Christian Formation - A call to Love

I believe in Christianity as I believe that the sun has risen. Not only because I see it, but because I see everything by it .
- C S Lewis

st. thomas Perhaps you may not find many priests and religious in international seminars on eradication of poverty or alleviation of human suffering. But if you walk amidst the poor and the sufferings humans on the margins of the society, you are more likely to find a nun or a missionary working among them. In fact, most religious congregations were born during difficult times in history to respond to the deep hunger of humans for God and to alleviate the suffering of fellow humans. The first international congress on Consecrated life held in Rome in 2004 chose the title “passion for Christ and passion for humanity” to better express the identity of the religious and took two biblical icons, the Samaritan woman and the Good Samaritan, to depict the motivational dynamics of consecrated life. The interior journey to the center and the reaching out to the needy are two simultaneous movements of the Spirit of Jesus at work in the heart of every believer and especially the religious who are called to follow Jesus of the Gospels more closely.

Read more...

Human Formation - Born to Love

"The whole work of priestly formation would be deprived of its necessary foundation if it lacked a suitable human formation” (Pastores Dabo Vobis 43).

stfrancisA study on the psychological and spiritual health of priests in USA was published with the title, “Why priests are Happy”[1]. The result of the study reveals a reality contrary to what most people presume in the context of the widely publicized scandals of the clergy in the west where celibate priesthood is assumed my many to be ‘a sad and lonely life that attracts psychologically unhealthy men’. The survey research was on 2,482 priests from twenty three dioceses around USA. The findings clearly show that “Priests as a group are very happy with their lives and their vocations. They are among the happiest of any people in the country” (p. 202). The factors that contribute to their happiness are deep spiritual life and good psychological balance. Those considering leaving priesthood are found to be coming from distressed childhood and having unresolved psychological problems. Their spiritual supports such as prayer, relationship with superiors, sacramental life are weak. I think this study could shed light on the actual situation of priests and religious elsewhere and on the need for a wholesome formation of candidates for priesthood and religious life in human, Christians and charismatic dimensions.

Read more...

Towards a Transformative Formation

- Mathew Vattamattam cmf


forge5Forms of Consecrated life have attracted and continue to attract thousands of generous hearts to embrace the style of life which Jesus has chosen for himself ever since the Jesus event inebriated human life with the incarnate love. Many forms of consecrated life have sprouted in the Church and have undergone growth, decline, and re-foundation or demise especially at different crossroads of history. Today we speak of a “crisis” in religious life caused by decreasing number of vocations and increasing presence of old members in places which were once cradles of religious vocations . On the other hand, many thinkers speak of our times as a historical moment of transition in human consciousness (cf. Beck, Ken Wilber). The ever new wine of God’s love needs new wine skins to serve the people God today.

Read more...

Cultivating Emotional Intelligence in Seminary Formation

Cultivating Emotional Intelligence in Seminary Formation:
Development of Core competencies

-Mathew Vattamattam cmf

 emotional intelligence in semSelection and formation of priests and religious has always been giving attention to intellectual endowments of the candidates as they are trained to become leaders of communities of the people of God. Of course, an intelligent person tends to respond better to the challenges of life and contribute more to the welfare of the society. The traditional understanding of what constitutes an intelligent behavior (IQ) has undergone great changes as new theories of intelligence began to gain ground. The theory of emotional intelligence (Goleman,1995) and multiple intelligence (Gardner, 1983) have contributed to broaden the concept of intelligence to include more significant variables of healthy living. Thus terms such as emotional intelligence, social intelligence and spiritual intelligence have entered into common parlance of every day life.

Read more...