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.

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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.

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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….

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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.

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Claretian Ashram Begins 25th Year

wardha 3Jubilate Deo! Claretian Ashram College of Philosophy officially entered into a significant phase of its history on 16th July 2013 on the auspicious occasion of the 165 foundation day of the congregation as Fr. Mathew Vattamattam, the General Prefect of Formation, officially inaugurated the Silver Jubilee Celebrations of its foundation in the presence of Fr. Thomas Vattukulam cmf, the Provincial Superior of St Thomas Province, along with other dignitaries, religious, well wishers and friends.

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Heart of Mary School for Formators 213

shm13-3The 10th course for formators in the Heart of Mary School for Formators was held from 2nd of April to 20th June, 2013. The course in English was the last one in this Sexennium. The course was conducted in the Claretian centers in Vic, Barbastro and Colmenar Viejo. Twenty two formators from 13 different Major Organisms of the Congregation participated in the course. The following were the participants:

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Ordained on a wheel chair

basant2Province of Chennai, India: Deacon Basant Kispotta who suffered a partial paralysis from an attack of meningitis in 2005, which left him ever since on a wheel chair, was ordained a Priest on 20th January 2013. He was ordained together with his younger brother Anil Kispotta, a Jesuit, by His Eminence Telephone P. Cardinal Toppo. His home parish, St.Mary’s Church at Mandar in the state of Jharkhand prepared for the event with much enthusiasm and joy.

Basant who joined the seminary in 1993 suffered the illness during his first year of theology in Kolkotta. In spite of advanced medical support, he could not regain the capacity to walk by himself. Basant continued his formative journey on a wheel chair with in cheer and completed his theology in 2012.

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