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.


JPIC Seminar in Claret College

St. Anthony Mary Claret College, Quezon city:

jpic seminarThe JPIC commission of the Apostolate of the province of Philippines hosted a half day seminar on Saturday 16th November, 2012, in St. Anthony Mary Claret college for all the Claretian formees in Manila. The participants were the students of the Theology house, students of Claret college, postulants, formators, some of the professors of the college, Claretian sisters and the collaborators of CUPA (Claretian Urban Poor association). Fr. Angel Calvo cmf who is at the forefront of the peace movement in the conflict ridden Mindanao region was the resource person.

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"Rural Plunge" of Theology Students

 Claretian Seminary Bangalore, October, 2012

 rural plungeEvery year the students of Claretian seminary make a ‘rural plunge’ in October during the vacation between two semesters. They spend a week in different villages, adapting to the lifestyle of the country folk there, giving a rural touch to their formation program. This year, on 6 and 7 October the students left in different batches for their respective destinations - the first year students of theology to Karahalli, one of our rural missions outside Bangalore, the second year students to Bettada Halasuru near Kanakapura, about 90 kms from Bangalore and third year theologians to our Nallajerla mission in Andhra Pradesh.

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Novitiate in Granada 2012-13

Granada, Spain, 8th september, 2012

inicionoviciadoOn the feast of the birthday of our Holy Mother, Fr. Félix Martínez, provincial of Betica, received six young men in the interprovincial novitiate in Granada. The new novices are João Carriço, J. Ricardo Moreira (Portugal), José Enrique García, Tomás Jesús Marín (Bética), Francis Gao Kiko (ASCLA East), José Salgado and Jorge Ruiz (Santiago). Fr. José María Bolívar who is the prefect of spirituality and formation in the province of Betica will continue to serve as Novice Master. The novitiate in Granada has formed novices from all over Europe and at times from outside of Europe.