Formation for Mission: For the Greater glory of God
Society Of Jesus spents much time, energy and resources in forming her men. The charism of the Society urges Jesuits to give their very best to the people they serve. A Jesuit should he able to cater to the needs of the people in all ways possible- even unforeseen and difficult needs. This demands that they should go through and experience the harsh realities of life. Jesuit formation is aimed at making fine men of character. He should be able to cope with the challenges posed by the world. Intellectually mature and able, he should be competent with anybody else and surpass anybody in oneness of purpose.To be a Jesuit is, above all, learning to live in God’s presence. Such a life challenges us to pray, to make practical decisions in the light of the gospel and to love as Christ loved. Formation is something we allow God to do – gently, truthfully, consistently. Our formation helps us become in all our humanity an instrument united to God in order to love the world and its people.
Candidate in the Society of Jesus
The stage of Candidacy is the first stage of formation for anyone wishing to join the Society of Jesus. It comprises of the early learning of the language, both Hindi and English. Those who have just completed the matric exams pursue their Intermediate studies also staying at the candidates’ house only. The Jamshedpur Jesuits have their candidates house in Lupungutu, Chaibasa. It is called Inigo Niwas after the fouder himself. At present there is a full time Director of the candidates along with the Regent and an Assistant Director looking after the household chores and also involved in the teaching. The Vocation Promoter of the Province is also staying here only.
The spiritual formation of the future Jesuits. They engage in prayer, do Spiritual Exercises, Study the history of the Society of Jesus and its spiritual foundations. They are also active in weekend ministries and regular exposure programs. At the end of the two year program, they commit themselves by pronouncing three perpetual vows.
Juniorate in the Society of Jesus
After the novitiate the new Jesuit is given an oppurtunity to learn better methods of study while becoming proficient in the needed languages.This stage is the stage of Juniorate studies. A Jesuit spends one full year as a ‘Junior.’ In most of the Juniorates one masters the English language along with the local language of the province needed for the future apostolate. From Jamshedpur the Vovents go either to XTTI, Patna and St. Stanislaus College, Sitagarha for their Juniorate.
College Studies in the Society of Jesus
After this stage of basic training and foundation, those who have not completed their college degree, college studies follow. The Jesuit Scholastics go to different Jesuit(also non-Jesuit) colleges in order to pursue their college degrees.
Philosophy in the Society of Jesus
Following the college studies is a two-year span of Philosophy studies. Jesuit Scholastics undergo Philosophy studies in two common Philosophates in India namely Satya Nilayam, Chennai and De Nobili College, Pune. The Jamshedpur Scholastics too go to either of the two Philosophy centres.
Regency in the Society of Jesus
Regency is the next period of formation. The Jesuit works for two or three years in a school or other approved apostolate and lives in an apostolic community.
Theology in the Society of Jesus
After regency, Jesuit scholastics begin an intensive four-year study of theology which leads to priestly ordination. The Theology studies for the Jamshedpur scholastics are done in two phases. The first phase is the two years of the studies are done in the Regional Theologate which is either in RTC Ranchi or RTC Patna. After the completion of this two years the theologians join the others from the various provinces of South Asian Assistancy in one of the National Theology Centres situated in Vidya Jyoti, Delhi or De Nobili College, Pune.This may be followed either by full-time apostolic work or specialized studies.After completing his theological studies and some further active ministry, the Jesuit completes his formal formation in the society but continues his ongoing formation for lifetime… the formation continues.