The second day of the meeting of the Novice Masters and Postulancy Directoers was highlighted by the presence of Giuseppe Roggia, a Salesian. He presented the current challenges of formation in postulancy and in novitiate with a clear view of changes and the challenges of the future. There is a risk in formation of doing a complex program without addressing real problems.
In this way, many illusions are created. We have more specialized formation centers but the results are sometimes weak, with the prevalence of competitive subjectivism and a “do-it-yourself” attitude. We realize that sometimes the basic formation offered to candidates is like a car wash, only touching the outside, not reaching to the heart.
Formation implies, first of all, a personal commitment of the formators to the conscience the spiritual life, the “work on oneself,” as well as an authentic experience of the Spirit, to develop a deep inner life. We have here the fragments of a new consecrated identity and this indicates that enough of the Spirit is at work but it lacks a complete figure and model that is communicable. Consecrated Life must reopen the years of unfinished renewal by searching for authentic newness of life, signs of the times, and answer the fundamental question: how does one combine the original inspiration and expectations of the Church with society today?
Beyond all the positive things, like the tools of the Ratio, the courses for formators with bachelors’ degrees and licenses, there are indeed still challenges in formation. One need only note the number of people who leave during the process. Moreover, initial formation has become a kind of tug-of-war between the expectations of young people those of the formators and superiors. The formation process is full of pitfalls and difficulties and requires authenticity and the ability to dare, to be bold.