Colmenar Viejo, Spain.At the end of the third and last phase of this Year’s School of the Heart of Mary, the participants reviewed the regulations in Formation, beginning with the General Plan of Formation, deepened their understanding on the Initiation in the Ministry of the Word; on discernment; on justice, peace, and integrity of creation; and on laws and formation.
The proper preparation of the foundation that a Claretian Formator should have at the Congregational level alludes to #77 of the Constitutions: “The office of Prefect is very important because of its purpose and consequences” and if one want suitable missionaries, there is a need for formed Formators to carry out the task to which they have been called.
This #77 of the Constitutions makes a Congregational call for the necessary resources and personnel required to carry out this missionary work. The qualification of missionary Formators must be a Congregational priority commitment and, above all, the Organisms must keep this in mind, so that they can continue qualifying those who have this important role in the Organism, doing what is necessary to provide them with the tools they need in view of doing well the art of forming the future missionaries of the Congregation.
Aside from the task of the Congregation and of the Organsims, the missionary called for such a great responsibility, must preoccupy to be the best in his field and do what #77 of the Constitutions says: “…to whom it is entrusted charge of such importance, educate yourself well of your task and try to carry it out with all your best.” Like Mary, they can receive all this in their hearts and realize what Jesus is asking them at each moment: “Go and make disciples” (Mt 28, 19) to carry out this great work, which makes the Kingdom of God present in the midst of those who need it alive and active today.
Vic, Spain. This year’s Formator’s course has gone a long way already. It began in preparing them to have a good discernment; then a deepening of the autobiography of our Father Founder and know the most important places in his early years; studies on congregational history followed. After the historical part it went to an extension of what was already known about the constitutions; and ended with the theme on interculturality, which characterizes us as brothers in the Congregation.
At this moment, they are now looking into the martyrial dimension which moves them deeply to look at our charismatic roots and to try to live what they have chosen to be in their lives. Citing number 77 of our Constitutions, “He (the Prefect) should aim at bringing them, more by example than by words, to embrace our way of life out of an inner conviction of faith.”
To know the life of our Martyrs, is to recognize the magnificent work that those who accompanied them carried out in their process of growth in the faith and in their configuration in Christ. They wanted to take their lives, but they in return donated it, deeply convinced of God’s love for them and their neighbor. Of the 51 Martyrs of Barbastro, 41 of them were young people between 25 and 21 years old; and with great conviction and living faith they expressed: “We all die happy with no regrets or feel faint; we all die praying to God that the blood that falls from our wounds will not be shed in vengeance, but blood that enters red and alive through your veins, stimulates your progress and expansion in the world” (Letter of Faustino).
The life offered by our brother Martyrs, with his love for the Congregation and for God’s call to follow Him, invites each formator to be in his life a faithful and generous witness of the love of God so that others, seeing their lives, can find the merciful love of God the Father, by which we must live our lives. In other words, his life must be a perennial Gospel.
Vic, Spain. With great joy and expectation, on April 3 began the School of the Heart of Mary for Formators of 2018, in the Claretian Spirituality Center in Vic. In this course, 18 participants come from different Major Organisms: Antilles (1), Brazil (3), Central America (2), Colombia-Ecuador (1), Colombia-Venezuela (2), Deutschland (2), Equatorial Guinea (2), Mexico (1), Portugal (2) and San José del Sur (2). We have the grace that, among the participants, there are three Brothers from the Antilles, Colombia-Ecuador and Mexico.
This formation course actually began in January, but online, with the accompaniment of some missionaries responsible for the process of each of the participants. This first part ended in the second week of March, before starting Holy Week. Now, in this actual part, it is about reinforcing what has been seen from the virtual platform.
The Chapter Document “CPR” (Claretian in Process of Renewal – Document of the XX General Chapter, year 1985) reads in number 49: “The greatest wealth of the Congregation is the people, each one of them is valuable because of what he has of autobiographical and non-transferable. ” To put the person of the Claretian Missionary at the center of interest is to pretend the best for each one. A Congregation that cares about its members is an Institute that wants to be healthy.
The proposal to give the best of each one of those who come to our Congregation has to do with the idea of preparing, in the best way possible, those who will have the task of leading the new Claretian Missionaries towards the missionary life. where they should meet Jesus of Nazareth.
