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Reflection on the 18th GC Statement - Commitment to Intercultural living - Initial and Ongoing Formation Nos. 38, 39

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Dear Confreres, I am pleased to share with you a short reflection on formation and ongoing formation.

Formation is a gradual journey into the person of Jesus, through the experience of the unconditional love of the Father and the grace of the Spirit. In this gradual process of journey, we assist our formees to be open to the fruits of the Spirit and read the signs of the times. The objective of initial and ongoing formation is to ever grow into a total commitment to God and service to humankind. The theme of the 18th General Chapter is an invitation for every member of the Society and all those who aspire to be one, to endure and continue the formation – ongoing formation by being rooted in the Word and committed to His Mission.

Regular discernment, appropriate response and constant renewal are the key components of formation and ongoing formation programs. Formation is integral, inclusive and that we are all living in a web of relationship. Pope Francis through his recent Encyclical, invites us to embrace each other and establish social friendship and fraternal love, which is our missionary task and responsibility.

Definitely formation is our priority and how do we engage ourselves to train our young seminarians to become effective religious missionaries during this time of ‘New normal’?

We can no longer hold on to those old fashioned outdated and traditional methods of formation and vocation promotion. We need to be aggressive and at the same time innovative and creative in promoting vocations to our Society, using modern communication means. We form our formees in such a way that they are able to face the challenges of the time.

Our formees are to learn to be available to others – to be altruistic, to be creative and innovative, to be grateful for everything, to have positive attitudes to accept challenges, and never to lose hope in life. We are to have concrete programs to train our formees in these areas of human formation.

While we form them, we insist on intercultural life, inclusivism and universalism in our way of life and mission.

We form committed religious missionaries with conviction, aptitude with positive attitude, solidarity with human values, freedom with moral responsibility, pastoral engagement with spiritual foundation and creative ministries with innovative mind.

Our prayer is that the love of Christ, impel us to be rooted in the Word and committed to His Mission in our vocational journey.

Fr. Pushpa Anbu Augustine, SVD
Generalate Secretary for Formation and Education


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