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.


Initiation into the Novitiate-Srillanka

Kandy, September 7, 2012

srilanka novitiateSix postulants started their novitiate in Srilanka on 7th september in kandy. Edward Christy Paringtan Leenas, Joseph Nivaskaran, Pakkiyanathan Vinothan John, Xavier Thipusious, Mathuranayagam Abilas and Selvarajah Marselo Pio were solemnly initiated into the novitiate in a solemn vespers presided over by Rev. Fr. Joy Maria Retnam, the delegation superior. In his homily he exhorted the postulants to be clear of what they were seeking in their request to be admitted into the novitiate and to commit themselves fully to realize it. Fr. V. Lawrence from the province of Chennai is designated as the Novice Master to accompany the young novices in their vocational growth. The novices are at present accommodated in the theology house in Kandy as the construction work is in progress at Casa Claret, the actual novitiate house at Kurunagala.

Seminar on Transformative Formation in East Africa

Morogoro,Tnzania, August 22-26, 2012

morogoroAfter the encounter of the prefects of Formation held in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, a 5-day seminar on formation as organized in Morogoro. Fr. Malachi, the formation coordinator of East Africa convened the seminar for all formators of East Africa to reflect on the theme "Towards a Transformative Formation". The seminar was animated by Fr. Mathew Vattamattam, General prefect of formation and Fr. Bhyju, the prefect of formation of the province of Chennai. There were 8 participants. The seminar aimed at applying the reflections of the meeting of prefects in Dar Es Salaam in the context of East Africa. It was also an occasion to evaluate the formation programs in East Africa and to find ways to improve the quality of accompaniment of the formees.

East Africa we have four formation centers. The aspirancy house is being constructed at Boma Ng'ombe, HAI, near Moshi in Tanzania.

Perpetual profession of the first Student from Vietnam

Perpetual Profession of Student Antony Vo Van Tung. Vietnam

profession-anthonyGerry cmf, Vietnam, June 29, 2012

June 29th – the feast of Apostles Peter and Paul in the Catholic Church was a special day this year for the Claretians in Vietnam. On this memorable day the first candidate from Vietnam, student Antony Vo Van Tung, made his perpetual profession in the Philippine Province of the Claretian congregation. Antony joined our minor seminary in 2003 and did most of his studies in Philippines.

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