FORMATION PLAN OF EAST AFRICA
Approved by the General Government on 13th October, 2006
1. The life and mission of our Congregation strongly depend on the formation of the missionaries. “The fundamental objective of formation is to promote growth in union and conformity with Christ according to the Claretian Charism in a responsible and creative manner”The vision of our Founder St. Claret about the formation of the missionaries aims at making them fitting ministers of the Word to spread God’s name and His reign throughout the World.
The ministry of the Word is the motivating force of our formation and mission. “…One of the core aspects of our formation is initiation and growth in the Word, understood as the authentic way of being, acting and signifying”Hence, this mission of the Word of God is the key to all our formation.
2. With this in mind our Congregation invites us especially those who are working in East Africa to have a formation plan prepared in conformity with the General Plan of Formation (GPF). Itdirects our initial and ongoing process of formation. It guarantees our missionary formation to be open to the signs of the times in tune with the events of the world and of the universal and particular church. It serves as pedagogical tool for the formators and formandi. It was also agreed in 2001 to draft a formation plan of East Africa accordance with the GPF. Rev. Fr. Mathew Vattamattam CMF, the General Prefect of Formation insisted that it is a point of departure for receiving, discerning and promoting vocations and orienting them towards the future as new major organism in East Africa.
3. In response to this call this East Africa Region has prepared the Formation Plan of East Africa (FPEA) although we had some norms and policies consented in different meetings in the past before drafting this text. The formulation of this document involved the suggestions of all the formators and Vocation promoters of East Africa, decisions of the previous meetings in various years in East Africa, documents of theCongregation and the provincial Plan of Formation of Chennai. All have served us in drafting this plan.
4. The structure of the FPEA begins with the Vocation facilitation. Since we do not have minor seminary in East Africa, we have our own formative plan for East African and all the candidates of East Africa pass through different stages into ours. In the light of each stage of formation the FPEA has set objectives seen from the points of view of human, Christian and Claretian formations. They are presented in a more practical ways and according to our contextual demands.
5. The FPEA is addressed to all those who are working in East African region who are members from different provinces: priests, deacons and students. It is also addressed to all those willing to join our community and are in the phase of discernment and preparation. Drawing inspiration from the GPF, it makes us to approach our formation in the particular context of our East African region with the collaboration of different provinces and church.
6. Apart from the Holy Spirit and the candidates as principal agents of formation, the formation team plans a vital role in carrying out this formative ministry. They are “entrusted with an immediate responsibility for the integral formation of our candidates”.In all the stages of formation, the FPEA clarifies the specific roles of the formators and insists their wholehearted service to this ministry.
7. East African region is a growing organism and therefore we have stipulated some basic norms, decisions for the betterment of the growth of its members.
8. Finally, the FPEA helps us to live the supreme norm of following Jesus Christ. “In this process, Mary, the Mother of Jesus and of the Church, the Formatrix of Apostles plays an essential role“As followers of Christ and Sons of her Immaculate Heart, our vocation is shaped in the forge of Mary’s Heart.
The objective of formation
1. Claretian formation in East Africa aims at the growth of every formandus in union and conformity with Christ, according to the Claretian charism in the Church, through a process that integrates all aspects of the person in a gradual, progressive and articulated way and prepare them to become committed prophetic servants of the Word adapted to the culture of East Africa through the harmonious collaboration of all agents of formation.
2. Our formation communities should create suitable environment and opportunities for reaching the objectives specific to their formative stage in relation to this fundamental goal of formation.
The formation team
1. All missionaries assigned to a formation community form a single formative team to achieve the mission of the community by assuming their respective responsibilities whole heartedly and fulfilling their roles in keeping with the principles of subsidiarity, subordination, collaboration and fraternal correction.
2. The formation of our missionaries is carried out in accordance with a community project of formation duly prepared by the formator by incorporating the formative guidelines of our documents especially GPF and the formation plan of the East African mission.
3. Regular plenary meetings are important moments to exercise the co-responsibility of the whole formation team in the mission of formation which they do by evaluating the formative programmes and the process of formation in relation to the goal of Claretian formation. It should be the proper venue to exercise fraternal dialogue in possible conflicts or tensions that may arise in community living.
4. The formative team should seek to avoid any unhealthy conflicts or competitions among themselves which would endanger the holistic formation for our younger missionaries.
General norms of the team of formators
1.1. The Coordinator and collaborators of the formation programme of East Africa
1. A coordinator and two collaborators (belonging to participating provinces) for formation will be designated for the entire East African mission. The coordinator will be appointed by the General Government after due consultation with the provincials and the missionaries in East Africa. The collaborators will be designated by their respective provincials.
2. The Coordinator is responsible to convene the encounter of formators, organize quinquennium programme, arrange the pastoral year of regents and animate the formation programmes in the East African Mission with the cooperation of and in dialogue with the collaborators and formators.
3. The Coordinator represents the East African Mission when participation in any congregational events is called for.
4. The collaborators act as an advisory body for the harmonious and integral progress of the East African Mission which consists of the collaboration of the three provinces.
1.2. Role of the Superior
1. The local superior in keeping with his role of animation functions as a sign of communion and bond of unity in the service of the mission of the community. In this sense he is the over-all co-coordinator and the principal animator of the total programme of the formation community. He does it by encouraging and directing the whole community toward diligent missionary life and fulfilment of the mission of formation of missionaries.
