Presentation of the European Novitiate project
The European Novitiate was presented to all the European Provincial Superiors at a meeting at the General Curia in Rome, on Monday, 8 April.
The Formation Community of the European Novitiate, made up of Brother Luis Marzo (Spain), as the Master of Novices, Brother Angelo Sala (Italia), Brother Tymoteus Holozubiec (Poland) and Brother Damian Horvath (Hungary) accompanied by Brother Benigno Ramos (previously responsible for Formation at the General Curia), had been holding regular meetings since October 2018 to draw up the Community Life Project and the Novitiate Formation Plan, and to work on a number of financial and practical aspects for running the House that will host the Novitiate in Brescia, Italy.
Formation is one of the fundamental pillars underpinning our lives as Brothers of Saint John of God. It is the most effective means of achieving personal development, meeting the demands of the Religious Life today, identifying more closely with the Order and strengthening our Hospitaller identity.
We are convinced that this interprovincial Formation House will provide an opportunity to become more aware of the plurality and richness of the styles of Religious Life in Europe’s Provinces. We want it to be a solid project but at the same time to be flexible so that it can take account of the individual needs of the candidates, in order to help them discern and shore up their vocation.
We are not unaware of the challenges we face with this project, such as the question of the language or different cultures. To overcome these issues we believe that it will be easier for the novices to integrate more easily and be able to assimilate the contents of the programme and the group dynamics by giving them appropriate advance preparation, and to teach them the local language.
The young novices under Formation in this interprovincial environment will subsequently find it easier to share and work with the Brothers from other Provinces and this will help them to undertake a joint discernment process, not only at the Provincial level but for the whole Order in Europe, looking ahead to the future.
Success will depend on the support of the Provincial governments, the quality and continuity of the programmes, trust in the Formators and the ability to provide appropriate tailored accompaniment to the Novices. We feel that the European Novitiate will succeed in transmitting a more universal and intercultural sense of Formation in the Order.