Posts Tagged ‘Formation’


June 5, 2015

“I will give you a new heart”

The Society of the Faithful Companions of Jesus
Province of Asia – Australia

Warmly invite you to join with them in spirit
and in prayer
on the occasion of
the First Profession of

Regina Meily Setiawati Sulaiman (Mei)

As a Faithful Companion of Jesus

Mass of Profession will be celebrated
on Sunday, 07 June 2015
at Susteran FCJ
Soropadan, Yogyakarta, Indonesia


December 20, 2014

We made it into the church just as a fierce storm burst overhead and the darkened clouds released a deluge of water.  I was accompanying one of the novices to church for the Sacrament of Reconciliation.  I had been the day before and came to show the way to the church as we were away on retreat and in unfamiliar territory.  I found a quiet spot in the middle of the church far from the many groups of people who were waiting at various points around the building.  Given the number of people I knew I would be in for a long wait and settled into a peaceful time of prayer.  After a while I found myself observing the people who were waiting.  There were the very young and the elderly, there were school age children, teenagers and vast numbers of young people – some of them sitting close to boyfriends and girlfriends as they waited.  Some people were alone, others came as a family or in groups of friends.  There were parents taking their small children to Reconciliation.  I was especially touched to see a number of women and men taking tiny babies in with them.  There were students, retired people and some people who were clearly coming straight from work – with brief cases and laptops in hand.  I found myself aware of the most incredible sense of God’s presence: in that vast array of people, in the awareness that people were there to receive the Sacrament of Reconciliation, in the presence of the Blessed Sacrament, in the sound of the rain pounding on the roof and bouncing on the paths and roads outside and in the sheer power of the storm that continued to rage above us.  I was struck by the unity of all things in God.  On that afternoon it seemed that all things were in cooperation to offer an almost tangible way of discovering something of God revealed in every aspect of life.

Evening Prayer for the Feast of St Stanislaus

November 13, 2014

We had a lovely celebration of St Stanislaus’ feast today.  You might like to use the prayer that we had this evening. Please know that we prayed for all of you!


Opening Hymn: God Has Chosen Me, Bernadette Farrell (As One Voice 1)
1. God has chosen me, God has chosen me
to bring good news to the poor.
God has chosen me, God has chosen me
to bring new sight to those searching for light:
God has chosen me, chosen me:

Refrain: And to tell the world that God’s kingdom is near,
to remove oppression and break down fear,
yes, God’s time is near, God’s time is near,
God’s time is near, God’s time is near.
2. God has chosen me, God has chosen me
to set alight a new fire.
God has chosen me, God has chosen me
to bring to birth a new kingdom on earth:
God has chosen me, chosen me:
3. God is calling me, God is calling me
in all whose cry is unheard.
God is calling me, God is calling me
to raise up the voice with no power or choice:
God is calling me, calling me:

Opening Prayer
God who calls us into being, we praise and thank you for calling our sisters……… follow Jesus more closely in our little Society of Faithful Companions of Jesus. May they be strengthened in their vocation through the prayers of St Stanislaus whose heart was on fire with love for Jesus and Mary. May the example and prayers of their FCJ sisters throughout the world inspire and support them. We make our prayer through Our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God forever and ever. Amen.

Gospel Reading: Luke 14: 25 – 27
Many crowds were journeying with him, and he turned and said to them, “If someone comes to me and fails to hate their father and their mother and their wife and their children and their brothers and their sisters – yes, and even their own life – they cannot be my disciple. Whoever does not carry their own cross and come after me can’t be my disciple.”
(Text taken from The New Testament by Nicholas King)

Prayer Response in Song: The Grail Prayer (Margaret Rizza, Fire of Love)
Lord Jesus, I give you my hands to do your work;
I give you my feet to go your way;
I give you my eyes to see as you do;
I give you my tongue to speak your words;
I give you my mind, Lord, that you may think in me;
I give you my spirit that you may pray in me,
that you may pray in me.

Above all, Lord, I give you my heart,
that you may love in me your Father and all humankind;
I give you my whole self that you may grow in me,
So that it is you, Lord Jesus,
who live and work and pray in me;

I give you my whole self,
that you may live and work and pray in me.

Lord Jesus, I give you my spirit
that you may pray in me,
I give you my heart, Lord,
that you may love in me,
that you may love in me,
pray in me, love in me,
pray in me, love in me.

