The Augustinian Recollects initiate its own School of Formation in the Order
The previous gatherings
In the last decades theOrder of Augustinian Recollects, and also the Provinces in which it is divided, have celebrated successiveFormators' meetings to discuss the quality of attention given to the young people who are preparing to be Augustinian Recollects.
On August 1,1988, the Prior General called thefirst gatheringfor Formators ofAmerica, which took place in Franca (SãoPaulo, Brazil) from January 30 to February 20; the second one was also in Franca in 1991; the third in Venezuela in 1994; the 2001 in Mexico; in Colombia in 2007; in Fortaleza (Ceará, Brazil) in 2011: in Pozos of Santa Ana (San José, Costa Rica) in 2013; and the last two in 2015 and 2019 in Colombia.
In addition,the Augustinian Recollects have promoted in these years the most suitable preparation for those assigned to this task: some have studied specific studies for Formators, whether in the faculties of Rome or in Summer schools in various countries.
At the same time, the Province of Saint Nicholas of Tolentine has regularly held gatherings of Formators of the houses dependent on the Province every two years since the year 1998, alternating the place between America and in the different houses of Formation as the venue of the meeting (aspirancy, postulancy,novitiate,theologate).In recent meetings, efforts have been made to coincide with the meetings of the Order and of the Province.
The General Chapter of the year 2010 established the preparation of a Formation Itinerary in which the contributions of "experts in psychology, pedagogy, spirituality and religious life" were taken into account and that also reached the permanent formation and the formation of Secular Augustinian Recollects. In this same sense, work had been done in the Province of Saint Nicholas of Tolentine from the meeting of Formators of the year 2008, in which he presented aninitialexplanatorydocument.
The last General Chapter of 2016 determined:
"Create aschool for Formators inthe Order to train Formators and members of the Formation team in the application of the Augustinian Recollect Formation Itinerary".
The meeting of Formators that takes place in Colombia this 2019 is the beginning of that school of Foramtion.
First week of the School of FormationInimumcordis
The sessions of the first two weeks took place in El Desierto de la Candelaria, the current novitiate formation house of the Province of Nuestra Señora de la Candelaria and located in Ráquira, state of Boyacá, Colombia.
The development of the activities of the program began with a videoconference listening of the message of the General Prior, who was attending the JMJ2019 inPanama.
The whole first week revolved around some of the proposals of that message and those presented by the president of the General Secretary of Spirituality and Formation, Francisco Javier Monroy, who animated the conferences and the activities of each day.
The Prior General recalled as a guideline for the formation of the Formator the assumption of the challenge of being integral companion in the human, spiritual, academic, apostolic, and charismatic dimensions, in the words of theApostolic Exhortation on Consecrated life.
In the second place and from the beginning the days of formation were organized in such a way that the learning of knowledge was continually accompanied byexercises and activities that fostered in the Formator the knowledge of himself, of his attitudes in relationship, and of his capacity to respond with the best pedagogy togrow together with theformand.
The first days were aninterpellantreadingof the document"To new winenewwineskins".Init the Roman Congregation affirms with clarity"The need to seriously question ourselves about the Formation system and the necessary modification of essential and foundational structures, now partially obsolete, in response to the new vocational situations. "
At the end of the week, those attending the Formation program joined in the solemn celebration of the Our Lady of the Candelaria together with the innumerable pilgrims who went to the sanctuary.The main and solemn Mass was presided by the bishop of the diocese of Chiquinquirá, Luis Felipe Sánchez.
Second week of the School of Formation
The first day of the second week presented the basic elements for the personal accompaniment. The rest of the week revolved around affectivity and sexuality. Alberto and Oscar, psychotherapistsfrom Mexico, encouraged those days alternating thematic exhibition with frequent dynamics.
They helped the Formators with these dynamics to recognize in themselves the conditioning by assuming one's own sexuality and relations that occur in the community and in the environment in which they live.
By Friday, all the participants returned to Bogotá to continue the following sessions in the capital of the country.
Third week of the School of Formation
The first days of this third week were conducted by Mario ÓscarLlanos, Salesian, resident of Rome, dean of the Faculty of Education Sciences of the Pontifical Salesian University.
As in the previous weeks, the transmission of the teaching was combined with demonstrations that sought to offer guidelines for the community accompaniment of the students with individual reflections and group sharing.
The last days of the program, the participants worked in groups, first according to the criterion of the different formative stages (aspirancy,postulancy, novitiate, simple profession),then, based on the different provinces (4) of the Order.