Pastoral work is one of the pillars of our formation program for the first cycle. This year, we have thirty eight students who reach out on Saturdays and Sundays to seventeen different areas of apostolate.
I as a formator believe that, we and the students in formation need to be nourished and challenged by divine and human realities, which are outside our formation house; our comfort zone and security.
Together, we reflect, share and pray about situations in which students find themselves. Examples of these situations are: prison ministry, youth ministry, outstation ministry, serving people with disabilities, hospital ministry or being for the first time involved in interreligious dialogue and ecumenism among others.
The formation to be effective and healthy needs constant inputs from real life situations. It helps the students to grow spiritually, emotionally, rationally and socially in their personalities.
The specific experiences of life test the motivation, the attitude and the goals of a candidate to become a missionary of Africa.
During the three year pastoral training, the students are appointed to three distinct apostolates. Apostolate helps the candidate to balance the academic schedule at the institute.
A pastoral diary helps them to see where they are, and this leads to questions. The ultimate question comes to the surface: Do I love my apostolate, the people to whom I have been sent? If he cannot answer this question positively or has hesitations, he has a serious question to answer: that of his vocation.
I am convinced that pastoral work is an important part of formation. It is forming young adults to mature. And that is life-giving.
Fr. Hans Pfeifer
Formator, First cycle, Jinja