An extract from the St Stanislaus Letter (Sr Claire Sykes FCJ, General Superior)

That simple phrase ‘became more virtuous’ is rather misleading. It makes it sound as though ‘becoming more virtuous’ happens at the press of a button, but we know it is not like that. Being virtuous means developing the capacity to make the choice that will bring goodness into a context. When this choice for goodness becomes a graced habit it is virtue. Stanislaus consistently chose to bring goodness into his relationship with his brother and this must have taken tremendous self-control. We are told that this young man was able to control aggressive responses to his brother and in the face of extreme hostility to retain a harmony within himself. Stanislaus was surely modelling the virtue of ‘douceur’ or gentleness.

Prayers of Intercession based on the St Stanislaus Letter
Response: O Lord in you we trust, O Christ in you we pray

Prayer for Claire

Our Lady’s Blessing

Closing Prayer
God of compassion and humility, we thank you that Jesus came to draw us all into the Reign of God and we thank you that you have called us to be his Faithful Companions. We especially ask you to bless………..and all those in early stages of formation. May they be inspired by the example of St Stanislaus to give themselves totally to you every day of their lives. May we all continue to run joyfully in the path of Christ. We make our prayer through Christ our Lord and in the power of your Holy Spirit. Amen.

Closing Hymn: Dancing with God (Briege O’Hare, Woman’s Song of God
I cannot dance, O Lord, unless you lead me
And if you want me to leap for joy,
Then you must be the first to dance and to sing
And I will follow you; in their echo I will ring.
Then, only then,
Then, only then,
Then, only then, will I leap for joy!

I cannot sing, O Lord, unless you lead me
And if you want me to sing for joy,
Then you must be the first to sing out your song
And I will follow you and sing right along.
Then, only then,
Then, only then,
Then, only then, will I sing for joy!

Lead me Lord in your joyful dancing.
I will follow in your dance of life.
Then all my living will be true to you,
My loving God.

(Repeat Verse 1)
Leap for joy!
Will I leap for joy!

Celebrating St Stanislaus – The Patron Saint of Novices

November 9, 2014

On November 13th we will celebrate St Stanislaus’ Day. This is a lovely feast for us because we especially give thanks for our novices and, of course, spoil them a bit too! It’s special to us also because it is a feast that all FCJs have celebrated at some point in their lives – given that we’ve all been novices! For the novices themselves one big highlight of the day is reading the letter that the General Superior sends to them. This is always inspiring and encouraging and fills them with great enthusiasm. Here in our formation community in Indonesia one of the ways we prepare for this feast is to say a novena in the days leading up to it. This helps to keep us focused on the meaning of St Stanislaus’ Day for today and also ensures that we gradually harvest the “spiritual fruit” that is being offered to us.

If you want to join us in praying in preparation for the feast of St Stanislaus we have posted an adapted version of our novena below…You can adapt it further and use it in any way that suits you.

The Life of St Stanislaus
Stanislaus was born in Poland in the year 1550 the second of six children. When he was fifteen Stanislaus and his elder brother Paul were sent by their parents to study in a Jesuit college in Vienna. Stanislaus was a studious youth who was also cheerful, innocent and gentle. He was deeply religious. attended Mass every day and had great love for Our Lady. Stanislaus’ character was in total contrast to that of his elder brother. Paul was often frustrated and angry with Stanislaus and he sometimes gave his younger brother a severe beating. Stanislaus bore his suffering with patience and humility. At one time he said “Ad maiora natus sum” “I was born for greater things.” These words became his motto and he lived his life by them.

Stanislaus became critically ill and he asked for a priest. The family who owned the house would not allow a priest to enter it. As Stanislaus was praying to God through the intercession of St Barbara she appeared to him accompanied by two angels and gave him Holy Communion. Several days later he saw a vision of Our Lady holding the child Jesus and Stanislaus was healed.

In thanksgiving for his miraculous healing Stanislaus decided to enter the Society of Jesus. In August 1567 Stanislaus crept out of the house in tattered clothes and began his long walk to Rome. His brother and tutor gave chase but were unable to find him. Stanislaus’ family was shamed by his behavior and disowned him. He arrived in Augsburg, Germany, having covered 600 kilometers in fifteen days. He went to meet Peter Canisius, the Provincial of the German Jesuits. With a letter of recommendation written by Peter Canisius he walked a further 1,200 kilometres within a month and finally arrived in Rome. He was received into the novitiate on 28th October, 1567.

