The 20th General Chapter Document “Claretians in the Process of Congregational Renewal” speaks of Formation as an ongoing process which lasts throughout life and whose efficacy depends above all on personal conviction. From an overall point of view, formation in the Congregation has been very well articulated and drafted. The regulations written by our Father Founder, The Directives of Fr. Xifre and Fr. Clotet, the decisions of the General Chapters and some of the Circular Letters of Various Superior Generals together with the Constitutions have been the sources that our Formators have drawn on for inspiration in fulfilling their Formative Mission.
The Formation programme generally among Indian Claretians and especially those in Bangalore province is spread out in 12 years in different stages. The objective of our Formation is to promote our Growth in union and conformity with Christ according to the Claretian Charism in the church, by means of a personalized process in each concrete situations and with openness to universality (dir.156).
The beginners enter the Minor Seminary usually after their completion of high school or intermediate studies. The initial three years are a time to get used to the Claretian way of Life little by little. Students are accompanied and encouraged to get used to a new situation and be happy in a new setting, away from their families and blood relatives. They slowly get inserted into the big Claretian family. There is a set Formation programme followed at this stage and students are very closely accompanied. In their late teens students need the emotional support and encouraging presence of the formators. They are helped and assisted to cultivate personal, human values. Formative programs: Personal guidance and Counselling are aimed at giving a firm spiritual foundation to their Lives.
Claretian Constitutions says, the fundamental objective of formation consist of following Jesus Christ the missionary until we become conformed to Him. In our Formation following Christ as set forth in the Gospels is our supreme Rule. (CC. No. 4)
After three years of Minor Seminary they advance to the stage of Philosophy and three years of graduation. This is also a period of intense academic activities. They attempt to absorb philosophical knowledge. They are trained in rational analysis and critical thinking. A period of intellectual growth, they learn to form their own world views at this stage. At philosophy they learn both synthetic Eastern approach and knowledge along with the analytic critical thinking of the western philosophy. This period, precisely the final year, is considered the stage of Postulancy, where students identify themselves on the threshold of their entry into a more serious Claretian Life.
After the completion of Philosophy students get to the one year programme, called Novitiate. Today all Indian Claretians do their Novitiate at the picturesque, salubrious campus of Claret Bhavan, Carmelaram, Bangalore. Under the very personal and close guidance of the Novice Master students mature in religious and Claretian life. This is a year of intense prayer and centering. Without the pressures of serious academics students attempt to focus on their spiritual growth and personal maturation. With a Guru-Shisha relationship with the Novice master, the novices delve deeper into spiritual realms and personal growth. At the end of the year they make their First Profession which marks the formal membership in the congregation.
Following the Novitiate Programme, students go for a year of lived experience in a Claretian Mission. They for the first time are out of the environments of fairly big formation house and live in a mission house with lesser members and different ministries. The have a firsthand experience of Claretian Mission and community life. Students assist the missionaries there in whatever capacity they can and gather rich experience and convictions. The superior of the House guides and accompanies him as a formator for the year. Imbibing the values of mission and ministry, this is the time to get rooted in Claretian life.
The last four years of their initial formation is the period of Theological studies. They pursue studies in different areas of theology and scripture. Intense study of Scripture, Liturgy Systematic Theology, Eucharist, Canon Law etc. are the feature of this period. While doing the academics students go to parishes and missions on Sundays for a close experience of Liturgical life with the faithful. During Holidays, periodically they have village exposure programmes in order to acquaint themselves with the living situations of the poor and ordinary people. During these years students are trained to master a third language in addition to English and one’s mother tongue. At the end of their third year students make their perpetual profession and at the beginning of the final year they are given diaconate after due examination and evaluation of their life.
Conclusion Our Claretian Formation aims at assisting students to become spiritually rooted, academically capable, socially responsive and aquiring a zeal like our Father Founder. We envisage missionaries coming out of our Formation centres with a high degree of conformity with Christ and a burning zeal for God, His people and The Kingdom.
Join Claretian Missionaries
You can help us to identify young people who could be prospective missionaries and encourage them to follow the footsteps of the great missionary St. Anthony Mary Claret and proclaim the gospel anywhere in the world. Promote vocation to become a Claretian Missionary Priest or Brother.
Support Claretian Mission
You can be partners of our missionary activities by sponsoring the education of a child, helping in the rehabilitation of visually challenged, HIV and leprosy affected, financing the distribution of the Bible and many other ways. To coordinate the financial help from well-wishers and collaborators we have established the office of Mission Procura in the province.
Sponsor a Seminarian
Every family may not be able to offer a son at the service of the Church. But you can surely adopt a seminarian and be part of his journey to priesthood/ religious life in different ways. You can choose from the following options:
- Spiritual accompaniment by adopting a seminarian.
- Adopt a seminarian during his theological formation (last four years before ordination) bearing the complete expenses of his education (? 50, 000 per year).
- Spiritual accompaniment and partial financial help for the education of a seminarian.
- Group of families /association/ parish adopting a seminarian.
For details please contact:
Claretian Provincial House
28/12, 18th Cross Road, 14th Main
PO Box 5566
Malleswaram West, Bengaluru – 560 055
Tel.: +91 80 23002211
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