ISSUES AND CHALLENGES
Continued growth and development is natural to any human being in any walk of life. For priests and religious, ongoing formation is an integral renewal process, envisaging a continuous progression towards realizing their full potential. This entails a personal as well as a community commitment to a continuous renewal of fidelity to the founder. There is no specific age at which a person can consider that they have achieved full maturity in priestly or religious life. One should try to improve the quality of one’s response to the commitments of ordained life.
Ongoing formation must be systematic, comprehensive and geared to the individual’s spiritual, apostolic, doctrinal and practical needs. Continuing formation after ordination enables the priest to retain relevancy, both within developing times and new pastoral challenges. Vita Consecrata, the post-synodal apostolic exhortation, mentions five stages of ongoing formation: the critical stage, the risk of routine, the stage of maturity, advanced age and completion of formation at the moment of death.
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