From August 27 to 31, 2009, the Formators of the Pauline Family in India came together at St Pauls Provincialate in Mumbai for a training program organized by the Director of Formation of the Society of St Paul, Fr Johnson Vattakunnel. Mr Andrew Pinto, an eminent psychologist, and Rev Dr Percival Fernandez, the auxiliary Bishop of the archdiocese of Mumbai, both specialized in health care and management issues, were the resource persons who gave the input. Both are well qualified in the area of Religious Formation and Pastoral Management respectively and are sought as resource persons in India and abroad.
Andrew Pinto, dealt with topics including the relevance and significance of religious life, psychology of religious formation, candidate assessment, self awareness, formation of the Formators, human sexuality and the common problems and issues that formators encounter today in religious formation. In simple but lucid style he explained how to care for formandi and help them become mature, motivated and gospel based religious. To him, it is very important to inculcate and possess gospel values to follow Jesus Christ and become genuine Religious.
Bishop Percy, reminded that religious life is a living gospel and not just a mere sermon. Quoting Albert Schweitzer he said: “example is not the main thing to influence others, it is the only thing”. In simple but elegant style, he mentioned that a leader in the community must influence others so as to achieve a common objective efficiently and effectively. He/she should have qualities like self awareness, confidence, ability to communicate and to understand the task. Bishop Percy also stressed the importance of good human relationships which he defined as “the ability of a person to recognize the dignity of another person, and deal with that person with this firm basis”.
The participants agreed that the program inputs were really effective and well planned. They have been challenged to become aware of who they are and to inculcate in themselves gospel values to make them formators who are human much like Jesus himself.