Formation

Formation

 

Dimensions of formation

 

Formation is life-long process of conversion and growth, attuning oneself evermore perfectly to the mind and heart of Jesus Christ in one’s commitment. The formation programme Ruhalaya pays keen attention to preparing and equipping the students adequately for the priestly and missionary apostolate and for a life-style suited to it. It includes the growth of the human, intellectual, spiritual and missionary dimensions of the members befitting their missionary and   priestly vocation.
 

Human formation

A priest and a missionary must be a truly integrated person. Students in Ruhalaya is given the opportunity to strive to become fully human and thus to become Christ-like. He becomes gentle, kind, open, ready to listen to others, cheerful, patient, honest, true to their word, men of self respect, sincere and courageous, constantly concerned for truth and justice, unafraid to decisions and persevering in carrying them out. 

Formation in Ruhalaya aims at forming consistent and coherent personalities, capable of interiorization, generous self-giving and sacrifice. They are enabled to discover and accept themselves by acquiring a clear and objective knowledge of themselves, their talents and limitations; their strength and weakness. They shall be able to adapt to new place and relate to others freely and in a mature manner. The formation in the seminary must fashion them to enjoy true inner freedom and maturity of spirit free from excessive anxieties and ambitions. 

The seminarians are enabled to use the common properties responsibly work with team spirit of service. A healthy community is one where love, understanding, mutual concern and discipline prevail. The students in Ruhalaya get the opportunities to develop their capacity to listen to others, communicate and feel with them and also to develop social qualities such as politeness, good manners, gentleness, concern for others etc. and leadership qualities.

Spritual Formation

 

The spiritual formation in Ruhalaya is primarily the work of Holy Spirit. It aims at fostering relationship and communion with God and consists of the cultivation of a filial attitude to the Father, fraternal love for Christ and total submission to the Spirit. The ultimate goal of spiritual formation is to have God experience. This mystical dimension of priestly life and ministry is taken into account as the quintessence of spiritual formation in Ruhalaya Major Seminary.

The spiritual formation given in Ruhalaya assists the seminarian to grow in faith, hope and charity. The spiritual life of the students is nourished by daily celebration of liturgy, the Word of God, private prayers and devotions. The seminarians draw constant inspiration and nourishment from reading and meditating on the sacred Scriptures day by day and from Liturgy especially the Holy Eucharist, the Liturgy of the Hours and the Sacrament of Reconciliation. Annual retreats and regular recollection and community and personal prayer are important aspects of formation programme in Ruhalaya. Marian devotions are also fostered. `         

The spiritual formation in Ruhalaya is primarily the work of Holy Spirit. It aims at fostering relationship and communion with God and consists of the cultivation of a filial attitude to the Father, fraternal love for Christ and total submission to the Spirit. The ultimate goal of spiritual formation is to have God experience. This mystical dimension of priestly life and ministry is taken into account as the quintessence of spiritual formation in Ruhalaya Major Seminary.

The spiritual formation given in Ruhalaya assists the seminarian to grow in faith, hope and charity. The spiritual life of the students is nourished by daily celebration of liturgy, the Word of God, private prayers and devotions. The seminarians draw constant inspiration and nourishment from reading and meditating on the sacred Scriptures day by day and from Liturgy especially the Holy Eucharist, the Liturgy of the Hours and the Sacrament of Reconciliation. Annual retreats and regular recollection and community and personal prayer are important aspects of formation programme in Ruhalaya. Marian devotions are also fostered. 

Missionary Formation

In Ruhalaya Major Seminary formation is directed towards forming missionaries who clearly understand the mission ad gentes in the context of salvation offered to all in Jesus Christ and through the Church. “There is no true evangelization if the name, the teaching, the life, the promises, the kingdom and the mystery of Jesus of Nazareth, the son of God are not proclaimed”(EN 22;RM 5). Ruhalaya gives the students ma well ordered missiological formation, “…that he be aware of the paths which have been followed by the messengers of the gospel down through the centuries, and that he be familiar with the present state of the missions and with the methods considered most effective in the present time”, giving due importance to the study of missiology at every stage (Ag 26; cf. C 28 b). 

At every stage of formation, the students are to be in touch with the social, religious and cultural realities of the people around them. Formation in Ruhalaya aims at enabling the students to be open to the values, cultures and civilizations different from their own and to discern and accept whatever is good in them. The process of inculturation implies a process of incarnation into the life of the newly encountered people. It does not mean any compromise with the gospel or any form of religious syncretism (cf.  RM 52-54). 

In Ruhalaya the future missionaries acquire knowledge and skills dispensable for the missionary apostolate. Great emphasis is given to the development of those attitudes which are necessary for the future missionary apostolate such as the ability to adjust to any circumstance, place or people, to work in unstructured situations, to listen to the people, to relate to the people of other cultures, to contribute one’s share in common endeavors, to work with all, to contextualize the gospel and reflect on social problems, to organize and build up communities, to share the sufferings of others, to establish friendly and personal relationships, to accept failures and difficulties, to be sensitive to the feelings and right of others, to learn the language of the people, to respect life, nature and environment.

The missionary formation helps the students appreciate the value of work and self-reliance. The MST formation houses are characterized by simplicity. The seminarians are entrusted with as much work as they can handle. The whole atmosphere in the seminary is missionary and the students realize clearly that they are being formed to work for the people especially the poor. Simple life-style is an expression of our commitment to the cause of the poor, the deprived, the needy and the oppressed in keeping with the liberating message of salvation (cf. Lk 4: 18-19). 

Academic Formation

The student is given the opportunity to refine his intellectual ability and keenly develop and acquire those dispositions and habits, which make him an intellectually mature person.

Ruhalaya offers intellectual formation which is intimately linked to the human, spiritual and missionary formation. It enables the future missionary to develop a Christian vision of man, world and God. It is firmly rooted in the biblical, theological, and ecclesial traditions and complemented by the philosophical, social and cultural heritage of the whole mankind, especially the rich Indian heritage. It consists of an integration of both past and present of both East and West.

Intellectual formation in Ruhalaya Major Seminary consists primarily of solid philosophical and theological formation, knowledge of religions, cultures, languages and social structures. An integrated approach to the study of philosophy and theology, together with an analysis of religion, society and cultures is very relevant for India where philosophical thoughts and religious belief and practices are closely bound together with socio-cultural manifestations. Here the students are enabled to be familiar with spiritual classics in general and the spiritual heritage and works of the Eastern Fathers and writers. They are given the knowledge of the ecclesiastical and spiritual heritage of the Syro-Malabar Church (cf. OE 5-6).

Philosophical studies in Ruhalaya offer opportunity tostudents to come into contact with the world of ideas and system of thought. He learns to think profoundly in terms of being and objectivity. Through this, his critical sense is sharpened and he learns to go in search of truth and refute error. He studies the existential problems of human person and delves into their roots. Pursuing the course of history of human thought, he finds out what man knows about himself, the world and God through the power of mind.
 
In theology course in Ruhalaya student is introduced to both the scientific and experiential knowledge of his faith. He is instructed in the doctrines of the Church on the one hand and taught to apply the light of revelation to missionary problems, on the other hand. The totality of the Catholic Doctrine is in the curriculum. The curriculum also provides practical courses in view of their missionary and pastoral formation. In teaching theology, the long traditions of the Church as well as the legitimate renewal movements of recent times are considered. The study of theology in Ruhalaya leads the students to a personal encounter with God in Christ moving them to prayer and contemplation. Thus the truths they meditate become for them principles of Christian life and help them to realize their intimate relationship with the Church.