2. By his words and example he encourages and corrects (when needed) the community members in order that they remain faithful in their missionary life and carry out the responsibilities entrusted to them, in keeping with the principles of subsidiarity and subordination.
3. He represents the community on all official matters. He organizes the pastoral ministry of the priest members of the community in consultation with the persons concerned.
4. For executing any plan in the community, the approval of the superior is necessary.
5. The superior is to know the students and their concerns by meeting them personally at least once a year.
1.2. Role of the Prefect
1. Formators are those entrusted with an immediate responsibility for the integral formation of our candidates at different stages of their formation Strictly speaking, those entrusted with the specific task of formation in the East African Mission are the prefect of postulants, novice master and the prefects of formation in philosophy and theology. They accomplish this with the collaboration and good example of other missionaries who live in the same formation house.
2. The formators fulfil their mission of accompanying the students in communion and in consultation with the local superior.As his principal mission is to accompany the students, he shall not take up major responsibilities that hinder his formative presence to the formandi.
3. The prefects accompany the formandi in the overall unfolding of their missionary vocation. This process embraces all dimensions of formation with a view to promoting a harmonious integration of the missionary life.
4. The superior and econome communicate the matters pertaining to their offices to the formandi in dialogue with the prefect in order to avoid confusions or double messages in communication. Normally, it is the prefect who deals with any matters pertaining to formation.
6. He shall periodically inform the formation team about the progress of the students and is to receive any feedback from the team that might help the formandi.
7. The prefect shall inform the major superiors of the progress of the formandi periodically (at least every trimester).
8. The formators are to give formative conferences to the formandi regularly.
9. The prefect shall arrange programmes of pastoral ministry for the formandi and accompany their pastoral formation.
10. After consulting with the team of formators, he shall give a periodical report about the students to the major superiors.
1.3. Role of the econome
1. He is part of the formation team and actively collaborates to achieve the formative goals of the community by fulfilling his responsibility as the econome of the house. He seeks the good of the members and assists in formation by caring for the community’s temporal needs and by handling the expenses and ordinary administration in a spirit of service.
2. When the econome needs to engage the formandi in any work other than what is programmed in the community formation project, he does it in dialogue with the formators.
1.4. Policies for East Africa
- The general organization of the formation process in Eastern Africa for the future will be as follows:
- Vocation ministry and Aspirancy are to take place in each of the present missions (Tanzania, Uganda and Kenya)
- Postulancy in Musoma (Tanzania)
- Novitiate in Langata (Kenya)
- Philosophy in Jinja (Uganda)
- Theology in Morogoro (Tanzania)
- House of Studies and specializations for East Africans in Nairobi (Kenya).
- The coordinator, collaborators, persons in charge of vocation ministry, and the formators will meet once a year at an agreed upon time, to review and evaluate the formation programme and to maintain unity in the criteria and lines of action used in formation.
- The coordinator and representatives of formators will also take part in the meetings of formation called by the ACLA Conference.
- Formators will participate in the Heart of Mary School of Formators’ course, encounters within Eastern Africa and other meetings with members of other missions and their candidates.
1.1. VOCATION FACILITATION AND ASPIRANCY
1.0. Vocation accompaniment is an initial process by members of the Claretian Congregation to those who feel called to the missionary life. It stresses the missionary service of the Word, the urgent need of the Church to evangelize and our community and Marian dimension. There should be one vocational facilitator for each country of the East African mission. The local communities of East Africa are essential participants in this task. The facilitators are to seek out those boys of Form VI or A’ level students of different schools.
Vocation ministry aims at helping people discover their proper vocation and respond to it with a particular emphasis on reaching out and accompanying those who feel attracted to our Congregation so that, after making due discernment, they may make a personal option to follow Christ in the style of Claret.
1. In every community one day of the week is be dedicated to praying for vocations. (e.g. Thursday), apart from other activities of vocation promotion.
2. Preaching on vocational themes and the missionary charism of the Congregation, by participating in the encounters which are organized by different religious congregations, youth camps, retreats, visiting schools and parishes.
3. Creative uses of mass-media, distribution of pamphlets, calendars and Biblical diaries.
4. Contacting friends, well-wishers, the diocesan clergy and religious communities to enhance their knowledge about the Congregation.
5. Accompanying the interested boys, through letter correspondence, and helping them even in their O’ level studies, and dialogue with the family members.
6. It is advisable that the vocational propaganda in East Africa be unified. The vocation literature will contain explicit information about the vocation to the Brotherhood. The coordinator of formation is to be in charge of carrying forward this project.
Persons in–charge and their responsibilities
1. The vocation facilitator of each country is to co-ordinate the programmes of vocation promotion in their respective country. He communicates and collaborates with other vocation facilitators for effective Claretian vocation ministry in East Africa.
2. A team of collaborators for each country has to be set up under the leadership of the Vocation Facilitators to visit schools and families of the candidates.
3. When possible this can be done with the help of lay collaborators in the vocation facilitation team.
1. Boys may be selected from the vocation camps conducted in various dioceses and also from those students encountered through personal visits of our priests.
2. The local community participates in the selection of the candidates along with the vocation facilitator.
1. Good Catholic background; parents who had church marriage.
3. The local community should see whether the candidate is fully free and clearly motivated to make an option for the consecrated life.
4. The candidate should have good physical and mental health. The team shall take into account the various ailments they have had in their life.
