The formation commission meeting of yesterday was quite something. Though not very intense or hectic, there were certainly some new insights which emerged in the course of our discussions. The discussions were primarily focussed on engineering a paradigm shift in the whole formation procedure not so much for a theoretical outcome but for a faithful and effective apostolate. However we were unable to come up with practical skills that would facilitate this shift. But that we need to start facilitating this transformation was strongly felt.
One of the interesting directions which the meeting took was after Fr Sebastian's intervention about our modality and rigid mentality in sticking to 'rubrics' at the cost of life and reality. Thathi too posed the question of Fr Fabio Attard concerning our youth apostolate: Are we trying to get our new generation of young Salesians to fit in the youth module that we have or have worked out? Are not they more atune to the stirrings of young people than the previous generation? Why then do we not let them have a say or let them formulate a new youth apostolate model, while being faithful to the basics?
The difficulty here was where to draw the line between what is and what should be. Furthermore, who decides what and how. Fr Maliekal pointed out a good signpost: a shift, when made, should be geared towards an integrated growth... not just in one or two aspects of our apostolate. If it is only partial then the whole system breaks down.