Asia Pacific Jesuit formators meet
The meet discussed recent document from Rome on Scholastics' formation.
The annual meeting Jesuit Conference Asia Pacific's Formators’ Circle was held in Singapore from June 27 to 30 with the aim of imparting solid formation to Jesuits so that the Society of Jesus effectively carries out of its mission.
20 Jesuit formators, who attended the meet, were mainly Formation Delegates of the provinces, regions and missions within the Jesuit Conference of Asia Pacific as well as rectors of colleges and other key personnel in the area of formation.
Also present were JCAP President Father Mark Raper, Father Jojo Magadia, Father General’s Assistant for Formation, and Father Robin Koning, JCAP Delegate for Studies.
A large part of the meeting was devoted to reflecting on and discussing the recent document from Rome entitled, ‘The Intellectual Formation of Jesuit Brothers and Scholastics: Initial Formation’.
The document explains that the intellectual formation of Jesuits should enable them to analyse the changing contexts of mission, understand the content of the Catholic faith, acquire ministerial competencies to communicate the Gospel and to make real the Kingdom of God, and finally appropriate Jesuit charism for life and mission.
Cognizant of the fact that discussion is often an escape from decision and action, the group was concerned with the practicalities of implementing the document.
As Father General Adolfo Nicolás has expressed his desire for major superiors to “within the next three years, set in place the necessary modifications to implement the vision presented in this document”, the formators developed a timeline for implementation.
Following from this year’s discussion on the document, each province will present its initial implementation plans in 2015, present fine-tuned plans in 2016 that incorporate input and learnings received at the previous meeting, and finalise plans and implement the vision of the document in 2017.
Leadership was another focus of the meeting as some of the formators at the meeting felt that the Jesuits were at present facing a leadership crisis. Remembering the 35th General Congregation statement that “leadership in the Society today is a very demanding ministry”, a workshop was held on leadership. Christina Kheng, a consultant on effective management for religious congregations, focused on the development of leadership amongst Jesuits in formation.
The meeting ended with short presentations on the candidacy program, giving the participants a better idea of what is being done in the area of candidacy in three units of the Conference – China, Thailand and Timor-Leste.