Formation



While inaugurating the new Priory, Abbot General Andrea Pantaloni, had this to say to the new community: “A good, attentive and holy formation shall be the corThe Aspirants with their Masterner-stone on which the future of the Conventual Priory is built up”. Though quite daunting is this task, the keen desire of the new Priory to have its own formation programmes in order to make the Sylvestrine charism a ‘living memory of the fruitfulness of God’s love’ (VC 63) in the south-central regions of India, obtained a new fillip in the wake of its new status.

Presently, our formation programme consists of the following stages:

1. The Aspirantate, the first phase of the formation lasts from two to three years. Candidates with good catholic background are chosen from Andhra Pradesh and Orissa. Others from the different States of India, who knock at its door, are also welcome to An Aspirant at Work join the community. Each member of the community shares in the responsibility of formation of these young men, most of all, by the living of the monastic values and then by various contributions like taking classes, giving spiritual direction and holding periodical community evaluations etc. A competent monk, appointed by the Prior, has the direct charge of these candidates for their human, cultural, spiritual and intellectual formation.

2. At the end of the first year of probation, the candidates who show aptitude for monastic life, are sent to English Medium colleges in the neighbourhood for the study of humanities as day scholars in the second and third year of training.

3.The fourth year is the canonical year of Novitiate. Earlier the Novitiate formation of the young monks, took place at St. Joseph’s Priory of Makkiyad. However, the Novitiate of its own is perceived as an urgent priority in the new configuration of the Priory.

4. After compleThe Prior receives the First Professionting the Novitiate, the candidates are admitted to the first profession of the m monastic vows and are given the monastic habit. Thereafter, they begin the study of Philosophy for three years. A Philosophy programme for the young monks of the Priory, adapted to their culture and to the needs of the time and place, is to be planned as a matter of priority. So far, the students have been sent to St. Joseph’s Priory, Makkiyad, for their philosophical formation and the latter’s contribution in this regard is hereby appreciated and acknowledged.

5. Once the course of philosophy is over, one year is spent by the junior monks in the community during Our religious habit which, various responsibilities in the School, Parish, Guest Department, garden or kitchen are entrusted to them with a view to their imbibing a sense of responsibility towards the community. After this one year, they commence the next phase of their priestly formation, namely, the theological studies. Again due to the changed circumstances, fresh plans for the theological formation of the students so as to correspond to the cultural and pastoral requirements, have to be worked out. The Solemn Profession is made at the conclusion of this stage of formation, when they would be definitively incorporated into the Institute. 

6. Upon the successful completion of theology, those who so wish are ordained Deacons and would spend another year of Diaconate ministry in the parish attached to the monastery or elsewhere before they are admitted to priesthood.