5. Candidates, at the time of entering Postulancy, should have the necessary academic preparation for admission into the university according to the academic programmes of each country. For Kenya a mark C+ including C+ in English; for Uganda, the O level requirements are an aggregate of 28 or better including a credit in English and the A level requirements are Two principal passes which are basic; besides a pass in general paper, 6 points for Science students and 10 points for Arts students. For Tanzanian students, O level requirements are a mark division I or II inclusive of C in English and Two principal passes but not both E in Form VI. The candidates for brotherhood should be given special attention to their motivation during the recruitment.
6. Ex-seminarians should not be recruited.
10. Aspirants will be given free board and lodging during the time they live community life with us. All other expenses will be taken care of by the aspirants.
1. 3. General Guidelines
1. The aim in accepting aspirants is to continue the initial selection of candidates and to prepare them for Postulancy.
2. In each community, the respective provincial superior will designate a person in charge of the vocation ministry and a Claretian responsible for the formation of aspirants who, as the case may be, could be the same person.
3. The medical tests required should be comprehensive (blood analysis, AIDS, etc..). Normally, these will be taken three times: during aspirancy (before passing candidate to the Postulancy); before the first profession: and before final vows. Others may be taken in accord to particular cases when it is judged opportune or necessary.
4. House visits will follow after the Come and See programme.
5. Benefiting the rich and complex multi-lingual and tribal context of East Africa, we shall look for worthy vocations from all regions or states of the countries.
6. The vocation promoter shall receive the certificates ??? from the candidates and present them to the superior as soon as possible. He is also to give a brief written report about each candidate to the superior.
2.0.Postulancy is a stage of immediate preparation before entering the novitiate to give the candidates an adequate formation to begin their initiation into missionary life and at the same time verifying that they have the proper motivations and qualities required to continue missionary formation. Normally this stage begins after the minor seminary. The Postulancy will be located in Musoma (Tanzania). The Postulancy must last ten (10) months, including holidays (Rules 14-15). The postulants will go to Novitiate after their annual holidays.
1.2.1. Human Dimension
At this stage of formation the postulants are aided in attaining the degree of human maturity necessary to live the novitiate experience profitability.In the East African region the formation during this period aims at helping the postulants to discern their Claretian missionary vocation, to develop a healthy integration with the students of other countries like Kenya and Uganda, and to deepen their knowledge in English, good manners and knowledge about the Congregation.
1. Regular and active participation in sports, games and physical exercises.
2. Developing greater interest and involvement in manual work.
3. Initiating them into the practice of silence.
4. Cultivating hobbies to spend free time in a useful and creative way.
5. Having community recreation, agape meal, one to one dialogue, etc.
6. Intensive spoken English programme.
7. Opportunities for the refectory speech and other venues of talent formation.
8. Developing relational skills for mature relationship with others especially persons of the complementary sex.
9. Pastoral exposures such as visits to villages, hospitals, rehabilitation and parish centres.
10. Introducing them to look at the society critically for social analysis.
11. Conducting courses on social analysis, hygiene, group dynamics, public speaking, table manners, street theatre, youth ministry, drawing, cultural and literary areas.
12. Encouraging the parents and close relatives to visit the students.
1.2. 2. Christian Dimension
Means that should be encouraged by formators
1. Frequent participation in the sacraments of Eucharist and reconciliation.
2. Reception of the sacrament of confirmation if needed.
3. Prayerful reading of the Word of God as proposed in the Missionary Project of the Word.
4. Actively taking part in the shared prayer of the community.
5. Teaching catechism and attending to the Christian formation of others.
6. Attending courses on the bible, prayer and methods of meditation.
7. Animating them to form their conscience based on Christian values.
8. Making them value the importance of the spiritual direction in their Christian life.
9. Cultivating the values of honesty, truthfulness, availability, service mindedness, self surrender, the need of sharing one’s own abilities for the betterment of others and the importance of detachment.
10. Helping them exercise the value of justice through solidarity with the poor and the marginalized.
2. 3. Claretian Dimension
1. Helping them grow in their sense of belonging to the Claretian community through their active participation in the community programmes.
2. Frequent fraternal dialogue between formators and students to get initiated into a personal plan of life.
3. Studying the biography of the founder and developing love and affection for the founder and celebrating Claretian feasts with due devotion and preparation.
4. Introducing them into Marian devotion through the celebration of the Marian feasts, pilgrimage to the neighbouring Marian centres, reciting rosary and participating in the novenas.
5. Visits of neighbouring Claretian missionaries to share their mission experiences.
6. Initiating theminto the formation of a Claretian community spirit of teamwork, mutual acceptance, generous collaboration, etc.
2. 4. Persons-in-charge
1. The formation team consists of a superior, a prefect and an econome. The prefect is in charge and chief coordinator of the formation of the postulants. He acts always in communion with the superior.
3. The prefects are obliged to personally submit reports on the formandi entrusted to them. The superior may complete these reports with his observations, and in some cases, those of other members of the formation team.
2. 5. Holiday programme
2. 6. Financial Guidelines
1. Aspirants going into the Postulancy will carry a complete outfit of the things needed for the year (clothing, shoes, etc.), in accordance with a list given to them before entering.
2. The community will meet the medical expenses for ordinary ailments.
- Certificate of birth
- Certificates of Baptism and Confirmation
- Certificates of Studies (Form IV, Form V, S4, S5, Primary and secondary school certificates)
- Medical certificates
- Personal documents: Passport, identity card.
- Extensive Report of the Candidate (GPF. Appendix 4, Form 1)
- Letter of the Superior of the Community presenting the Candidate.
