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The Process of Formation of Religious Members in the Church

A Case Study of the Institute of the Blessed Virgin Mary

Marren Rose A. Awiti IBVM

The Process of Formation of Religious Members in the Church: A Case Study of the Institute of the Blessed Virgin Mary offers comprehensive and detailed information on the norms and teachings of the Church regarding the concept of formation. This book undertakes a case study of the IBVM, detailing both the unique and standard aspects of their program. It will be a valuable resource for the commission entrusted with the work of revising the law of the Church.

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Foreword by C. Burke IBVM


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As a non-canonist asked to write a foreword to a book on canon law, I read this book from the perspective of an older religious who is currently also tasked with oversight of sisters in temporary vows. I have found Marren Awiti’s book enlightening and challenging. It brings together a wealth of information and insight from the canon law of the Church and requirements of a particular institute, yet its findings can be easily applied to other congregations which have grappled with change.

As with so much in the Church, Vatican II was a watershed. The particularity of formation of religious during the period of temporary vows has received greater attention since the time when institutes were urged to return to the charism of their founder and apply that in their current context. The challenge to the whole Church to orient outwards to the world was balanced by the universal call to holiness and discipleship. Religious women responded to both calls with vigor. We have had to make the path to a new way of religious life by walking it.

In that 50 years, even though many congregations, especially in the West, have faced into the darkness of diminishment, with very new members joining, there are those in other parts of the world which are flourishing. Such congregations want to give the best possible foundation for their new members who...

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