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Marist Brothers Asia Formators Convention

15/01/2019: Philippines

The annual meeting of the formators of Asia, that took place in MAPAC from January 9 to 12, 2019, is always a moment of great joy and communion. It gave us an opportunity to share ideas about different issues of formation and to help us to go ahead together, supporting one another and growing in our awareness of our part in this charismatic global family. This year, we were eighteen participants coming from Philippines (General Santos, Cotaboto City, Davao, Mapac), Bangladesh, Vietnam, Thailand, Sri Lanka, South Korea and Australia.

After the important work of last year on the different itineraries developed in each stage of formation (aspirancy, candidacy, postulancy, novitiate and post-novitiate),  one important goal of this meeting this year was to share our different programs in order to assure a better continuity in the different stages of formation. It is a work in progress but already we have a better vision of the overall path that each formand is invited to walk and how we can support one another to accompany them.

Another important issue of this year was how to integrate the dimension of ecology into our different programs of formation. Starting from the conference of Mr Joe Nacianceno, teacher at the adjacent Marist School, and the thoughts of Laudato Si, we tried to develop different possibilities regarding LEARNING, NEW ATTITUDES TO DEVELOP  AND CONCRETE ACTIONS.

Another very positive moment was the sharing of our best practices in formation. Sometimes, it can happen that we focus on the problems and not enough on all the positive things that happen in our community of formation or what we do. Some examples of these best practices are : a better unity practiced in the formation team, a close connection with the parish in different activities, special programs to know the lay people, community experience outside the country for scholastics or young brothers, workhops on Non Violent Communication, systematic accompaniment, etc.

Another important issue is the level of  English of our young brothers who are coming to MAPAC and also in the preceding stages of formation. We suggested to some propositions to improve the situation. It was nice too to listen to the experience of the brothers who had participated in the formation course, last year in Rome. They confirmed the importance of caring for one another and to assuring the necessary conditions to be able to go ahead in a healthy way and to have the energy to adapt ourselves continually to the changes of the youth of today. One important element as regards this issue is to develop a quality of sharing and intimacy among the formators themselves.

On the last day, in an exercise regarding our future, we reflected on, and shared ideas about three questions :

  1. What is still going to be in our formation in five years time ?
  2. What is there now that will not be there in five years' time ?
  3. What is not there now taht is going to be there in five years' time ?

Finally, to make concrete our ecological orientation, we planted a tree in a simple but meaningful missioning ritual.

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Br Réal Sauvageau

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