Formation of Formators Programme in Nigeria

by | Feb 14, 2023 | ACLA, Formation

The formators from the East Nigeria Province and West Nigeria delegation gathered at the Claretian Institute of Philosophy, Maryland Nekede from February 6 to 12, for their “formation of formators” programme. The encounter was officially inaugurated with a solemn Holy Mass on February 7, presided over by Fr. Nathaniel Eke, cmf, the Provincial Superior of East Nigeria Province. In his homily, Fr. Nathaniel underlined the undeniable role of planning necessary for the success of every venture. Drawing insight from the creation account, systematically executed by the Creator Himself, the provincial superior reiterated that one of the objectives of the encounter was to lay the foundations of a new joint plan of formation for both organisms. He similarly reminded the philosophy students (of both organisms) who were at the Mass to take the question of planning seriously if they plan to succeed in their studies and other engagements.

The resource persons invited to make presentations at the encounter exposed several pertinent teams ranging from the spirituality of the consecrated life to the vocation of the consecrated life. Living synodality in the formation house was among the prominent questions discussed during the second day that focused on communion, collaboration, and co-responsibility. Exploration of the foundation of the entire formation; human formation was the central theme of day three, wherein the need for personalized formation was emphasized. Accompaniments and the tools necessary for accompaniment dominated the sharing, group discussions, and presentation of the fourth day. While the fifth day was dedicated to Claretian formation, the sixth day focused on specific aspects of the spiritual dimension of formation.

The encounter came to a close with a solemn eucharistic celebration on Sunday, February 12, presided over by VRF Roland Onuekwusi, the Prefect of Formation of the West Nigeria Delegation. Aided by prior personal study of the GPF (2020), the XXVI General Chapter Exhortation (2021), the PPF of Nigerian Claretians (2001), and the presentations made at the encounter, the participants were equipped to commence work on a new plan of formation for both organisms, laying the foundations for a joint initiative. The encounter was also a time for deep reflection and sharing on matters concerning initial and ongoing formation in both organisms and a search for enhanced collaboration.

The participants comprised eight formators from the East Nigeria Province and three from the West Nigeria Delegation. The resource persons included confreres of both organisms, members of the Claretian family, and other priests and religious from within and outside Nigeria. The gathering was further enriched by presentations made by Claretians from other organisms, namely, Frs. George Lanithottam, Joseph Bhyju and Vincent Anasthasia. The presence of our Father General, Fr. Mathew Vattamattam, at one of the sessions to guide the participants through the theme of “vocation accompaniment” in our congregation, made a huge impact. Participants are grateful to the General Prefect of Formation, Fr. Joseph Mbungu, who accompanied the process from the beginning till the end, offering necessary clarifications and guidance.

The formators are grateful to the major superiors of East Nigeria, Fr. Nathaniel Eke and West Nigeria Fr. Augustine Medaiyedu, for making the encounter happen. They also extend their appreciation to the formators of ACLA and all the confreres who accompanied them during the encounter with their prayers and kind wishes.

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