- Letter from the Parish Priest wherever possible.
2. 7. General Indications
1. The Postulancy must last ten (10) months, including the holidays (Rules 14-15) from September 1st of the following year, date in which the postulants will transfer to Novitiate.
2. The formation team must see that all the candidates comply with the requirements mentioned in the GPF no. 326. This includes the marriage certificate of their parents too.
5. The formator sends the report about the postulants to the Major Superior after due discernment andwith the help of the other members of the team.
3.0. The Novitiate is a time of integral initiation into following Christ the Evangelizer, according to the Claretian Charism. After one year of lived experience with the members of the Congregation during the time of Postulancy, our students are sent to the Novitiate.It belongs to the Provincial Superiors of each Province, with the consultative vote of their Councils, to admit the postulants from their own mission to the Novitiate. This stage of formation lasts for one year aiming at a foundational experience for consecrated life in our Congregation. It enables the novices to have better experiential knowledge of the call of God to our way of life and to have a more personal experience of the Claretian way of life and its evangelizing spirit. The Novitiate year will being on July 15th and will end on July 16th of the following year with the first profession of the novices. As a year set apart for a deeper God-experience and understanding of the Claretian missionary vocation, it should form a basis for the Claretian style of life, interest in our common commitments and a radical following of Christ the evangelizer today. As the novices seriously evaluate their fervour and resourcefulness for the Claretian way of life, the Congregation helps them to arrive at a proper discernment by helping to examine their motivation and fitness.
2. 1. Context
Our novitiate should be planned taking into account the basic realities such as:
1. Novices hail from different countries such as Tanzania, Kenya and Uganda varying in culture and languages.
2. Novices are at different levels of age.
3. As missionaries they will be workingamidst the poor and marginalized, who form the major part of East Africa.
This context demands that the novitiate programme addressessuch needs as:
1. Acceptance and appreciation of diversities among themselves.
2. Creating an aptitude for an internal spiritual journey and inculcating the values of solitude, interiority and self discipline.
3. Fostering awareness of the social situations leading to solidarity with the poor and definitive option for them.
4. Openness to personal guidance and discernment.
5. Creating respect and appreciation for the other religious sects and a capacity to dialogue with them.
2. 2. Human Dimension
1. To integrate different aspects of one’s personality.
2. To cultivate those human qualities which will add credibility and effectiveness to be a disciple of Christ.
3. To integrate affectivity and sexuality within the project of missionary life.
4. To foster responsibility and freedom.
These are to be realized through different means such as intellectual inputs, live-in experiences and their evaluations, personal accompaniment and initiatives. Specific means that could be used in our context are:
1. Developing a deep relationship of trust with the novice master who in turn guides the novice personally.
2. Classes and group activity on human values such as hard work, respect for self and for others, joy, self-sacrifice, availability, cordiality, simplicity, constancy and steadfastness of will, keeping one’s word, personal dignity in speech and action, spirit of tolerance and universality.
3. Developing interactions, communication and dialogue through group activities and evaluations.
4. Through workshops involving group-dynamics developing the ability to make critical judgment of oneself and reality and the capacity to take criticism from others in a proper spirit..
6. Classes on the developmental aspect of one’s life with an emphasis on emotional integration and the dialogue with the formator on the personal implications of these factors.
7. Courses on leadership, public speaking and homiletics.
8. Daily journal writing and periodical evaluation of activities.
9. Engaging in artistic and cultural activities without impeding the essential aspects of the novitiate.
10. Practicing physical and manual work, sports activities and common recreations.
11. Providing experiences the enable one to encounter the realities of poverty like visiting orphanages, old-age-homes, rehabilitation centres, jails and collaborating with organizations working for their betterment.
2.3. Christian Dimension
1. To deepen one’s personal spiritual experience centred around the vocation to follow Christ and imitate him in doing the Will of the Father and being docile to the Spirit.
2. To accept the Gospel as the norm for our life.
3. To imitate Mary as a model of listening and looking to her as the Formatrix who forms the missionary in the furnace of her heart.
5. To create in the novices openness and appreciation to the multi-culturalreality of the East African church.
1. Preparing a personal project of formation at the beginning of the novitiate.
2. Classes on Religious Life, Evangelical Counsels, History of Religious Life, etc.
3. Growing deeper in personal prayer, familiarizing with traditional modes of prayer and meditation, etc.
4. Instructions on biblical and theological foundations.
5. Instructions on foundations of prayer, various methods, forms and possible obstacles to prayer life.
6. Meaningful celebration of Eucharist, Liturgy of the Hours, Sacrament of Reconciliation.
7. Specified time for daily reading of the Scriptures and classes on Bible with special reference to vocational narratives.
8. Reflection on religious vocation – theological, psychological aspects and its discernment.
9. Spiritual accompaniment, discernment, particular examination of conscience, spiritual direction.
10. Classes on virtues, sacraments and Christian life, liturgy, spiritual classics, documents of the church and the mystery of the church.
2.4. Claretian Dimension
1. To know and experience the Claretian way of following Christ.
2. To foster Cordimarian Sonship.
3. To grow in Claretian identity and belonging to the Congregation.
The GPF gives elaborate guidelines regarding the means to achieve this goal. A few of them are highlighted:
1. Study of the Claretian charism, Cordimarian spirituality, history of the Congregation, Constitutions, Directory and General Chapter documents.
