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The Formation Team of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, Province of Shillong with a desire to create significant moments of interpersonal relationship among the candidates in formation organized a meeting of all the formees from 2 – 5 June 2022 at FMA Outreach Shillong. The theme that guided the encounter was ““Rooted and built up in Jesus Christ, firm in the faith” — (Col. 2:7). Sixty young and vibrant candidates – 19 Aspirants, 9 Postulants and 32 Novices participated in it. Sr. Elizabeth George, the provincial and the formators from the different formation houses accompanied them all through the days of the meeting.
The formation itinerary was integrated with resourceful animations — animated liturgical celebrations, creative recreations, intense sessions, panel discussion, group efficiency projects and the pilgrimage to the first house of the province. Different sisters of the Province animated them and presented input sessions on different topics such as Formation, The Beauty and Wonder of God’s Call, Youth Ministry and its Challenges Today, Cyber World and Cyber Ethics, Women Empowerment and Time Management. The organizers animated various games to motivate them, to develop and increase their God given talents. Through group efficiency projects they were helped to enhance their thinking capacity and motivated them to develop their skills such as critical thinking, creativity, collaboration, communication, team spirit, time management etc… During the days of encounter, they expressed their sense of belonging to the Institute. The Formators witnessed that there was so much of familiarity, the lived family spirit where all of them expressed that the meeting was a hope-filled, joyful and memorable experience.
The panel discussion on the topic: “Hopes and Expectations of those who aspire for Consecrated Life” was a moment of listening presence where they listened to the four representatives from each stage of formation who represented the respective group. In joyful simplicity they courageously expressed their views and dreams to the amusement as well as interest of those who listened to the speakers.
The climax of the get-together was the pilgrimage to St. Mary Mazzarello Convent Jowai, West Jaintia Hills, the first house of our Province established in 1926. The Sisters, boarders and the inmates of the community extended a warm welcome at their arrival and offered a sumptuous lunch for them. For many of them, it was a maiden visit to this nest that sheltered the pioneers and from where the charism has spread out to the rest of the region. The candidates marveled at God’s handy work through the hard work of the missionaries and other FMA who have edged a history of hard life, abnegation, challenges of all sorts, which rendered the mission fruitful. At present, the Sisters cater to 102 boarders in the boarding school, a well-setup higher secondary school, an evening school for the daily labourers, parish ministry, family visits, salesian cooperators and past-pupils units.
After the lunch, the candidates entertained the sisters and the boarders. It was a moment of propaganda through which they communicated the message particularly the spirit of our foundress through a short skit. They enormously displayed the Salesian joy through their lively and enchanting steps and songs. After the program, many young girls expressed their desire to be FMA. May the Lord preserve their holy desire!