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YERRAMANENI Baly, Hyderabad says,
If I were to meet the formators?
By Fr TD John
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Hyderabad, Nov. 18. From 6th November, 2022 the SA formators formation programme was organised at Hyderabad PH by Robert Penn. I was amused when I had an odd thought while brushing the teeth. What if I were to meet this group? Side by side, Justin Pale and Sleevaraj, young priests, are addressing the brothers in practical training. I met Fr. Antony from Sri Lanka and later Fr. Kishore and we shared an idea.

1.Since the meetings are happening together, would it make sense if there is a joint meeting of the formators and formees. Both were surprisingly, very POSITIVE. They did it.

2.Who is the Primary Formator? I have in mind what is quoted in the Ratio from Pastores Dabo Vobis of Pope John Paul II and which I have quoted in Participatory formation. Pope insisted on Self-Formation of the formees. Our Novice Master (Fr E. Sola) used to tease Fr. Rosario when the latter was the novice master by asking the novices: Who is your Master? To the dismay of the novices and the discomfiture of Rosario, Fr Sola would insist: Your Master is the Sacred Heart of Jesus.

3.Do we study Jesus’ style as a Formator?

4.SYNODALITY in formation: Communion, Participation and MISSION. How do you factor in the Synodal Process into Formation?

5. SUPERVISION of Formators: Is there provision for Supervision of Formators, like in other helping professions? Do we limit formation to Administrative/Functional dimensions or is the focus on the Spiritual Dimension that would include formation to Mission to which God calls us, formators and formees?

6. Is there an articulated Spirituality of formation and do Formators get Spiritual Direction?

7. Is there a clear Ethical Code for Formators like in other sectors?

8.Is Preventive System practiced by the formators and is the practice reviewed explicitly?

9. What number / percentage of the formators present are trained formators?

10. From the Heart to the lips; from words to action. “Do not have Jesus Christ on your lips, and the world in your heart.” St. Ignatius of Antioch, second bishop of Antioch after Saint Peter. Earlier in his letter he had said: “I am his wheat, ground fine by the lion’s teeth to be made purest bread for Christ.”(Cf. Office of readings of 17th October).

11. Do I say the full Office every day? I do not mean Microsoft Office!

12. We are ordained. You have received the Sacrament of Holy Orders. How far are we fulfilling our role as a recipients of the Sacrament of Holy Orders? See CCC.

13. Who decides on the Vocation of a Candidate? I am reminded of the prayer of a young Salesian, 1st year student of philosophy, at Lectio Divina: ‘Dear Lord, you have called me. But my superiors do not know that. Please enlighten them to recognize my vocation.’

14. Why am I a priest and not a brother? In terms of the time I spend, how far am I indispensable in the formation tasks more than the others who have not received the Sacrament of the Holy Orders? Have I been ordained to concelebrate all my life?

15. I am part of the Salesian Social Forum. Why don’t you ask us on our take on Formation?

16. Why do people in the Church in general, in the congregation and among formators resist the language and practice of Human Rights and Social Justice, and yet carry on teaching and preaching about the same (Scripture, Catechism, Constitutions and so on)?

17. Do you really believe that Jesus inaugurated his public ministry as in Luke 4, 18-20: I came to give good news to the Poor? And that we too have the same Mission?

18. What do you think of the Holy Father, Pope Francis? Don Bosco’s love for the Pope and the Church? What are the concrete signs in our praxis of formation that we love Pope Francis and the Church today? For example, regarding formation to a Synodal Church, Synodal community?

19. What is the difference and effect of the language we use? See the words in the dream park! The Dream: “We serve the young, especially those who are poor and abandoned… We serve the poor and the young. “Making a difference in the lives of the poorest and the young. Come, make true my dream and yours, for another world is possible.”

20. What is our Espoused Theory, and what is our Theory in Practice with regard to our life and mission as human beings, followers of Christ, as Salesians? And as Formators?


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