2. Study of the experience of Claret and his missionary vocation.
4. Celebrating the feast of the Congregation with due preparation and solemnity.
5. Contact with members of the Claretian family through correspondence, prayers, and visiting neighbouring Claretian communities especially to celebrate together important Claretian feasts, showing special hospitality to foreign Claretians as members of the same family.
6. Exposure to the Claretian mission through the sharing of experiences by the missionaries.
It is recommended that this team be composed of personnel from different Organisms. The Novice master will have an Assistant, (if necessary), who will exercise the corresponding duties in close union with him. Apart from those qualities envisaged in the GPF,the following are highly recommended for the Novice Master and his collaborators.
1. Apostolic experience which will facilitate the understanding of the novices from different countries and cultural backgrounds.
2. Capacity to appreciate all the novices from the different provinces as belonging to the same Claretian family.
3. An awareness of the different levels of maturity and formation that the novices have reached and the capacity to deal with the problems that may arise at their age level and within a socially pluralistic context.
4. A capacity to desist from all forms of favouritism: regional, cultural or nationalistic.
5. A basic formation in the Human Sciences to address the questions related the psycho-physical-social development of the novices.
2.5. Financial Aspects
1. The trip of the postulants from their respective homes to the Novitiate will be paid for by their particular provinces.
2. The following items will be given to the Novices for their personal use: The Liturgy of the Hours, the Autobiography of our Father Founder, the Constitutions, the Directory of the Congregation and the General Plan of Formation. If a novice leaves the Congregation, he returns them to the Novice Master.
3. MISSIONARIES IN FORMATION
4.0. In this stage the missionaries should continue the work begun in the novitiate and become rationally sharp, spiritually deep, morally sound, emotionally matured and zealous in the apostolic life with a view to definite incorporation into the Congregation and missionary service in the Congregation. The students do their philosophical studies at the Philosophy Centre in Jinja, Uganda.
3.1.1. Human Dimension
In collaboration with the formators this stage of formation aims at growing in human maturity, developing self-acceptance, strengthening inter-personal relationship and acquiring philosophical reflection on God, man and the world in order to make a definite option.
1. Helping them to understand and perform their duties with responsibility.
2. Guiding them to make use of the study opportunities properly to develop a genuine outlook on reality in order to read the signs of the times in the light of the gospel values.
3. Providing the possibilities for those who are in need of guidance and expertise in psychological growth and sexual maturity, to accept critical remarks, failures and difficulties with a positive attitude.
4. Appreciating their achievements to develop within themselves a healthy self-image.
5. Helping them discern their vocation by providing ample chances for self-sacrifice.
6. Initiating them into the joys and sufferings of the needy within the local community.
7. Personal and communitarian dialogue to grow in the spirit of teamwork.
8. Encouraging them to value the manual work (garden work, and other community projects) as vital factors in formation.
9. Encouraging them to make use of their literary and cultural talents effectively through news casting, seminars, by participating in extra curricular activities within and outside the community.
10. They shall be encouraged to excel in the intellectual field by studying the subjects concerned and other relevant topics.
11. Offering them the opportunities to develop reading and writing talents by contributing to in-house publications of the community and to those journals from without.
12. Fostering in them a regular and obligatory participation in sports and games.
13. Organizing an orientation course at the beginning of the academic year for those beginning philosophy and one for the final year students about the regency programme.
14. They shall be instructed on how to make their own personal project covering all the aspects of Claretian way of living.
15. Animating them to value moments of silence.
3. 1. 2. Christian Dimension
Growing in intimacy with Christ through intensive reading of the Word of God and active participation in the inculturated worship that may lead to commit oneself for the integral development of humankind in East Africa.
1. The following programmes are aimed at attending to the students’ spiritual thirst: Daily creative participation in the celebration of the Sacrament of the Eucharist, community prayers, weekly adoration and monthly holy hour and recollection, making use of the Sacrament of Reconciliation, and fraternal correction to build up a fraternal community.
2. Educating the students to practice personal, group prayer, the different method of meditations as in guided meditation, contemplation of God in nature and in the events of one’s own life.
3. Integrating current issues into the liturgy so as to increase awareness and to prepare oneself to live in solidarity with the poor and marginalized.
4. Initiating them to discover the ways and means to practice the religious values of austerity, sacrifice and detachment.
5. Arranging annual retreat so as to deepen one’s spiritual life in view of renewing the vows.
6. Giving spiritual conferences and spiritual direction regularly by the formators on relevant formative themes.
7. Directing them to use the Word Mission project and GPF for recollections, meditations to deepen their Claretian call.
3.1.3. Claretian Dimension
To identify fully with their own Claretian vocation as Sons of the Immaculate Heart of Mary and to equip themselves for creative apostolic activities within a spirit of team work.
1. Initiating them to grow in deeper familiarity with the Word of God through the spiritual reading, conducting the Bible quiz, celebrating the bible week and encouraging them to participate in the homily preparation and delivery.
2. Celebrating the feasts of the Congregation, with creative and meaningful preparation for the feast of our Founder and the Claretian martyrs of Barbastro and developing a Cordimarian spirituality.
3. Organizing regular communication and periodic contacts with Claretians of other communities in order to share their missionary work and to create a desire for missionary work.
