Message from the Formation Director

The holistic formation of members is of paramount importance to every religious congregation as its life and growth depends on the quality of its members. A vocation to the religious life is a precious gift from God who calls individuals for His mission. The individuals in turn respond positively to the loving invitation of God, resulting in the fruition of their lives as they become guiding lights to many people through their apostolate. Religious formation in the Society of Saint Paul aims at the moulding of individuals in the Pauline way of life in accordance with the Charism and spirituality of the congregation, drawing inspiration from Jesus the Divine Master, the Way, the Truth and the Life, Mary Queen of the Apostles and the Apostle Saint Paul, our Patron.

In trying to become “all things to all people” (1 Cor 9:23) in the modern context, a Pauline should respond positively to his call and strive to live up to the demands of his consecration. He should be able to live harmoniously in Pauline communities and, along with his confreres, carry out the mission of living and giving Jesus Master, the Way, the Truth and the Life, through the modern means of communication. For a Pauline, every community is a formation community and every confrere, a person in formation and a formator at the same time. The need of the hour is to focus on individual candidates who as men called by God for a particular mission, need to be fully in tune with the realities and challenges of the modern world and, as “salt of the earth” (Mt 5:13) and “light of the world” (Mt 5:14), be able to transform it.

One of the things which enables individuals to respond positively to their vocation and live their lives to the full in complete surrender to the will of God and with total commitment, is a systematic manual for formation (formation iter). This updated version of the Formation Iter aims at providing clarity of the objectives of the various formation programmes on offer at different stages of formation namely, Aspirancy, Postulancy, Novitiate and Juniourate. It helps both the formees as well as the formators to be clear about the result to be achieved at the end of every stage of formation. This facilitates the self-evaluation of individuals and making the necessary changes in accordance with the guidelines provided as well as acting as a necessary tool in the hands of the formators to assess candidates and ascertain their suitability for Pauline consecrated life. It also encourages a Perpetually Professed Pauline to evaluate the state of his life in the congregation thus far, to make the necessary changes in his personal life and to rededicate himself totally to being led by the loving hands of the Father, even as he is inspired by the Spirit to be a more effective and faithful witness to Jesus Christ by means of absorbing and utilizing all the dynamism inherent in the Pauline Apostolate.

The updated version of the Formation Iter has taken into consideration the cultural, religious, social, economic, political, communications media and linguistic peculiarities of the four countries where the Province is spread out, namely India, Nigeria, Great Britain and Ireland, with the firm conviction that a Pauline formation which does not give importance to these factors will not be effective in moulding a Pauline who is well-rooted in his rich traditions. The Formation Iter is for the entire Province clearly establishing well defined guidelines for initial formation in India and Nigeria where we continue to get vocations to Pauline way of life and mission. The guidelines and programmes given for the ongoing formation are applicable to all the perpetually professed members of the Province including the members in Great Britain and Ireland.

It is my fond hope that this Formation Iter is useful to each of our communities as a whole and to each individual member of our communities. May the Divine Master, through the intercession of Mary, Queen of Apostles, Saint Paul our Patron, and Blessed James Alberione our Founder, bless us with the grace needed to live our Pauline vocation to the full in total surrender and conformity to the will of God.

Fr Aneesh Antony Peediyekal SSP

Coordinator General for Vocation Promotion and Formation

India-Nigeria-Great Britain-Ireland Province

Society of St Paul