In the first two weeks of the current Easter season and during the Year of Consecrated Life, a special Seminar for Formators took place in Italy. Twenty-five Redemptorists who work in the five Conferences participated.
The seminar had two very different parts: the first was organized by CICLSAL (Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life) and took place in the Vatican from April 7-11. More than 1,200 formators from religious institutes and institutes of apostolic life participated in an International Congress. Twenty Redemptorists participated, making it the Community with the greatest number of participants. A program with very solid and profound content was presented, inspired by the theme: To live in Christ according to the way of life set forth in the Gospels (Perfectae Caritatis, 2). In the morning there were conferences by top-notch specialists, either because of their responsibilities in the Church or their academic and educational background. In the afternoon there were workshops on a wide variety of topics related to consecrated life. The Congress was organized into small groups interested in building and strengthening community life. The Congress began with a large prayer vigil and concluded with a Mass in St. Peter’s Basilica, presided by Cardinal João Braz de Aviz and an audience with Pope Francis. See more information at: http://www.vatican.va
Formators and Redemptoristine nuns at the first monastery in Scala
The second part of the Seminar was prepared and lived in a Redemptorist environment, starting with fraternal gatherings at the General House in Rome on Sunday, April 12th. On April 13th the group of formators, accompanied by Father General, Michael Brehl, the general consultors, Eseverri and Rolle, and the secretary, Roballo, moved to the house in Ciorani. The program there included the following main themes: the decisions of the general government on initial formation published on April 12th, the activities and plans of the General Secretariat for Formation, the basic program of Redemptorist formation (core curriculum) for the Novitiate and those stages that are exclusively ours, such as pastoral experience during temporary profession, preparation for perpetual profession and transition to ministry.
Formators at the tomb of Saint Alphonsus in the Basilica of Pagani
We discussed and shared the content and atmosphere of the Congress for Formators organized by the Vatican. Spirituality for formation was a very important topic, presented entirely by Father General.
We also visited the places most important for the beginning of the Congregation: Ciorani on Monday, the 13th, Scala and Pagani on Wednesday, the 15th, and Naples on Saturday, the 18th.
The specifically Redemptorist part of the course was conducted using the official languages of the Congregation: Italian, English and Spanish, to which Portuguese and French were occasionally added. It was organized by the General Secretariat of Formation with the presence of the Superior General (www.fcontinuacssr.com).
In both parts of the Seminar, the experience of formation, with its hopes, challenges and difficulties, was shared extensively. The environment of community, prayer and joy helped create enthusiasm. The reality of the Congregation, in all the conferences, and the young people in formation were always present to us.
We reaffirmed the proposal for the Year of Consecrated Life summed up in three words: Gospel, Prophecy, Hope.
Luis Alberto Roballo, C.Ss.R.
(Translation: Joseph P. Dorcey)