4. Celebrating the feast /birth days of the community members in a meaningful way.
5. Involving them as a team in the works of catechism, liturgy and service to the poor and the marginalized with due preparation
6. Helping students prepare their personal project and requiring monthly accompaniment with the formator.
7. Having a regular community plenary meeting every month and semester evaluations.
8. Active participation in the agape meal and weekly common recreation.
9. Celebration of the Claretian week with due preparation.
10. Encouraging the students to prepare assignments on the Claretian themes.
11. Providing them ample chances to progress in the strategy of community living.
3.1.4. General Guidelines
1. Special attention is to be paid for a solid intellectual formation and community living.
2. Frequent opportunities shall be provided for fraternal dialogue with the formators. The students are to be encouraged to initiate meetings with the formators.
6. The mission Superiors or Coordinators are asked to plan the holiday programmes for the students early and before students begin leaving the formation houses.
5.0. Regency is a break from the regular academic programme and a period of pastoral and missionary exposure. During this time the seminarians are expected to develop personal qualities and pastoral capacities within an apostolic setting. It normally lastsfor one year.
3.2.1. Human Dimension
To enhance personal responsibility, relational skills, initiatives, capacity for adaptation, aptitude for pastoral commitment, skills of leadership and to achieve emotional balance and realistic perception of the world and its challenges in order to consolidate his option of missionary life.
1. Assigning responsibilities such as youth animation, BCC/BHC/SCC co-ordination etc., with due preparation.
2. Creating an atmosphere of freedom where he feels comfortable doing the things of the community without fear and hesitation.
3. Providing chances to mingle with different age and sex groups.
4. Allowing him to participate in short term courses not exceeding two weeks. It should not be in distant places.
5. Extending help whenever it is necessary to handle emotional imbalances.
3.2.2. Christian Dimension
To develop a contextualized spirituality whereby he is in a position to encounter Christ among the people especially the poor and the marginalized, through a life of prayer and pastoral activities with proper accompaniment by the formators.
1. Developing the willingness and eagerness to actively participate in the community prayer.
2. Creating more interest and awareness for the need of the daily personal prayer.
3. Cultivating the daily meditative reading of the Word of God.
4. Participating actively in liturgical celebrations and in frequent reception of the Sacrament of Reconciliation.
5. Praying together with the people of God in the context of their daily struggles of life.
6. Encouraging them to seek greater simplicity and austerity as expressions of our prophetic life style.
7. Making use of the available spiritual guidance and regular spiritual direction.
8. Allowing them to work together along with the community and groups that opt for the welfare of the poor and needy.
9. Introducing them into the practical dimension of the areas of inculturation, ecumenical and inter-religious dialogues, justice and peace.
10. Animating them to work with the laity in a co-responsible way.
11. Having a periodic evaluation with the community about their life and mission.
12. Guiding them to go for house visits.
3.2.3. Claretian Dimension
Growing deeper into the Claretian way of life by participating in the apostolic activities of the community and by identifying with the people learning their culture, tradition etc.
1. Providing them with the practical experience of the Claretian way of life.
2. Developing a sense of belonging to the Claretian community by participating in the missionary spirit of the Congregation.
3. Using the local community project as a base, they will adjust their own personal project.
4. Fostering attitudes of availability and itinerancy and cultivating the study of local languages and cultures in view of mission.
5. Living in a Claretian community.
6. Providing opportunity to participate in the cultural events of the people.
7. Being committed to growing in living and expressing their Cordimarian Sonship.
8. At the end of this period the regents shall write to the major superior about their preferential options in the field of ministry.
3.2..4. General Guidelines
1. Generally Regency is after the study of philosophy and before perpetual profession.
2. In Regency the student may use the cell phone for administrative purpose but in accordance with the discretion of the local community. If he uses it he needs to give back the cell phone to the community at the end of pastoral year.
3. Under normal circumstance no one shall be exempted from this stage of formation.
4.The Coordinator determines the places of regency, in consultation with the collaborators, always keeping in mind the formative goal of this stage.
5. The opinion, preferences, interests of the individual shall be considered as far as possible.
6. The regents shall see that they schedule time for personal reading and reflection.
7. In view of fostering friendship and fellowship and sharing of their experiences, there shall be an encounter before the end of regency which will be animated by the formator in charge of East Africa.
8. The Coordinator of the Mission shall write an official information letter to the superiors of the regents before their arrival to the community explaining the expectations of and details of their stay in the community.
9. When the student goes for regency he needs to carry with him the Constitutions, Directory and Autobiography of our Founder. He shall be provided with materials and documents pertaining to our Congregation so as to grow in the Claretian spirit and identity.
3.2.5. Persons in charge
1. The Coordinator or mission superior of each country and the coordinator of Formation for East Africa shall be the chief coordinator of all regents of the Province.
2. The local superior of the community will be the person-in-charge of the formation of the regent during this period. In his absence or unavailability another missionary may be assigned by the local superior. He should have regular personal formative dialogue with the regent.
3. The Superior of the local communities will write a personal report to the major superiors for the promotion of the candidate.
3.2.6. Issues on Holidays
1. Other than the annual holidays the regent can be allowed with the discretion of the local superior to attend to important moments of the family such as marriage, death of family members.
3.3.0. This is the final stage in the initial formation which extends to a span of four years leading the students through the various important moments in their life such as reception of sacred ministries, perpetual profession, diaconate ordination and the Priesthood. This formation is geared towards enabling the students to understand God and the world in the light of faith, to reach sufficient emotional maturity in order to live and to work in communities and to become integrally deepen in all aspects of Claretian missionary Life. Our students go to the Salvatorian Institute of Philosophy and Theology at Morogoro (Tanzania) to do their Theological studies.
