Responding to the need for the formation of formators, the UISG (Union of International Superiors General) organized a five-month programme in Rome from February to June 2019. Three of our Sisters from Pakistan, India, and Sri Lanka, who participated in this, share their experience.
Parveen Falaksher (Pakistan) ...
Jesus continuously searched how best to live as an authentic human being, before a loving God.
“We become fully human when we become more human, when we let God bring us beyond ourselves in order to attain the fullest truth off our being. Pope Francis.” (The joy of the Gospel #8)
I greatly appreciate the five-month formation programme - a challenge and an invitation to grow in awareness of my deepest desire in life. It was for me an inner personal journey to be my best self, integrating my past and present, discovering the purpose of life, living freely and lovingly embracing my first vocation ‘To Be Human.’
I am convinced that life is all about relationships - with God, self and others. The quality of my relationships reveals who I am and the lens through which I see life. I learnt to recognize the sacredness and giftedness of each person. I learnt different and creative ways of praying the Word of God which enabled me to fall in love with Jesus for whose mission I have dedicated my whole life. This experience of love gives me inner peace and joy to be on fire for Jesus’ mission which is nothing but Love.
As a formator, journeying with young women, I learnt how important it is to honour, respect and appreciate the giftedness of each person, treating them as equals. Creating an atmosphere of trust - a place where one can be her best self without masks - facilitates honest communication. The best gift I can offer is to be fully present and listen attentively to each one with a compassionate heart, inviting the young women to be in touch with their deepest self and make the right decisions. I am called to be a joyful presence.
It is a life long journey - challenging and transforming. Now I need to dive deeper into all my learnings and experiences and be open to use and develop the skills, in helping the young women.
I am grateful to God and the Leadership Teams in Rome and Pakistan who gave me this opportunity to be of service, living mission more meaningfully.
Jeraldine Annammal (India) ...
How can I give you up, how can I abandon you, my heart will not let me do it! My love for you is too strong, I the Holy one am with you” (Hosea.11:8-9)
The above words touched and moved me in my formation journey during this programme. In many ways, I experienced the deep love of God, the source of energy, a healing embrace, which helped me to look at my inner journey with all my strengths and weaknesses. Seeing God's intervention in my personal life, the unique way I’m formed, I grew in trust in the God who is present and works in my life.
It was my first experience to be out of the country and interacting with an International community. It was a very rich experience of being together. This session made me to understand deeply the meaning of interacting with different cultures, to respect the cultures of the young women who I will journey with and be open to discover the giftedness in them. I felt that this was a time of self-transformation. Working with my own inner self helped me to understand the challenges in the process of formation. I became convinced of God's loving compassionate intervention in each person as a unique individual, allowing the best of herself to emerge.
I was able to discover that to become more human is the purpose of my being here. Life is all about relationship- communion with God, myself and others. Therefore as a formator, the most important task is to enable the young women through my love, to become their best selves, with their strength and vulnerabilities. The quality of my presence, listening, the tone of my voice and positive affirmation play a great part in opening them to see God's loving intervention in their own lives. I am convinced that the Formator has to walk the talk which is a challenge and a Joy too.
Among the many skills learnt, I value most - listening by being one with myself and with others, integrating, Discerning, Different ways of contemplating the Word of God, creating an atmosphere for the young women to open themselves freely and understanding and respecting different cultures.
I thank our dear Srs. Ana Maria and Council and Srs. Mary, Jeya and their councils for this great opportunity given to me.
I thank Jesus’ love for me, the fire of love that challenged me to change and be on passion for mission.
Thank you Jesus, being my Formator, my guiding light urging me to bring new life to others
Let this gratitude flow from me towards others.
Gresa Soosaithasan (Sri Lanka) ...
Passion for Jesus and (Com)passion for Formation
For me, the five months’ programme for preparing Formators, is an integral, ongoing growth process and a journey which is a blessing and an enrichment. It was a rich intercultural experience and I would like to highlight some of my learnings during this programme.
We were 33 participants, from 25 countries, and 21 congregations. Interculturality was very much integrated; group dynamics and interaction with one another enabled us to see in a new lens, contextualizing Formation
“This experience is like new wine in new wineskins.” It is a privileged opportunity to count the blessings and graces received and move forward with a heart full of gratitude. I take courage to continue my journey towards the future taking on me the great responsibility of continued integration. The inner resources, learnings, and skills gained, are a golden hallmark in my life and through this experience, I am affirmed and encouraged to embrace new insights with openness to unlearn the ‘old wine’ with humble acceptance of my true self. I discovered the empowering energy in me, which urges me to see my inner being as interconnected with Divine energy.
During this grace-filled time, I was enlightened and began to cherish very much, the rich gift of our Congregations’ patrimony - our Constitutions, our Sources and our charism of Communion as well our spirituality of God Alone.
Here, I would gladly extend my heartfelt gratitude to our General Leadership Team as well the former Provincial of Jaffna Unit, Sr. Christa Mariathas and her council for giving me this precious opportunity to deepen my consecrated life as an integral process of Formation.
“My soul magnifies the Lord”