The first formation House
In Madurai at Old Kuyavarpalayam, there was a house for the St.Joseph of Lyons’ Sisters. Fr.Augustine went to Madurai and met and discussed with St.Joseph of Lyons’ Sisters and bought a portion of land with buildings from their convent. That building became the novitiate of the Beates. The Parish Priests, Fr.Nespoulous and Fr.Augustine on 02/07/1911 selected seven Beates and brought them to Madurai. They offered themselves into the hands of the St.Joseph’s Sr.Radegunde for novitiate formation. After a few months, since Sr.Radegunde had become ill, the responsibility was given to Sr.Patrice. The modes of sending finance for their expenses as enquired about by Fr.Augustine from the Sisters in charge of St.Joseph’s. On seeing the Beates, who lived till now under the loving care of Fr.Augustine, were terrified as the deer came out of the forest, since they came first time to the town atmosphere from the Panjampatti village under the foreign Sisters, he stayed for five more days at Madurai to see whether they settled down.
The history of the origin of the formation ministry of CIC started from the formation of our First Four young women Annammal, Savarriammal, Visuvasammal and Yagammal (Beates) in a informal way through the formation given by the First formator Br.Augustine Pereira at Amalorpaviyin Veedu, Panjampatti in 1899. The first formation house is the Holy House- “The House of Immaculate”
Without any vocation promotion on seeing the witnessing values and their zeal in Parish ministries of the these four young women, year by year the numbers of the Beates increased. After starting the formal initial religious formation on 02/07/1911 till 1977 there was no Promotion of vocation ministry. Just by the individual Sister’s effort and witnessing values of Sisters in local convents, the vocation to the Congregation was increased.
The ministry of Vocation Promotion
Due to consumerism and modernism the spirit of dedication to religious vocation suffered. The Congregation was compelled to find means to increase vocations. This situation arose for all the Congregations. So in 1978 the vocation team was formed. A Sister who was appointed as a Promoter, together with her other Sisters joined for the same ministry from the different dioceses . They received special training for this. Till 1983 there was a full time vocation promoter.
In 1984 when the Congregation’s administration was divided into three Regions, each region selected 20 vocation promoters to find vocations for the Congregation.
Through various means the vocation promoters giving awareness to the young girls and in the month of April the girls who completed 12th grade who want to join will have to apply. At the end of May for five days the Vocation Camp will be conducted. To select the candidates there is a Selection committee. This committee will conduct the interviews and the Superior General will select those who are fit for the Aspirants programme. Before starting the group of Aspirants, there will be a three days retreat.
|Formation of Aspirants|
|Nillakottai Infant Jesus House||– 1985|
|In three Provinces||– 1994|
|In North India -Ranchi||– 2018|
|In Zambia – Mazabuka||– 2015|
The candidates are empowered in different skills. They get exposure to the spirit of the Congregation through live-in experience in Panjampatti, Irai-Sakthiyagam and the direct evangelization experience in the villages among the people in the Lenten season.
The Formation of Postulants
In the year 1927 the formation of Postulants started through a six months period.
In the year 1970 in June there was a separate formator to give training to the Postulants. After the year 1997 the period of Postulant’s formation was changed to one year.
In 2001 the Postulants House was shifted to Bangalore, Kothanur formation house. The candidates from the Northern part of India also joined in this formation house. In the year 2002 from May onwards in the Mission house of Patna three candidates from North and four from the Southern part of India started their formation.In the year 2006 for the first time a candidate came from Sri Lanka and had her formation in Bangalore Kothanur formation house. In 2015 first time in Zambia two Zambian candidates had their formation in Mazabuka.
They learned about – Prayer, Strengthening the vocation, History of the Church, and History of the Congregation and the Psalms. They also learned how to pray the Prayer of the Church in a meaningful manner.