3.3.1. Human Dimension
1. Taking voluntary steps to maintain one’s physical and mental health by way of physical exercises, manual work and proper rest.
2. Continuing a spirit to hard work in all tasks and avoiding the attitude of mediocrity.
3. Developing the sense of belonging by generously carrying out the different community tasks and assignments. .
4. Becoming more aware of living the life they have promised.
5. Integrating in themselves the realities and effects of solitude, silence, self-discipline, austerity, hard work, spirit of sacrifice and moral rectitude.
6. Developing the capacity to handle the moments of frustrations and conflicts.
7. Developing a commitment to do extra reading on modern issues concerning morality, justice, and peace especially the problems of East African church and society.
8. Nurturing a hunger for learning more about the culture of all our recipients by periodical exposure to their living situation, by knowing their problems and participating in their celebrations.
9. Continuing to enrich interpersonal relationship through mutual understanding, encouragement and fraternal correction especially in the moments of success and failure.
10. Cultivating more openness and solidarity by trying to obtain new ways to enter into inter -cultural and religious realms of the society.
11. Forming ability for a critical judgment of reality and expressing solidarity with those who suffer the consequences of injustices in society.
12. Beginning to implement the effects of literary and cultural talents that have been acquired for the good of the mission of the community.
3.3..2. Christian Dimension
To deepen the spiritual life in order to seek always the will and the glory of God in everything, to enable oneself to identify with the multifarious cultural and linguistic diversities of our recipients, to become conformed in Christ.
1. Discerning the will of God by prayer, animation of spiritual guidance; personal and community reflection on the Word of God and the reality of society.
3. Encouraging them to collaborate with the church movements which work for the cause of the poor and marginalized.
3.3.3. Claretian Dimension
To incorporate into oneself the full significance of the evangelical counsels, to allow one’s self to be formed in the forge of Mary’s heart, fully identifying with the Congregation and its options and to continue maturing in the life and work of the community.
1. Developing the sense of sharing one’s time, talents, things etc, for the betterment of others and growing in detachment from things, persons and places.
2. Maturing in the habit of listening.
3. Resisting domination of others and seeking rather greater collaboration for mutual growth.
4. Intensively personalizing our commitment for the less privileged with compassionate acceptance.
5. Developing an openness to work in any region or area of East Africa and the world by fostering an attitude of availability and itinerancy. This openness should not make one disinterested in ones own option and that of the region.
6. Showing interest in learning the languages of the different peoples with whom we do our mission work.
7. Deepening the filial love for the Blessed Virgin Mary and growing in our commitment for the kingdom by imitating her life.
8. Preparing homilies with due care and presenting them effectively.
9. Placing one’s own personal gifts at the service of the missionary charism of the Congregation to become effective missionaries.
10. Living the consequences of the evangelical counsels and identifying oneself with Charism of the Congregation.
11. Developing deeper knowledge of the Founder and of the Congregation.
3.3.4. General Guidelines
1.Final profession is recommended at the beginning of third year of theology so that we do not exceed the canonical period of maximum of six (6) years after first profession. And it is to be received usually by one of the Provincial Superiors; in his absence he may delegate the formation coordinator or in his absence any one of the mission-coordinators to receive it.
2. Under the ordinary circumstances the preparation for perpetual profession will take place in the second year of Theology. At the end of it immediate preparation will take place for one month. The formation coordinator of East Africa will take care of this programme.
3. The students who make their perpetual profession are recommended to make at least one full week of retreat before the final profession. This can be at the end of second year theology.
5.The deacons have to exercise their diaconate ministries for a considerable period under the guidance of the mission superior after the completion of their studies before receiving the priestly ordination.
6. The formators areto make sure that formandi have personal copies of the Constitutions, the Vatican II documents and the Spiritual Directory.
7. A Claretian should be sufficiently prepared before making his perpetual profession, the annual holidays before the perpetual profession are to be used for this purpose making use of all the available resources.
8. A medical check-up is to be carried out before the perpetual profession.
9. Regarding the nature of the celebrations in our communities it was decided that the important moments should be celebrated well without becoming a counter-witness of our religious simplicity. Our celebrations should be few and simple.
4. ON GOING FORMATION
3.4.0. Any good initial formation should end by awakening in the formandi the need to continue forming themselves without interruption. The stage of on going formation is a process in continuity with the process of initial formation. It is an indispensable necessity of the missionary life of every Claretian. It embraces the whole person and all dimensions of his personality: physical, mental, spiritual, intellectual and ministerial.
4.1. General Objectives
1. To develop all the potentialities for personal growth and fulfilment in the Congregation.
2. To open themselves up to the brothers of the community and its mission; to maintain an attitude of growth in and fidelity to the Claretian vocation they have received from God.
3. To help them realize the need to read attentively the signs of our times and to adapt themselves to offer a relevant missionary response. In short, ongoing formation aims at maintaining an attitude of growth and fidelity to one’s vocation.
1. Each Claretian has the responsibility of being his own agent. For this he needs to have personal conviction to fulfil his missionary vocation.
2. The community is the milieu of freedom and growth wherein the person achieves fulfilment.
3. Superiors and their respective governments.. Under the direction of the local superior the community should promote the pastoral renewal of its members to improve the quality of their ministerial sevice.The mission coordinators of East Africa will prepare a plan for ongoing formation and present it to the provincial councils for their approval.
4.2.1. Ordinary means:
1. Meditative reading of the Word of God in one’s personal prayer, amidst the events of the history, cultures and life problems of the people.
