FORMATION OF RELIGIOUS IN SRI LANKA
Most Religious in Sri Lanka depend mostly on formation centres abroad for the on going formation of their members. While this is financially possible for most International and larger Congregations, most, if not all, local and smaller Congregations find this financially draining on their meagre resources. More than the financial consideration, even the larger and International Congregations experience a mis-match with formators returning from International formation centres finding it difficult to fit into local context. Added to this there is also a need for a unified formation for all religious, notwithstanding the individual Charisma of each Congregation. Such unified effort will additionally give a much needed corporate identity to the Conference of Major Religious Superiors (CMRS) which functions as a very loose body.
Given the rationale above, it seems imperative that the CMRS endeavours to establish an Inter-Congregational Institute for Religious Formation to provide holistic formation for future religious of Sri Lanka. For the present it is envisaged that the Institute will concentrate on three major areas as follows:
01. Sister Formation
02. Formation of Formators
03. On-going formation
Inter-Congregational Institute for Religious Formation (IIRF)
Presently such an Institute is virtual comprising all the three components. However for the year 2011, the Formation of Formators Course will take place at Arrupe House, within the environs of Fatima Retreat House, in Lewella, Kandy.
Formation of Formators Course
Presently there are certain programs conducted at different times by different congregations. However, there is no Institute in Sri Lanka that caters to this need of formation of formators in our contexts taking into consideration our own needs.
To provide a holistic program that will respond to the needs, first of all, of the future formators and secondly, of providing skills and tools that are needed in forming the formatees.
Well integrated persons who have attended to their own needs for psycho-spiritual integration and well informed in scripture, theology, spirituality, mission theology and psychology. Persons who have also acquired and practiced skills and tools needed for the formation of formatees.
CRF, chaired by CMRS President
Three are three different ad hoc committees formed to attend to the following functions, all of which are coordinated by a Director of the Course.
- Screening and Admission
- Academics & Formation
- Finance and Administration
a. Screening and Admission Procedures
- Only those who have had some background knowledge, experience and have pronounced their final profession are to be admitted
- Preferably, the programme is intended strictly for those who are actually in formation ministry in their initial three years or those who are to be appointed during the program. In the later case a written commitment is needed from the Major Superior. In certain cases, exceptions may be considered.
b. Academics & Formation
- The entire program is intended to be 9 months, spread out to three years having three months each year.
- The entire program includes components of Scripture, Dogmatic & Moral Theology, Cannon Law, Liturgy, Religious Life, Missiology (JPIC mission) Psychology and Counselling, Spiritual direction and various exposure programs.
- The course content will build on, widen and deepen previous experiences and studies.
- Those following the program will be expected to choose a spiritual director/directress from amon a group of persons presented to them and meet with the person at least once a month for the entire three year duration.
- The program will also include, integrated exposure programs and guided group reflection and processing for personal integration.
c. Finance and Administration
- The first program commencing in May 2011 to July 2011, and thereafter for the following two years can be conducted at Arrupe House, situated within Fatima Retreat House, Lewella Compound.
- For the total cost funding is requested
from certain agencies. However each participant is expected to contribute a subsidized amount of SL Rs. 35,000. for the three months course in 2011.
“For the person who cannot find God here, staying here is a mistake. For the person who does not seek God here, leaving here is an imperative. For the person who can seek God better some place else, leaving here is grace.”
Closing Dates for Applications:
30th January 2011
Venue of Course:
Arrupe House, Fatima Retreat House, Lewella, Kandy.
May 01st – July 29th each year.
18 Persons; On first come first served basis
After the closing date for applications, short listed applicants will be called for an interview by a panel. The date, time and venue for interview will be notified. The panellists’ decision is final.
Fees for each year:
SL Rs. 35,000.00