“Novice master burnout, true of false?” This was the motto of the formation meeting for novice masters and postulancy moderators of the male religious congregations at the Marian Shrine in Licheń Stary that gathered on Feb. 4-6, 2013. Priests and religious brothers attended.
The formation meetings for the novice masters and postulancy moderators have been organized in Poland for 30 years under the auspices of the Conference of Major Superiors of the Male Congregations in Poland. This is a meeting of people responsible for the formation of the youngest candidates for religious life – explained Br. Jacek Waligóra, Provincial Minister of the Capuchins from Kraków who attended the meeting.
Twenty novice masters from male religious congregations from all over Poland participated in this meeting organized on the all-country level. During the meeting, Fr. Artur Radacki, a Marian, conducted sessions of instructional and psychological character. According to Br. Waligóra, another important element of this conference was the sharing of experience, since the formation work becomes increasingly more difficult. Religious congregations struggle ever more with the decreasing number of new vocations. Also, we notice that candidates for religious life are getting weaker and they require more advanced formative methods.
Such meetings are very important in the formation work, being helpful in comparing the experiences, improving the work methods, and sharing observations.
A novice master in a Catholic religious congregation is a person in charge of introducing the candidates into religious life and preparing them for making the religious profession. The fundamental task of the novice master is to verify the candidates’ vocation and true intentions. Only a member of individual religious community can become its novice master, bonded to the community by perpetual religious vows and appointed to this office by his superior.