2. A holistic personal project that attends to the spiritual, physical, psychological, intellectual and apostolic ministerial dimensions. It should give due place to annual retreats, participation in workshops, conferences and encounters etc.
3. Daily routine shall include time to read study and contemplate the Word of God.
b) At the community level:
1. Special attention is to be paid in the community project to the spiritual and pastoral fulfilment of the life and mission of its members.
2. Provisions shall be made to study the Word of God, congregational matters and church documents.
3. Weekly gatherings shall be held for planning, evaluation and recreation.
4. A library with literature on the apostolate shall be maintained in all the communities.
5. Participation in the inter-community, diocesan, provincial, inter provincial, congregational and inter-congregational initiatives.
c) At the East African Regional level:
1.The government of East Africa (the coordinators of E.A.) shall organize programmes of pastoral and spiritual renewal in collaboration with General Government or the respective Provincial Governments.
2. It shall organize encounters on relevant themes appropriate for formators, economes and superiors.
3. It shall organize encounters of missionaries or vocation promoters to study and reflect on the issues of common interest.
4. It shall publish the newsletter of East Africa Region.
1. Specialized studies are promoted in accordance with the personal aptitudes and according to the needs and missionary options of the region and Congregation.A healthy religious attitude, openness to the signs of the times, a desire to serve the church and the Congregation are important factors to promote one for specialization. This East African Region is a growing region and therefore, needs specialization for the service of Congregation and the Church.
2. To be taken into consideration are the interest of the person in the subject, his talents, ability to study, seminary performance and above all his committed life.
3. During the last years of the course of studies, the candidates should be oriented toward an area of specializationsuch as, in theology, pastoral and anthropological studies for missionary action and to contribute to the initial and ongoing formation of the members.
4. Specialization in certain secular subjects is also to be encouraged.
5. Specialization can be within the country or abroad. If the same course is available within East Africa, it will be preferred.
6. It is recommended that those who are sent for specialization should have a few years of missionary experience.
7. The choice of the candidates belongs to the discretion of respective Provincial Superiors.
1. This is offered aiming at the need for rest, spiritual renewal qualification and contact with other new realities of evangelization. It has to be in the personal plan and suitably accepted by the superiors.
2. The provinces has to draw up a plan taking into account the personal situation of the members giving priority to those who have not had other opportunities of renewal.
3. Effective planning for the year of renewal for the members should assure that this does not hinder our commitment to the mission; this calls for collaboration and dialogue between individuals, co-ordinators and the provincial ahead of time without waiting for the missionaries to suffer a burn out.
4. The timing and the mode of organizing the time for personal renewal is determined by the personal situation of each missionary and the realities of the East African Mission and the provinces concerned.
It begins immediately after the initial formation. During the first five years of their ministry the priests and perpetually professed brothers are given special formative accompaniment. It aims at discovering new ways of being faithful to God and giving adequate response the challenges that arise in the new situation they are placed.
1. The Coordinators or Mission superiors and the respective Provincial Governments shall take initiative to accompany them during the first five years.
2. Immediately after the ordination the priests are to be sent for pastoral work where there are opportunities of ministerial learning.
3. In order to gain different experiences the newly ordained priests can be given different kinds of assignments within the first five years.
4. Short-term courses can be arranged for on going formation.
5. An annual quinquennium programme shall be organized for one week.
V. DIFFERENTIATED FORMATION
5.0. We are primarily consecrated persons who are called by our Lord to follow Him more closely. In this part of region we do have students who aspire to become Religious Brothers who can commit themselves to follow Christ in the style of Claret. Therefore, we need to draft policies for the better discernment of one’s call to the Claretian missionary way of life.
To orientate properly the candidates for Brotherhood in our region and to animate them in all the stages of formation for the Proclamation of the Good news.
1. The candidates to Brotherhood will be together with other candidates and formandi for their Come and See programme, Pre-novitiate and Novitiate.
2. In normal circumstances the candidates to Brotherhood should undergo at least some of the basic philosophy and theology courses before embarking into the special fields.
So the following is the proposed formative programme for the candidates to Brotherhood:
- Come & See
- A programme of Studies being in a formation house
- Pastoral year (Regency)
- Pastoral studies
- Perpetual profession
Every candidate to Brotherhood will be given adequate preparation to take up any apostolate or ministries according to the charism of the Congregation. Specialization in different fields will be done according to the needs of the mission of the Congregation, the ability of the individualand discretion of the Provincial Governments.
The Congregation in East Africa has experienced an important growth within these ten years. Therefore, it is a right time to draft a formation plan for East Africa. Although this budding region has certain difficulties and challenges, we hope that this formative plan would help these young missionaries fulfil the goal of the Congregation. We should keep in mind that the success of the formation plan of our East African missionaries depends upon the faithful implementation of it in our formation centres..
LIST OF ABBREVIATIONS
Can Code of Cannon Law
CC Claretian Constitutions (1986)
CCC Catechism of the Catholic Church
CPR The Claretian in the Process of Congregational Renewal (1985)
CVD Claretian Vocation Directory (2001)
Dir Claretian Directory (2000)
GPF General Plan of Formation (1994)
MCT The Mission of the Claretians Today (1979)
MR Document Mutuae ReLationes (1978)
PI Instruction Potissimul11Institutioni (1990)
RE (b) Reglamento para los Estudiantes (text B) 1862
SW Servants of the Word (1991)
WMP Word Mission Project