Claretian Formation-Strengths and Challenges today

Meeting of Major Superiors, Vic, January 20-30, 2014.

1. Focus of the General Chaper (MFL 63)

  • The last General Chapter invited us to improve the program of initial formation by insisting on the “interiorization of the fundamental values of consecrated life” during initial formation and to assure personal accompaniment of the formandi through “transparent dialogue regarding various dimensions of life”.
  • We also resolved to have our formators prepared for the task and dedicated in their ministry and offer means and resources that they need for their ministry.
  • Another call of the chapter was regarding consolidation of inter-cultural formation centers and promotion of the learning of languages.
  • We were also called on to assume the responsibility of formation together and reinforce its objectives with the integrity of our lives.


Intimacy-The Heart of Community

Intimacy-The Heart of Community

intimacyThis article is from the book Building Community by Loughlan Sofield, Rosine Hammet, Carrol Juliano. It deals with the theme of intimacy in community life. The exercises given in this article are helpful for community building.

Jesus wept; and the Jews said, “See how much he loved him!” —John 11:35-36

The issue of intimacy pervades the life of any community and is an essential issue for the group to resolve in order to build commu­nity. As described in the near/far stage in Section I, discovering a level of intimacy appropriate to the community can present a chal­lenge, for within the assembled community, there are differing expectations with regard to intimacy. In addition, each member pos­sesses different needs and capacities for intimacy. Negotiating an intimacy level at which all members can be comfortable is not achieved quickly or without effort. The successful resolution of this stage of development in the group is dependent on whether the members, like Alice, have acquired some capacity for intimacy in their personal lives.


Formation Curriculum-Indonesia-Timor Leste


 1. Introduction

Claretian of Indonesia-Timor Leste has carried out the formation for their candidates since 199. At the beginning of formation, Claretian of Indonesia-Timor Leste did not based on the a specific formation plan, which be characteristic by Indonesia-Timor Leste. Therefore, at the beginning we just used the Claretian general formation plan as the only source of formation matter. Realizing of the formation is characterized by Indonesia-Timor Leste situation, so our delegation needs to have its own formation pan.

To respond that need and that importance, our delegation try to compile a formation plan wholly, including its levels for the formation to a claretian missionary.

The candidate priesthood formation in Indonesia generally, and specially Eats Nusa Tenggara who are studying in major seminary come from public senior high School or Minor seminary. The formation in minor seminary usually takes place for four years. In minor seminary, they have to undergo two curriculums namely public or government curriculum and specific curriculum for the candidate of priesthood.

The students, who graduate their study in minor seminary and accepted to enter a congregation, will be sent to Novitiate or to Spiritual Orientation Year for the candidates of Diocese Priest. Novitiate and Spiritaul Orientation Year take place for one year up to two years. After ending their Novitiate or SOY the candidates will continue their study in major Semianry.

For the candidates who want to be a priest but never go through a period of education in minor seminary, they should join a specific period, called Preparation upper class for one year. This is a different program for others to carry out an intensive preparation. This program can be done for one year up to two years.

There are also some congregations for instance OFM, O.Carm, OCD make this upper preparation class in accordance with their own need and program. All candidates who want to join with these congregation, have to follow the formation stages as follows: Aspirancy, Postulency, Novitiate, Philosophy and the end stage is theology.

From the beginning of our formation, Claretian of Indonesia-East Timor had tried to emphasize the special system and character in our formation in spite of our delegation didn’t compile the formation plan yet.  

   In our delegation, the candidates come from minor seminary and public senior high school, so they are not conditioned specifically for Claretian vocation. Therefore, our delegation prepares the special system and formation model according to our need and our purpose. This is related to school pedigree of our candidates. Mostly, some candidates come from public senior high school, so that can be said that majority of them are strange on seminary environment. It is not easy for them to enter the atmosphere of religious life, to live community life. Our formation doesn’t go by general system. Because in general system, greater part of congregation begin their formation by postulency but in our delegation we start with aspirancy stage. This is our process of formation, namely Aspirancy, Postulency, Novitiate, Philosophy, pastoral Orientation Year and Theology.

