Loreto Formation Framework
Spiritual formation in the Catholic Christian tradition is a dynamic process of growth in following the way of Jesus and becoming one with God. ‘Formation’ generally refers to a set of experiences designed to prepare a person or a group for a particular purpose. In preference to a word like ‘training’, formation is most often used in the context of spiritual development. It conjures images of deep learning that involve attitudes, values, commitment to particular life directions, as well as knowledge and skills.*
Forming leaders, educators and volunteers for mission in the Mary Ward tradition is at the core of our work at Loreto Ministries. Our responsibility to assist with the stewardship of the values and mission of Loreto for the future is an essential and ongoing task.
Formation is the experience of being immersed in the story, beliefs, spirituality and teachings of Mary Ward and Ignatius Loyola. This process occurs in dialogue with the gifts shared by all members of our network. It is drawn from professional experience, from the context of our ethical and moral frameworks, and out of a shared desire to use one’s strengths in the service of others.
To support this work, the Loreto Formation Framework was launched earlier this year as a result of a considered and reflective collaborative process by members of a committee representing Loreto Ministries and the Loreto Province. The Framework provides an overview of the development of sequential and systematic formation programs to be used by school boards, school leadership teams, the Loreto Ministries staff and board, committees and other groups within our network. The Framework is complemented by an extensive set of resources, support staff and ongoing strategies for implementation, as relevant to each particular context and reflective of the gifts and needs of those involved.
The Framework is centred around three foci; Story, Scope and Spirituality. Each of these foci encompasses three distinct topics, which are covered over a three-year cycle.
The Loreto Formation Framework provides a common foundation for knowledge, experience, and reflection, based on the Ignatian spiritual tradition and in the context of our shared faith, that is essential for the work of formation in both heart and mind. We are pleased and proud of the creation of this resource and grateful for the warm response it has generated across the Network. Feedback and evaluation as the Framework is rolled out this year will enable us to continue refining, reflecting and reviewing this important document and its impact.
Cherish God’s vocation in you; may it be constant, efficacious and loving.
– Mary Ward –
Author: Michelle McCarty
*Jill Gowdie, Stirring the Soul of Catholic Education: Formation for Mission (Vaughan Publishing, 2017), 20