Like Mary, the Heart of Mary School aims that those who do not only limit themselves to give to others of what has been learned … but, better still and as it says number 73 of our Constitutions, it is for be more mature every day and deeply aware of their own vocation, learn from experience, in the midst of changes in the world, to live firmly and constantly united to Christ, according to our charism.
Barbastro, Spain. It has been almost two month since the commencement of the Heart of Mary School for formators for the year 2017. During the course of time, many activities such as: learning, discussions, visits, interactions, etc. have gone into the process of preparing the formators with an experiential knowledge of the charismatic patrimony of the congregation. Fr. Leo Dalmao, the general prefect of formation and Fr. Jesus Palacios are continuing to accompany the formators. The course is designed in three phases basing Vic, Barbastro and Colmenar Viejo and at present the third phase has just been begun.
Visiting Claretian places and giving the firsthand experience to the formators on how the founder and the congregation grew is one of the aims of the program. Accordingly, up to now, the formators were able to visit Sallent, Fussimanya, Vic, Viladrau, Espinelvel, Seva, Barcelona, Fontfroide, Barbastro and few other places of importance. The experience of these visits has made the formators to understand the fact flawlessly in connection with the place.
Familiarity with the Claretian Charismatic source is essential for a formator as he is responsible in guiding the students accordingly. Hence, the formators were helped to acquire better knowledge through various instructing methods on Autobiography of Fr. Claret, the writings of Fr. Claret, the history of the Congregation and General Plan of Formation. The study on the Constitutions is just begun. It seems that all these particulars are aiding the formators to become better informed resources.
Formator is to accompany the students. In order to attain a proficiency in accompanying, the formators were given an opportunity to expand the knowledge and experience in personal accompaniment. This aspect was thickened with the training given on the formative intervention methods with practical sessions.
As the Congregation moves towards an inter-cultural co-existence at present, the need for an intercultural atmosphere and knowledge among the members is momentously felt. In view of that, the formators are given ample opportunities to get in touch with different cultures and their richness through instruction and cultural presentations by the formators themselves on their own cultures. A lot of creativity and variety is seen in each presentation. Formators, by being together for almost three months and by sharing the different aspect of their own cultures with each other has made a big impact in them already. The richness they receive is requested to be transmitted to the formandi.
The experience the formators had on the Martyrdom of the Claretians in Barbastro and few other places made an immense impression in them on the idea of mission in the Congregation. Working for greater glory of God by all means possible was extremely emphasized throughout the sessions. The same moving experiences were expected to pass on to the student as well.
All what has been learning is being integrated by the formators through the personal and communitarian prayers. The regular sharing and prayerful thoughts during the liturgy are recurrent. The group of formators and the animators are highly grateful for all the Claretians who have turn out to help the group in numerous ways.
Vic, Spain. The General Prefecture of Formation officially opened its 2017 English Course for Formators at the School for the Heart of Mary last April 18, 2017, at the Claretian Spirituality Center (CESC) in Vic, Spain. Twenty-four formators from thirteen Provinces/Delegations are present. Fr. Leo Dalmao, General Prefect of Formation and Fr. Jesus Palacios are spearheading the conferences. Other Claretians, experts in the field of formation will also join them soon. The course that will end on July 7, 2017, is divided into three phases and locations. From Vic, they will be transferring to Barbastro then end in Colmenar Viejo.
The program aims to form the formators of the Congregation in accordance with the charismatic and formative foundations of our Claretian identity so that they may be more equipped to accompany the formandi in their vocational discernment and growth. The formators are guided in their personal vocational awareness and in facing its many challenges. Likewise, they are also given ample knowledge of the traditions of the Congregation and the spirit of the General Plan of Formation; a time to personalize and learn the Constitutions of the Congregation; a moment to be strengthen in the Word of God; be enriched with the exchange of formative experiences among formators of different parts of the world; and the possibility to develop one’s own skills in understanding and accompanying the formands.
Included in the Program are visits to different Claretian places, study of Claretian sources (Autobiography, constitutions and GPF), prayer integrations, workshops on personal accompaniment, sharing of experiences and cultural richness, and a synthesis paper.