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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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The state of religious life has its basis in a divine call which has to be discerned and tested for authenticity. Persons who embrace religious life also assume serious obligations in the Church. Since the lives and actions of such persons directly affect the witness and fulfillment of the mission of the Church, they therefore require proper training and formation to equip them with the correct understanding of their identity and role in the Church. This is in order to achieve the maturity required for lifelong commitment, and to provide them with the necessary skills for apostolic work, especially in view of new emerging realities in the Church and in the world. To this effect, the Church has legislated norms which specify the aims, dimensions, and pedagogy for every stage of formation, and has issued subsequent documents which provide further directives on how institutes can respond to the challenges facing the same in the post-conciliar period.

The Church requires that those charged with formation of candidates to religious life are well-prepared for their work and provided with a well-structured plan and the necessary resources to accomplish it. In order to fulfil the ends of formation, individual institutes are required to draw up a ratio or programme for each stage of formation, which specifies the structure and duration and prepares candidates to meet the needs of the present times according to the nature and character of the institute. This ratio, the structure of which is...

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