We prefer to chose this system because we want to form our candidates since at the beginning to experience and to know the life style of Claretian. Through this way, our candidates have enough time to deepen the identity of Claretian and at the end they are able to decide in their wholehearted, more appropriate, more mature join with us in our congregation. We, thus can know them, aid them to find out the signs of vocation in every candidates.

This reality and situation insist and demand our delegation to make an appropriate comprehensive formation plan. Its purpose is to get and to keep the continuity of the formation. Therefore, in avoiding some insight and notes that all stages in our formation are unrelated each other, so the formators in each level should make the report in the end of year, and giving to the formators of the next stage. This way can help the formator to know and to learn the formation plan in every level, particularly in the stage before. Based on the report of formators of the stage before, the formators in the next level are able to follow up the formation plan using the proper ways and method according to the phase of maturity and the level of the education and knowledge.  

 The formators meeting which was hold on November 2010 had offered the proposal of formation curriculum, and with the Delegation Council of Indonesia-Timor Leste had reached in the decision to change and to revise the period of the formation.

The changing of the Formation Curiculum as follows:

  • The First stage is the Selection and the Acceptance Stage and its process. Our vocation promotion team handles this process.
  • The Second stage: Pre-Novitiate stage. This stage is divided in two levels namely: Aspirancy Year and Postulancy Year. These two levels are taking place in Pre-Novitiate Kupang. For every level needs one year. After completing Pre-Novitiate Period, the candidates who are deemed proper, permitted to enter the Novitiate Stage.
  • The third stage: Novitiate stage that takes place in Claritin Novitiate in Benlutu.

Besides the formation house in Kupang, in 2011 our delegation has opened and begun the initial formation in Hera-Timor Leste for the candidates who come from Timor Leste. In the Claterian Formation Centre in Hera- Timor Leste, our candidates should undergo the introduction period and aspirancy for one year and six months.

After undergoing the Novitiate stage, as the new profess they will continue their Philosophy and Theology year in Yogyakarta or Kupang. For the formation of the Claretian Brother, they are going to follow the formation as the formation for the candidates of priesthood to succeed in gaining diploma degree on Philosophy, and making their Pastoral Orientation Year. After carrying out their Pastoral Orientation Year, the Claretian Brother will continue their specialization course according to the need of delegation mission and their capacity. While for the priesthood candidates, after accomplishing their Pastoral Orientation Year, They have to continue for studying Theology in obtaining diploma degree of Theology.

Observing and seeing these stages of Claretian Formation in Indonesia and Timor Leste delegation, the Delegation Council had appointed and formed one committee, consists of the delegates from each formation house which are coordinated by Perfect of formation of our delegation. The task and duty of this team is to compile the curriculum of formation. In addition, Independent Delegation Council of Indonesia-Timor Leste has approved the result of the committee work, with some corrections and additions.

  1. The Pre-Novitiate Period.

 2.1  Description.

The Pre-novitiate period is a preparation phase for the candidates before entering the Novitiate phase. This stage is divided into Aspirancy Level and Postulency level. The main propose of this phase is to prepare the missionaries candidates. The most important aspect of their preparation is the preparation in humane and Christianity dimension ( intellectual formation, self-discipline, the balance in humane and spirituality maturity, introduction of Claretian Charism. Therefore, they may have a mature self-readiness to be initiated in the Novitiate Stage (1)

The formation for the Aspirancy level is brought about in two places: Hera in Timor Leste for one and a half year and PNC in Kupang for one year.

2.2  The curriculum for Aspirancy Level

 The first six months in Hera Dili                     The Aspirancy Level in Hera and Kupang

1. Indonesian Language                                  1. Indonesian language

2. English                                                        2. English

3. Portuguese                                                  3. Spanish (Kupang) and Portuguese (Hera).

4. Introduction of The way of prayer             4. Introduction of Scripture

5. Introduction of St. Anthony Ma.                           5. The Method of Learning


6. Music                                                          6. Basic Psychology.

                                                                        7. Introduction of the Congregation (traces of Claret)

                                                                        8. Introduction of Philosophy

                                                                        9. Logic

                                                                        10. Practical Liturgy
11. Music.

                                                                        12. Basic self Skill.

                                                                        13. Christian Life (Spirituality of Christianity).

The prominent Subjects that should be given to the Aspirancy are: Indonesian language, English and Spanish-Portuguese.

