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Formators make suggestions for a new formation guide

20/07/2018: General House

Seventeen brothers from 14 countries drafted a list of considerations for a new formation guide at the end of the Current Formators Programme, held from May 15 – July 12 at the General House in Rome.

“It was a fruitful and significant experience which manifested meaning for them and at the same time the General Administration was enriched by their presence and their contribution to the considerations of the new formation guide,” affirmed Brother Tony Leon, director of the Brothers Today Secretariat and coordinator of the programme.

Changes include the possibility of having young brothers learn two of the four official languages of the Institute – Spanish, English, French and Portuguese.

Suggestions have also been made to offer a greater variety of spiritual practices, such as meditation, contemplation and chants, and ensure that formators are more present, caring and close to the young brothers – as was requested in a series of testimonies videoed around the Marist world that was aired during the programme. Marist spirituality and personal and group accompaniment were among the top expectations that young brothers hope to receive during their formation.

Regarding the programme, Br Tony underscored that “they came with a very professional attitude of improving one’s skills in the area of formation, but in the nine weeks they discovered that it wasn’t necessarily a professional development programme.”

“It was a personal opportunity to remember, refresh and renew their identity and mission as formators,” he continued. “Therefore, it is not so much professional development in what to do but discovering new confidence in professing who they are.”

Towards the end of the eighth week, Br. Tony animated a workshop looking at the results of the Marist international colloquium on initial formation held in October 2015, the Vatican document on the identity and mission of the religious brother in the Church  and the revision of chapter four of the Institute’s new constitution.

Having looked at the Calls of the 22nd General Chapter, the participants gathered in their respective stages of formation (pre-postulancy, postulancy, novitiate and post-novitiate) and created a list of considerations for the new formation guide.
The suggestions were then presented to superior general Brother Ernesto Sánchez who will in turn discuss them with the general council.

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