Formation of the Novitiate
The period of novitiate formation is two years. They receive formation from the Novice Mistress. According to the Constitution No 18,19,20 the formation will be given and they have to be formed in the following manner – Imbibed by the experience of God, being witness to justice, they have to live the values of the Gospel, in human, Christian religious commitment and in various ministries.
On -Going Formation:
After the final vows, according to the type of ministry, and the responsibility of the Sisters, the Congregation arranges workshop seminars for the Sisters.
In the religious life in CIC 10,15,25,40 years completed Sisters have different formation.
10 and 15 years – 15 days Spiritual renewal courses
25 years – 15 days Spiritual renewal courses and One month retreat.
40 years – One week Spiritual renewal courses and 8 days retreat.
Formation in the Juniorate period
The Juniorate formation starts from the period of first vows to before the formation period of the Tertianship formation. In the year 12.12.1996 at Loretto Novitiate house the Juniorate formation started for the first time. This formation was given by a separate formator from January to May, five months. Then in the following different
places: CIC Generalate, Amalannai Retreat house. In 04/08/1996, the Superior General Mother Josephine Alphonsa in CIC Formation House, Viraganur started the formation. In the year 2018 this starts in the Sivagangai Arumbagam formation house.
To receive experience in the Charism of the Congregation in the ministry of Preaching the good news, the Juniorate Sisters are sent for two or three weeks to the different Parishes. The formation of this period has to reflect on the following aims of: 1. Living together with their companions, whatever they learnt and to train themselves for their future ministries.
Those who are in formation according to the syllabus from the II-Vatican Document, “Bible and Constitution” write exams and in the month of May go for direct evangelization to different places.
In the year 1977 there were two months of formation at the Generalate. In the year 1982 it was in Diraviya Nagar Nillakottai. From the year 1986 to 1996 it was in CIC retreat House Nillakottai. The period was four months. In the year 1997 according to the 12th General Chapter the period was extended to six months.
Aspirants Formation House In North
The formation was started in the year 2015.
2015 to 2016
In this year the first batch there were 17 Aspirants. Among them six were Hindi speaking aspirants and others from Tamil Nadu. They all were brought by Mother Antony Xavier and her team. The Aspirants Mistress was Sr.Fatima.
Along with the Aspirancy programme, Computer, Tailoring and Health Assistance courses were provided for them. They use to participate in
the Parish Programme. Especially Aspirants displayed some programme in the Parish for the Year of Consecrated life. They used to go for the Christmas Carol singing together with the parishioners every year.
2016 to 2017
In this year in the second batch there were five Aspirants, one was Hindi speaking aspirant and the Aspirant Misters was the same one.
2017 to 2018
In this batch all the Aspirants were from Tamil Nadu. The Misters is Sr.Sudha
CIC FORMATION IN ZAMBIA
In January 2002, during the visitation of the Superior General different committees were formed and one of them was the Vocation Committee with Sr. Mary Delphine as the Coordinator for the Vocation Committee. Sr. Delphine and Sr. Sahaya Lourdu the Mission secretary arranged the programme for the vocation promoters. On 4th-5th July 2002, the first One of the Christian Brothers and Sr. Rose Mary, the Dominican Sister facilitated the meeting. The first vocation promoters were: Sr. Mary Delphine, Sr. Sahaya Lourdu, Sr. Bruno Mary, Sr. Caroline, Sr. Raji and Sr. Rajamani. The second vocation promoters’ meeting was held on 30th December 2002 and since then the vocation promoters have started working to set up a “Come and See Vocation Camp”. On 12th April 2003, a vocation promoters’ meeting was held. In 2003, Sr. Theresa and Sr. Chanda, the Handmaid Sisters helped the Sisters to understand the mind of the youth in Zambia.
From 19th to 21st May 2006, the third vocation camp was conducted by the Mission Administration with the help of the Vocation Committee. Rabacca, a young girl was chosen and she started her formation at the Home of Joy from June 2006. With the permission of Rev. Mother Antony Xavier, the Superior General, Rebecca, and Elizabeth were accepted for the Aspirants program on 3rd September 2007. Mother Alphonsa was appointed as the first Aspirants’ Mistress. Sr. Nirmala Savarimuthu, the Mission Superior also took the class for the Aspirants.
