Last purpose of the education at juniorship
Education at juniorship is the continuation of the initial
education at the novitiate1. It aims at the continuation of
the human growth, on the human, intellectual and
spiritual level, in a more open and more complex frame. The
purpose of this phase aims at allowing the young sister to keep
on focusing her entire life on the Sequela Christi and the
Gospel Requirements within the MSHF Congregation according to its
spirituality and presence right in the heart of the world.
"Education should own the characteristics of the introduction
to a radical Sequela Christi. Since consecrated life aims
at taking shape in the Lord Jesus, it is a must to design
a route that allows one to own, little by little, Christ's feelings
towards His father", by the power and action of the Holy
Spirit which cries out in us "Abba Father "!
For this reason, Consolidation of the "Inner Human " takes up
a significant place. Prayer, silence, Lectio Divina
biblical meditation, Eucharist and regular spiritual accompaniment
for the best discernment, are the pillars of this phase, in addition
of the established theological and vocational education, because
the keystone of this phase is the theological and academic
courses, provided either successively or simultaneously.
The agents of Formation
The community of juniorship is not the unique place where the juniorist
is educated (a significant difference with the novitiate community).
The sister in charge of the juniorship is not the unique person
helping the young sisters to receive education. Vita conserata speaks about numerous agents of the young sisters' education:
God the Father being the first educator, the juniorist herself,
the educator, the community, the events, the courses and the
persons with whom she communicates, the world in which she is
immersed, are sources which contribute to her own education.
The challenge for her is to be helped to unify her depths through
the multiplicity of these sources. Indeed, such role devolves
directly on the educator who accompanies the juniorist during
this stage of her life.
1 If "the religious life starts in the novitiate" (Renovationis Causam 4,13), the juniorship proves to be, as a whole, the end of the initial education and the fruits of the continuous education. The importance of this transitory phase and the special care it requires are more significant than any other phase of the education. Juniorship and a fortiori novitiate constitute the initial basis of the education, its modest beginnings. (For the education in apostolic religious life; elle Huasman, s.c.m.; collection consecrated life; p.27).
The challenges of the education of the educated persons
2 Going from Christ again (No. 18).
3 "Education requires (...) that all necessary aspects be presented, so as to be a doctrinal, spiritual and pastoral education, but also an education to a practical life that makes for the autonomy of the communities, as well as a vocational education, with the needed diplomas, when it proves necessary for exercising the proper apostolic mission" (IL. Synode VC. 91).
This new and complex situation of the approach of the world
shall be lived in terms of difficulties as diagnosis and in
terms of hardship as challenges. In a world that does not help
towards growth, the juniorist faces difficulties she must create
into challenges. There are hardships, where she is affected deep within. The task of the teacher lies in: to support her in order to overcome these hardships
without wavering, or leave the fight and so that these hardships
can be an occasion to confirm her personality and to deepen
her consecration. This is a task that goes beyond the educational
cycle, a sort of relationship that one can successfully build
in personal and spiritual accompaniment.
1. Difficulties relevant to the shock of change of the educated persons
The young sister is invited to face transitions and the passage
from a former life to a new life.
This is a permanent task that requires awakening because the
world in which she is re-immersed is the world she has just
left. She must learn to be patient with herself and with discipline
before starting to taste the fruits of her efforts: this is
the test of time, the test of growth. She is supposed to find
balance between what it is (reality) and what it must be (truth)
and seek to give meaning to the daily life, whether positive
2. Difficulties relevant to the educated persons and their capacities
Facing social, communal and apostolic dimensions, the young
sister is invited to live with others in mutual respect,
to surpass herself and to be questioned in the name of
Christ, who gathers us despite our differences. This is the
Test of reality. She is supposed to develop both her inner
psychological and spiritual space: psychological inner space
where conflicts are developed, assimilated and assumed.inner
spiritual space where spiritual experience (such as meeting
God) is maintained, developed and fully lived. This is the
test of interiority.
3. Difficulties relevant to the weight of the Institution
The young sister is bound to find her place in the life of
Congregation, to be regarded as an integral part of all projects
of the community. Courses being longer and longer, she must
wait too long, on one hand, to assume responsibilities, and
she must face the weight of a hierarchically organized Institution
and the conflicts of generations of others; therefore,
she lives the test of hope.
To conclude with what the Church says
"Young people need to be encouraged to follow the high ideals
of a radical Sequela Christi and the deep requirements of saintliness,
for the sake of a vocation that surpasses them and goes beyond
the initial project that urged them to enter a specific Institute".
".We must be deeply generous to devote our time and our best
energies to education. In fact, the consecrated persons are
among the most precious assets of the Church. Without them,
all apostolic and educational projects remain disregarded and
unaccomplished wishes. Not mentioning that at our present pressed
days, time, perseverance and waiting are needed more than ever
to attain the purposes of education. In an environment in which
speed and superficiality prevail, we need serenity and deepness,
because human being is being built very slowly". "The future
of a consecrated life depends on the dynamic capacity which
Institutes shall set forth for the sake of their members' education".
“If it is true that revival of the consecrated life depends
mainly on the education, it is also true that education, in
turn, depends on capacity of suggesting a methodology, a spiritual
and educational wisdom which direct little by little those who
intend to devote themselves to make Christ’s feelings
their own. Education is a vital step, which leads to convert
to God’s word until the depth of the human being, and
at the same time, to learn the art of searching the signs of
God amidst realities of the world”.
Will this education
end with the education cycle expected for six or seven or even
ten years? The young sister will always need to be assisted by
her elders, especially when she enters pastoral
work; this is especially where she needs to read again and to
review permanently her way of life in the light of the Lord
and the Church. New strategies are always to be set up, so not
to leave our young people by themselves. A new look, the look
of another one in her company remains necessary at every age,
all the more that every age has its own crisis, interrogations
and traps. Not to omit that, by accompanying the young buds
of today, we shall prepare those who will be in charge tomorrow.
May we prepare a holy, sound, solid and living relief for the
sake of the Church of Christ and His kingdom, hic et nunc.
As a charter for every educator, here is a text to be regarded as
a milestone we should keep in our ministry of education:
"I know that we do not change the givens of their nature,
But we can develop a certain number of reflexes:
Encourage them to go ahead, taking situations to the best side.
Dispose them to wonder, to gratitude.
Invite them to tame loneliness.
Let them discover that they are well loved and that they can
Taste the grace and forgiveness.
Incite their uprightness as their intellectual curiosity
and their art gifts. (.)
Rather than aiming for artificial success
Elusive, relative and ambiguous happiness
Ido not want them to live by proxy
Without acquiring autonomy
Since what we know to do and what we can do
We discover it by doing it.
|" Collette Nys-Masure 'Celebration of the daily life' Ed. Littérature Ouverte - DDB