Claretian Postulants forged through series of Modular Workshops

      &n bsp;    For the previous four months, the Claretian postulants have undergone series of modular classes and workshops on the following: Religious Motivation and Discernment; Embracing our Sexuality: Integrating our Sexuality with our chosen Vocation; Enneagram; Identity, Integration and Individuation and Claretian Mission. Each of these topics is said to be very important in the formation program of the Postulancy. These are considered to be tools which gear to help the postulants to have better understanding of themselves and of others in their community. Moreover, the above – mentioned series of classes and workshops have also provided the seminarians the essentials needed towards their psycho- spiritual growth and maturity which will clearly aid them in their discernment process for embracing the religious-missionary life.

On Religious Motivation and Discernment

       & nbsp;        Last July 11, 2011, a Jesuit missionary, in the person of Fr. Jason Dy, SJ, was invited by his classmate at Loyola School of Theology – Ateneo de Manila University, Fr. Elmer Cantular, CMF, the Postulant Master, to give a day session about “Religious Motivation and Discernment.” The session was focused on answering these following questions given by the facilitator: 1) What drives me to do things I do?; 2) What is a motivation?; 3) What motivates me right now?; 4) What is a religious motivation? Each of these questions was discussed thoroughly by Fr. Jason.He introduced the 7 Kinds of Motivation to the postulants and let them identify their own. The activities given by the facilitator helped the postulants to recognize their motivations. This helped them in their discernment. Under this topic was also the discussion on the Psychological Dimensions/Dynamics of Religious/ Spiritual Motivation, together with its effects on the religious formation, the challenges it entails, the benefits of being aware of this, and the recommendations for the growth of the formandi. Fr. Jason asked the postulants to create their own Vision-Mission in the context of the Claretian charism in order to help them set goals for this program based on their motivations and the means to achieve them. An artist himself, he introduced the postulants to Art as a means, a media to express one’s motivations and self. He stressed out the use of art as a tool to discovering the “Divine Artist within” who calls. The conclusion of this session with Fr. Jason was that, motivations are neutral and they can change in time for the better or not.

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On Embracing our Sexuality: Integrating our Sexuality with our chosen Vocation

Earnest Tan, a well-known speaker and author of books about the human psychology and development gave the three day workshop on the topic of Human Sexuality to the Claretian Postulants, joining them were eight seminarians from St. John the Evangelist School of Theology from Palo, Leyte. The workshop provided the seminarians with inputs regarding sexuality and offered a better understanding of themselves and of others, and has answered different questions about sexuality. The different topics under this workshop enabled the seminarians to have an understanding of sexuality as part of the humanity of each person. The workshop helped the seminarians to build up trust among themselves, respect their fellow being, self-discipline, and an awareness of the different factors that affect their sexuality. It also helped them to categorize their issues in their sexuality. During the course of the workshop, they discovered a lot of things in themselves and among others. What was remarkable with this workshop was that, it provided a common ground among the various misconceptions about sexuality. The various activities of the workshop had helped the seminarians to know more about themselves, others, and the acceptance and respect of their own differences, and embracing their sexuality as part of the human nature, and also the acceptance of the implications of their sexuality to their chosen vocation. At the end of this workshop, the seminarians became more equipped with knowledge and understanding of sexuality as it is, and tries to assimilate the important points of the workshop.

On the Enneagram

       & nbsp;        The Enneagram, the 9 Personality test, was introduced by Fr. Elmer to the postulants last September 5, 2011. The following day, he gave the postulants the inventory test for this topic. Each personality type of the Enneagram was discussed together with the results of the inventory test. This test helped them to have an idea of their personality by identifying themselves through the results of the test given. Although the personality test was neutral in nature, it was a challenged for them to accept themselves and think about the results of the test. The Enneagram journey of the postulants ended last September 27, 2011 and this journey made them more aware of who they are which is very essential in this stage of formation.

On Identity: Integration and Individuation

       & nbsp;        The resident psychologist of the Claretian postulants, Ma’am Pura, gave the postulants a workshop on Identity: Integration and Individuation last September 14-16, 2011. The focus of the workshop was to get more about one’s self by tapping the ego, getting in touch with the persona, and by being in touch also with the unconscious of each individual. This topic was really psychological in a sense but, the facilitator sees to it that there will be a balance on the psycho-spiritual aspect of the postulants. Activities such as mask-making, drawing a hero, scribbling, and painting with the use of hands only, were fun and at the same time, were very useful in achieving the aims of this workshop. Inputs about the ego, defense mechanisms, needs, persona, and the dreams, helped the postulants to be aware of their identity and the issues entailed by it. The workshop itself has a great effect and help on them, especially in their vocation discernment. And this also helped them identify their own issues that needed to be worked on in the remaining months of the Postulancy.

On Claretian Mission

       & nbsp;        Fr. Angel Calvo, CMF, a veteran Claretian missionary here in the Philippines, who worked on various religious groups and involved in comprehensive programs for peace and development in Mindanao, and now president of the Zamboanga-Basilan Integrated Development Alliance (ZABIDA), gave the postulants a two day session on the Claretian Mission in the Philippines in particular last September 29-30, 2011. In his introductions, he gave a short recap of the Church’s history as a missionary Church. Then, he gave an insightful discussion on poverty and the poor. The latter, which is considered powerless in the society and the marginalized, has been the focus of the Claretian mission, especially here in the country. He gave an emphasis on this point: that the mission should be viewed on the point of view of the poor and of the marginalized. He urged the postulants to go back to the basic which is the Scripture and discover themselves how Jesus carried out His mission. At the end of this session, Fr. Calvo concluded that there is a must to live out the Claretian Mission and the missionary spirituality of the Claretians through their simple missionary lifestyle. And lastly, according to him, the goal of the mission is social transformation, which means giving the poor and the marginalized to share power in the society so that they will no longer suffer injustice and inequality. It is living like the first community of disciples did where nobody is in want.

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