In this curriculum, we give the priority for allocating more time to the prominent subjects above.

2.3  The curriculum for The Postulency Phase

 Our candidates during the Postulency period will study some subjects as follows:

  1. Indonesian Language
  2. English
  3. Spanish
  4. Introduction of Consecrated Life
  5. Autobiography of St. Anthony Ma. Claret
  6. The History of Congregation
  7. Introduction of Scripture
  8. The Introduction of Theology
  9. The Introduction of Our Constitutions
  10. The Psychology of Personality
  11. Practical Mission

From all subjects above, we emphasize some subjects as priority subjects in order to deepen more and know more. The subjects which are meant: Indonesian language, English, Spanish (to deepen more) and Introduction of Consecrated Life, Autobiography of Claret and The history of Congregation (to know more).  

3. The Novitiate Period

 3.1 Description

 The Novitiate period is as entrance gate or the first level in the processes of the religious life. For this reason, the novices are expected to be able to integrate the religious values and the Claretian charism in their daily life

The whole formation activities take place in Novitiate Community, which is under guidance of a Novice Master and formators. Through the guidance and directive of the Novice master and the formators, our Novices – by their free and honest decision and also in their earnestly heart- want to offer themselves to Lord’s call and to the Immaculate Heart of Mother Mary in the Claretian Missionaries Congregation by professing their religious vows. During novitiate year, our novices are given all sorts of knowledge as a foothold in the life to help them for knowing, understanding and living their identity as Claretian missionary. (2).  

3.2    The curriculum for The Novitiate Level.

 The curriculum of the formation during the novitiate period encompasses four parts, namely:

  1. Claretian Constitutions,
  2. Claretian Charism and spirituality,
  3. Consecrated Life,
  4. Language (English).

Looking at these four parts of the subjects which should be taught during the novitiate year, so the classes planning may be compiled as follows:

  1. The Introduction of the Novitiate Stage
  2. Claretian Constitutions
  3. The Missionary Community
  4. The Religious Vows
  5. Prayer and Contemplation
  6. Mission and Evangelization
  7. Economy
  8. Spirituality of the Bible
  9. Spirituality of the Eucharist
  10. Spirituality of the Cord Marian
  11. Spirituality of St. Anthony Mary Claret
  12. Consecrated Life
  13. Language (English)

4. Studying Philosophy and Theology (I –IV Level).

 4.1 Description

Our delegation has two formation houses, established in Kupang and Yogyakarta for our candidates to study philosophy and theology. After their first profession, our young missionaries have to continue their study to earn academician degree in Philosophy and Bachelor degree or Master in Theology. In Kupang, our young missionaries study in St. Michel seminary that undergo the program of Philosophy-Theology Faculty of UNWIRA, whereas, in Yogyakarta, our candidates follow the philosophy and theology program in St. Paul Seminary in Kentungan-Yogyakarta which undergo the program of Philosophy and theology faculty in Sanata Dharma University.

The program in these two Philosophy and Theology Faculties, in different university really enrich our young missionaries. It is true and very normal to admit that studying dynamic and situation, social and culture situation, the life of religious in each place extremely influence our character formation. Because of this reality, we have to endeavor, so our candidates in these two formation houses should get formation in all aspects with the same good quality for our mission, in future. In obtaining this main goal and propose, we as the formators team formulate the formation curriculum as follows.