From the inception to 2014, Sisters were trying to form girls by conducting a vocation camp and a training programme for the entry of Aspirants. Informal training was focused to encourage the young girls to enter into a religious formal training programme. During the visitation of the Superior General in Zambia, on 25th March 2015 in the common meeting, Rev. Mother Antony Xavier, the Superior General and Rev. Sr. Thanaseeli Solomon, the Asst. Superior General encouraged the Sisters for their continuous commitment to start their formation in Zambia.
-Decisions were made to have the Aspirancy period and the postulants’ period of formation and design of the the uniform for the candidates.
-Asthe decision of the Superior General, the programme for aspirants was completed from 17th January 2015 to 31st August 2015 and the aspirants’ Mistress was Sr.Arul Frasheela Rani.
On 19th August 2015, in the advisory committee of CIC Zambia, the decision was made to start a Postulancy
Programme. The Permission letter to open the Postulants formation at Lusaka west was sent to His Grace Telesphore G. Mpundu, the Archbishop of Lusaka by Sr. Nirmala Savarimuthu, the Mission Superior. With the approval from the Archbishop and on 31st August 2015 with the permission of Rev.
Mother Antony Xavier, the Superior General of CIC, Sr. Nirmala Savarimuthu, the Mission Superior started the Postulancy programme on 8th September 2015 for the first time in Zambia since 8th September is the feast of the birth of Mother Mary and the time the first CIC Sisters in India pronounced their vows. Sr. Sahaya Lourdu was appointed as the Postulant Mistress.
During the Advisory Committee meeting held on 5th March 2016, the advisory Committee of Zambia felt happy to hear about the performance of the Postulants. Postulants Annety Sibukandi and Ruth Cheelomade, made their eight days retreat under the guidance of the Novice Master of Society of Jesus in Zambia. They completed it on 29th April 2016.
Sr.Sahai was asked to prepare the programme for the first profession. The committee also suggested inviting the family members (Parents, brothers and sisters and maternal uncle) for the profession. The date will be on 1st May 2018.
Since 2004 to 2009, Mission had the Junior Sisters in Zambia and the Mission administration conducted every year a special course and test on the Constitutions
of the Congregation and Bible passages. They were also sent to the Zambia Association of Sisterhood programme in order to renew their religious vocation through various classes.
Every year Sisters have been given an annual retreat and special classes on various topics by the Mission Administration. Sisters also attended seminars, workshopsa n d m e e t i n g s conducted by Zambia Association of the Sisterhood (ZAS) at Kalundu Study Centre, L u s a k a – Z a m b i a . Sr. Sahaya Lourdu was a p p o i n t e d a s t h e National On-going formation committee member in ZAS since 2012. Now she is also chosen as the executive member in the National Formation committee of ZAS in Zambia in 2017. In order to strengthen the spiritual life of the Sisters and encouraging them to commit their life to the service of God, continuous programmes have been arranged by the Mission Administration.
Religious Formation in Sri Lanka
In 2006, Arockia Nayagi, the Tamil Sri Lankan candidate, in order to receive religious formation came to India.
In 2006 – 2009, she completed her postulancy and novitiate formation and in 2009 she received her first profession and in 2014 she made her Final profession
In 2012 in the month of January “St. Joseph’s Formation House” was started in the building given by the diocese and for the students, those who have the desire of joining the Congregation and experiencing the formation and education that is being provided there.
In 2013 – 2016 the candidate Mari Stella was received in to Postulancy and Novitiate formation in Sri Lanka and in Tamil Nadu and in 2016 she pronounced the First Vows.
In 2016 -2018 Novice Christilla one who is in the Novitiate Formation, will receive her first vows in April 2018.