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Every vocation is a precious gift entrusted to us by God - out of this awareness comes joy and a great responsibility. Sr. Josephina D'Souza, General Formation Coordinator, had invited to an international Formation Zoom Meeting. On Tuesday and Wednesday, our entire General Administration, Sisters in charge of formation in their Provinces and Regions, some members of the International Formation Commission and some Provincial and Regional Superiors met online.

After extensive preparation by the International Formation Commission, the discussion focused on far-reaching topics. In an ever faster changing world, it is important to remain in a constant process of communication about the formation, which takes into account the candidates with their personal history. And it is important to ensure that after the stages of initial formation a mature yes to the consecrated life in our Congregation can be spoken.

Formation does not stop with final profession, it is a lifelong process that must be well accompanied. Another topic of our meetings was the reflection on the demands on the leaders and the formators and the help they need.

At our last General Chapter it was decided to establish an International Novitiate and in December last year the first sisters who received their formation there made their first profession. An International Novitiate brings opportunities and challenges and we also reflected on the internationality and interculturality of our congregation.

How can we transmit our unique Pallottine charism to the candidates? How can we strengthen the knowledge of the theology of St. Vincent Pallotti among all the sisters even after the juniorate? Here too we went into a lively and fruitful exchange.

The goal of our Founder was a firm rooting of our apostolate in society and in the Church. Therefore, a further point of discussion was the question of the extent to which we need to make even greater efforts to anchor the theology of consecrated life in our levels of formation. The modern media made this worldwide meeting possible for us even in this time marked by Covid. But how much use of the media makes sense? But when can it also harm spiritual life? These are questions that we have to face concretely during formation and they will be discussed in more detail.

We can be grateful that we have an excellent basis in our International Formation Manual. But it also became clear in the course of the two Zoom Meetings that successful formation always requires a watchful eye on the current situation and will never be a static process. It was very fruitful to network worldwide and to dedicate ourselves to these topics. Trusting that Mary, Queen of Apostles, St. Vincent Pallotti and all the Pallottine Blessed accompany our efforts with their intercession, the work will continue.

A heartfelt thank you to all those who were involved in the preparation and execution. Sr. Josephina D'Souza guided us wonderfully through the many themes. Our Superior General, Sr. Izabela Swierad, was able to be present the whole time and gave fruitful impulses. On Wednesday, Sr. Ivete Garlet CSAC, Superior General, gave a greeting and reported on the experiences in her Congregation. Many thanks also to the two translators Sr. Malgorzata Wyrodek and Sr. Maria Landsberger.

What do our Formators need? They must burn to renew the faith and rekindle love. They must radiate the infinite love and mercy of God. They must be human. And they must be people of joy. Let us be thankful for all our formators who put themselves at the service of keeping our Congregation alive and growing, and let us accompany their actions in prayer.

Connected worldwide with a common goal, each one of us has heard her very own call and God has brought us together. And with St. Vincent Pallotti we may go courageously into the future: AIDG (ad infinitam Dei gloriam).

Sr. Astrid Meinert SAC Provincial Superior/ Germany

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* Our Way of Life *

 

"Our diverse talents and abilities, our differences in culture, nationality and age are assets for the richness of the community. Although we may be engaged in a variety of ministries, we all share the common call to apostolic discipleship in a community of the Catholic Apostolate of St. Vincent Pallotti."(OWL, 91)

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"Christ, the Apostle of the Eternal Father, and his mission are central to our personal and community life, giving meaning and direction to our thinking, our spirituality, our prayer, action and suffering." (OWL, 19)

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"As a community of disciples we are gathered around Jesus, the Apostle of the Eternal Father. Like the first disciples, we want to be with Jesus, be sent out by him and return to him to evaluate our service in the light of his presence." (OWL, 88)

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"As Pallottines, it is our special charism to foster growth in faith and love among the laity, to awaken them to awareness of their apostolic call, and to cooperate with them in furthering the apostolic mission." (OWL, 21)

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"Our relationships with one another should be marked by a love that bears all, believes all and hopes for all, a love that is neither conceited nor jealous, which hurts no one, nor is embittered or resentful. It is never discouraged but remains patient and kind. It rejoices with others and shares their suffering. It is with this kind of love that we should help and support one another." (OWL, 90)