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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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General Introduction

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For institutes of consecrated life to fully accomplish their mission in the Church, formation of the members is paramount. Fidelity and commitment to one’s vocation depend largely on well-grounded formation which is systematic, integral, and harmonized.

The topic of formation of non-clerical members of religious institutes has remained a constant concern of the Church. The conciliar documents clearly highlight the norms required for suitable renewal of formation in religious institutes and the need for religious institutes to define in their proper law the goals, methodology, programme, and organization of the different stages of formation, keeping in mind the particular circumstances of place and time, and the specific needs of persons. In particular, the formation of religious during the period of temporary vows is addressed, taking into account its significance in deepening the novitiate formation and its probationary nature leading towards perpetual commitment. Moreover, the needs of religious institutes on matters related to formation of members are addressed by clarifying the requirements of the universal law on formation with consideration given to the present-day reality of life of the Church and the world.

Especially in the post-conciliar period, the Church has demonstrated an on-going quest for self-renewal in response to the call of the conciliar Fathers. This concern is clearly demonstrated by the promulgation of the norms on the ← xxvii | xxviii → formation phase after the first profession, in Canons 659­­–661 of the 1983 Code and in the numerous documents the Church has...

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