4. 2 the Formative Elements

The formation topic or the matters formation are compiled for every three months without making a light of actual and concrete topic, for instance: The Church Documents in connecting with missionary vocation, Religious Life and Consecrated Life, and the documents of Congregation. The formative elements, which are meant:

  1. Weekly Conference: matter is taken out form the three-month topic of Conference.
  2. Weekly English Course.
  3. Monthly Dialogue : the dialogue matter will be adapted with need and situation.
  4. Monthly academic meeting: held in every three month with its topic that prepared or the actual topic.
  5. Monthly recollection: Its topic is taken from the three months topic or may be brought into line the need.
  6. Course in the end of every semester : Progression Psychology, personality Psychology, homiletic, public speaking, Bible Animation, proclivity and skill development, journalistic, Computer, Spanish, and especially for our candidates in the fourth year of Philosophy should follow a guidance and a preparation of Pastoral Year Orientation.
  7. Following the yearly retreat (spiritual exercise) as a preparation for vows renewal.

4.3  The chosen Topic for every three months

 The basic principle in choosing some topics for every three months is by concerning the needs of our young missionaries in each stage. By taking a note of that principle, we, as the team formation divides the topics in accordance with each level of them. This is the meant division:

  • Group I: Level I-IV (Philosophy)
  • Group II: V-VI (Theology).  

To arrange the time allocation, the three monthly topic of formation is divided according to the semester of lecture namely: uneven and even semester.

4.3.1 First Group : from I-IV Level

 Uneven Semester.

  1. Obtaining a deep understanding of self-personality and purifying self-motivation of vocation (Taken from Document of the General Chapter XVII, 1967).
  2. Psychology and Sexual maturity.
  3. Personal Project (Self-Discipline and following personal project in daily life)
  4. Mastering and making use of knowledge and science in developing and progressing faith (Fides et ratio).
  5. Consecrated Life in the world: reading and knowing the signs of time, finding out the 1quit of wind in the various Challenges.
  6. Apostolate Method: Using all possible ways and means (Categorical Apostolate).
  7. The constant and stable personal relation with God in Payer to experience the presence of God.
  8. The Missionaries in the Formation ( Claretian Constitution Chap. XI).

Even Semester:

  1. The heritage of Culture and re-reading of our missionary Charism (General Chapter IX 19 79: Mission of Claretian Today)
  2. Spirituality of The Bible and of the Eucharist (Initiation in the Ministry of the Word 1989; general Chapter XXI 1991: servant of the Word).
  3. The Poverty: How to administrate and to use our treasures ( Claritin directories).
  4. Building Up Community Life
  5. Apostolate virtues of Claret (Autobiography of Claret).
  6. Mary, the Disciple of Christ (Looking at the Tradition of Congregation).
  7. Martyrdom: As the witnesses of Christ in the proper time.
  8. Mission and Evangelization.
  9. Preparation of lector and Acolyte: With motupropia Ministeria Quendam

4.3.2. The second Group: The V-VI Level.

This group has the specific preparation and leading. The specific preparation need to carry out in this group because each level in this group has its own guidance matter. In the V Level, our young missionaries prepare themselves and are prepared for their perpetual religious vows. Whereas, on the VI level, they have to prepare themselves and should be prepared well for diaconate and priesthood ordination.

To reach the purpose of the preparation for these two levels in the second group, our team formation tries to prepare and to compile the important topics, which related to the importance and the need of each group. We present these topics in this booklet as follows:

–    Studying and deepening more on Our Constitutions and our Directories (for V level as the topic in preparing for perpetual vows).

–    Spirituality of the Priesthood and Consecrated Life (for VI level as the topic in preparing for ordination).

–    JPIC in the light of the Claretian Spirituality (General Chapter XXIII: “May they have Life).

–    Enculturation: the way how to present and to proclaim The Gospels in several of the Cultures in which we are).

–    Deepening The Forge in their daily life.

–   Economy and Administration Course.

–   Fifteen days before Priesthood ordination, our deacons have to make Sacraments Ministry training.

–   Economy training in the Claretian distinctive feature.

–   Deaconate preparation: learning about motupropia ad passiendum.

We so recommend to our young missionaries to occupy diligently with their English weekly program, and at the end of the semester will be held the course of propensity, proclivity and skill.

