility we now carry. To them we are grateful and from them we find inspiration.

The following are some important thoughts on formation that I want to share with you. I hope that these will continue to serve as the backdrop of the future of our formation work. Firstly, we are treading a sacred ground in this ministry as we are dealing with the life and future of a person called to follow Christ. We need therefore to approach our work with extreme care and compassion. I hope and pray that we will continue to do the ministry by heart and relate with every one in formation with patience, respect for each one’s process, and trust in God’s grace.

Secondly, this ministry calls for an attitude of listening and discernment not only between us, the formators, and the formands but more so, between us and God. While we accompany our formands to listen to and follow God’s will, we are also called to be more attentive to God’s promptings in our own lives so that we may accompany our formands to where God is leading them. By doing so, we also develop the inner freedom to be fully present to them and their inner stirrings.

Lastly, formation work is a life-long process. It continues after our perpetual profession. I hope that the formation community and the rest of our respective organisms will take cognizance of the invitation to create a healthy and constructive culture and environment that support and challenge each one toward personal integration. We need to challenge ourselves to veer away from the tendency to create a dichotomy of lifestyle and practices between these stages of our missionary life.

It is my prayer that, through time, we will be able to create an environment of collaboration and mutual support through dialogue. Rest assured that I will do my best to keep our communication lines open. I will be grateful to hear your thoughts both during face-to-face interactions and through my email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Looking forward to meaningful, productive, and transformative years ahead.

Fraternally,

Leo Dalmao, CMF
General Prefect of Formation

CLICK BELOW FOR MORE