Saturday, 24 May 2014

Chinks in our formation

The final document of our recently concluded General Chapter 27, speaks at different points about formation too.  Mostly it points to perhaps the greatest of lacunae in our formation paradigm:  disjoint between the formation process/procedure and the ground reality.  Now I believe it is not that the ground reality is correct and the formation procedure not living up to it.  But the fact is that the is some disconnect between the two.

So I ask myself, what is that which is missing?  Why isn't formation able to ignite the passion or atleast sustain the passion with which a youngster enters the congregation?  Why is it that confreres by the time they make their first renewal of vows or first year of Practical Training appear to be "arrived confreres" rather than formed confreres?

One evident reason is that formation is considered as another education, one of the many forms of education - or 'study' - doled out in our country (wrongly though). There is no owning up of the formation process, much less taking up of responsibility for ones own vocation.  This need not be the case merely among formees, it could be among formators themselves!

Another reason could be that under the name of religious discipline we tend to make the formees comply to our words rather than encourage independent, out of the box, or creative thinking.  This, in the long run, leads us to produce SDBs who are formed merely to run our institutions, not necessarily men capable of carrying out a mission, with a keen eye on the changing signs of the times and circumstances - much less, adapt according to them.  

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