  1. The Pastoral Orientation Year (TOP).

“They” who we mean and articulate in this booklet are fraters, brothers and deacons who go through a period of pastoral orientation year, both in mission area and in the formation house. In compliance with their departure to the pastoral place, the formators should give them some important information (written report and an evaluation of each person) the superior of the community in which the young missionary will be sent. The community superior has to take responsibility about the formation and progression of the young missionary entrusted to him. For this responsibility and this tasks, the superior of community needs to give attention to some formative elements as indicated bellow:

1.Monthly personal dialogue

  1. Accompaniment and leading in personal prayer and community prayer.
  2. Accompaniment in apostolate life.
  3. Accompaniment in self-adaptation in the new culture, new language, new situation (in our community or out of community)
  4. Final evaluation.

During their pastoral orientation year, there are some cases should be taken note by young missionaries, namely:

  1. Personal project.
  2. Self-integration in the apostolate community.
  3. Self-integration in the ministry of mission (Apostolate work).
  4. Personal study.
  5. The life of prayer.

Beside that, every mission area coordinator making a plan for recollection together. Once in two months. And after accomplishing their pastoral orientation year, they will hold final evaluation coordinated by perfect of formation of delegation.

  1. The formation of the Claretian Missionaries Brothers

In our Delegation, right now some candidates are interested to be claretian missionaries Brothers. This reality insists and provides the impetus us to make a formation program, giving especial emphasizing to the Claretian missionaries brothers.

In our delegation Formation Plan, and its curriculum, our focus for the claretian brother formation is that the candidates who want to join with us as claretian brother have to go through the period of formation as the same as our candidates of priesthood, from Aspirancy level up to Pastoral Orientation year. Then, after completing their pastoral orientation year, the claretian brothers will continue their intensive course as preparation stage to enter their perpetual profession. After making perpetual vows in our congregation, our brothers will take opportunity to continue their specialization study to obtain skill and competence degree according to their capacity and our need and also mission demand in mission area.

7.In a Wink of drafting and planning of the subjects in their study

  1. Indonesian language I ( Aspiarancy Level).
  • Speaking and writing well and rightly in Indonesian Language.
  • Having the practical capacity in scientific ( academic meeting).

     2.   Indonesian Language II (Postulency Level).

            * Having the capacity in writing, particularly in writing scientific matter.

* Training our candidates to have various skill in using Indonesian Language ( Poetry, writing short story, etc.).

  1. English language I Aspirancy level).
  • Structure and Vocabularies.
  • Pronunciation, Listening, and reading Comprehension.
  • Speaking and conversation.
  • Focus in speaking and writing.
  • Grammar (Advance).
  • Focus in speaking and writing
  • Grammar (Advance).
  • Depend on program in the faculty.
  1. English Language II (Postulency level).
  1. English language III (novitiate Level).
  1. English language IV ( philosophy level)

     7. English V (Theology Level)

     8. Portuguese .

     9. Spanish I (Aspirancy level).

            * Basic Spanish course for the beginners.

     I0. Spanish II (postulency level)

            * Basic II, Spanish course for the beginners.

11. Introducing to the Scripture (Asprancy).

* What is, and for what is the Bible for the Catholic people and particularly for the candidates of       missionaries.

* Knowing a second of Old Testament.

* Knowing a second of The New Testament.

* Introducing on how to read and to contemplate Bible practically.

12.The Introduction of Bible (Postulancy Level).

  • The Word of God
  • Inspiration and Canon
  • Text of the Bible

The appropriate method and approaching in reading and contemplating the Bible.

13.Spirituality of Bible (Novitiate Level).

  • The spirituality of some Books in The Old Testament.
  • The Spirituality of some Books in The New Testament.

14.The Learning Method.

  • Introducing some practical Learning method
  • Introducing some creative and inovation ways learning guiding the students to arise and to increase their spirit and motivation in learning.

15.Basic/general Psychology.

  • Beside the material of basic/general psychology, they are also given of anagram.

16.Christianity Life ( Just in a flying glance).

  • Who Jesus is and Who Marry is.
  • What The Church is
  • The Sacraments and the Devotions.

17.Congregation (The Traces of Claret).

  • St. Anthony Marry Claret.
  • The History of Congregation up to Right now.
  • The History of Our martyrs
  • The king and the important persons in our Congregation.
  • General Chapter and our general Superior all along the presence oh the Congregation.
  • Our delegation History.

18.Autobiography of St. Anthony Marry Claret.

19.The History of Congregation.

  • The Congregation documents pasha The Vatican II.
  • Mission of Congregation.

20.Introduction of Philosophy.

  • Seeing the candidates off to the world of Philosophy.
  • Training the candidates for having the abstract thoughts or having capacity to make abstract to pay close attention to the punctual and temporary phenomenon.
  • Stimulating and arising imagination of inteletual to order and to organize critical thoughts.

21.The Introduction of Logic.

  • Introducing the candidates to the basics of the logic.
  • Training the candidates to think and to speak logically.
  • Urging and providing impetus the candidates to have creative thought, be based on the base and principle truths.

22.The Practical Liturgy.

  • Introducing the liturgy ornament and liturgy year to the candidates, and training them how to be the good and precise altar boy.
  • Introducing the practical devotions to the candidates.
  • Accompanying them in personal prayer and in The Eucharist celebration.
  • Bringing them to live the active, creative and participative Eucharist.


* Training the candidates how to sing the basic voice.

                             * Vocal Practicing for having good and clear voice.

                             * Practicing Music instrument, to accompany song with music instruments.

  24. Basic Skill.

                             * Computer.

                             * How to be a good communicator (public speaking).

                             * Having a good etiquette   

  25. Introduction of Consecrated Life.

                               * The short History of Consecrated Life.

       *The Introduction of the prominent elements of The Consecrated Life                   (religious Vows, community life, prayer life, the life of mission, charism, etc.).

       * The orientation about the Novitiate Year (Insertion among the novices, experiencing the life of novitiate).

     * Codex Juridical Canonici /Canon Law

     * Vita Consecrata.

26. Introduction of Theology.

     * Initiating and bringing the candidates in the theology world.

     * Introducing the centre and

* Responding the Divine Revelation in Faith (Personal respond and community     respond)

                                         * Introducing the experience of God.

27. The Introduction of Our Constitutions.

28. Psychology of Personality.

     * Introducing the psychology approaches to form integral personality of a candidate of missionary.

     * Discerning and paying close attention to the psychological phenomenon in our candidates’ selves to help self- development and self-acceptance.

     * Introducing the practical ways in emotion restrain (unstable emotion) of the candidates who have different character.

29. Practical Mission.

     * Practical Catechism

     * JPIC and NGO.

Peer influence and impact of sub-groups in formation communities

Peer influence and impact of sub-groups in formation communities

peersFormators often get puzzled when they come to know that they are the last ones to know many things happening among the students. I have listened to Claretians sharing their group adventures and pranks on formators during their initial formation after they have passed through the seminary. Some of these “mischiefs” were not helpful for achieving the goals of their formative journey and it had negative consequences on some companions. Groups of formees act as a collective body with its own corresponding group dynamics. Peer influence in seminaries with a significant number of members need to be given due attention so that it can be tapped in favour of their vocational growth and commitment.


Charismatic Formation – Celebration of Love

Charismatic Formation – Celebration of Love


crossWe are familiar with hundreds or monks and nuns of other religious traditions with whom we share many common values of consecrated life. Both Buddhism and Hinduism is replete with a large number of men and women who have “left everything” in their search for God experience and service to fellow humans. I could not come across reliable statistics of the monks in Budhism and Hinduism. A more organized Hindu missionary society, Ramakrishna mission, reported 1106 monks and 426 nuns in 2005[1]. The Eastern religions possibly equal the church in the wealth of consecrated persons in their fold. The following is the statistics of religious in the Church[2]:


Christian Formation – A call to Love

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.