During the ten remaining months of his life, according the testimony of the master of novices, Father Giulio Fazio, “he was a model and mirror of religious perfection. Notwithstanding his very delicate constitution he did not spare himself the slightest penance”.
In August 1568 Stanislaus fell critically ill with a high fever, and he knew he was dying. He hoped to die on the Feast of the Assumption so he could celebrate this feast with Mary in heaven. His desire was granted and he died on 15 August, towards four in the morning. The entire city proclaimed him a saint and people came from all parts to venerate his remains and to obtain, if possible, some relics. He was beatified in 1605 and canonized in 1726. St. Stanislaus is a much loved Polish saint. He is especially loved because he is the patron saint of novices.
St Stanislaus…pray for us.

In thanksgiving for our vocations…
Oh God,
From a young age St Stanislaus left everything to follow his call. He lived his vocation with deep joy. We too give you thanks that we have been called to leave everything and follow you.
We pray in gratitude with and through Jesus.

For a great desire to serve God
Loving God,
You loved St Stanislaus because he wholeheartedly consecrated his young life to you.
Renew us with your Spirit and strengthen our desire to live fully for you.
May we always run in the path of your Gospel.
We make this prayer in the name of Jesus your Son.

For the awareness that we are born for greater things…
God of mercy, God of love, you form us to send us out on mission.
Renew in our hearts, O God, the awareness that we, like Stanislaus, are born for greater things.
May all that we do proclaim the Good News that you are God with us.
In Jesus’ name.

That we always seek to live fully for God…
Most gracious God, we long to love you with all our heart and mind and soul.
Strengthen us and keep our ideals strong for the whole of our lives.
Grant this in Jesus’ name.

For our older sisters…
Gentle God, our older sisters have served you faithfully for many years as FCJs.
We ask you to bless them with health and joy and many more years of peace and contentment.
May they continue to serve you through their ministry of prayer.
We ask this mindful of your love and care.

For the gift of Companionship…
True Christian community is never free from the tensions of daily life and because of this deep companionship is needed to preserve union of minds and hearts.

We pray that we may value and nurture the companionship we enjoy in our various communities.
We ask this through Jesus who showed us the way to build community in the Reign of God.

For young people who haven’t yet discerned their way in life…
God our creator,
We pray through the intercession of St Stanislaus that today’s young people will have the courage to offer themselves to you for your glory and service. We especially ask that you send many young women to serve you and your people as Faithful Companions of Jesus.
We ask this in union with Jesus our Companion.

Rejoicing in St Stanislaus
All holy, ever present God, we rejoice in the glory of your saints and all holy women and men.
At this time we give thanks for St Stanislaus, the patron saint of novices.
May his good example inspire us and his prayers strengthen us.
We ask this through Christ, our Lord,

Reflections of a novice director…

October 25, 2014

I have been novice director for quite a number of years now – and what a blessing that time has been!  I have had the great privilege of being the companion of an amazing group of women all of whom have been really serious about their vocations as FCJs.  What an irony that the one who has most probably gained the most from this experience is me!  In walking alongside young women who are so totally serious about every aspect of their religious life I myself have been “formed” and challenged time and time again to be the best FCJ I can be!  Each one of those FCJs is special to me and I carry her in my heart and in my prayer every day.  Thank you my dear companions for teaching me more than I could ever teach you – and may you grow daily ever closer to your Companion and ever more willing to be of service to God’s people.

Clare Fcj

Mei sharing on Life as a Novice – FCJ Formation Continued

October 7, 2014

This time of novitiate formation is going so quickly. To my surprise I’m already in the second year of my novitiate! So far I have experienced and learned many things as a novice. Some of the things I have learned are as follows: I have learned about transition which helped me to adapt to my new situation; day by day I am learning to know and to love Jesus through prayer and through the people surrounding me; I am also learning to know and to accept myself. I have received a great deal of input from so many sources. I am increasingly aware that the more I learn, the more I feel I knew nothing before!

In fact as a woman who was used to determining my own life, I have repeatedly found that our life can be very challenging. Yet I am grateful because the sisters always support and encourage me. Slowly but surely I can deal with the situation. I believe things happen as God lends His hand to me

Every day I have something to do. I feel that the days pass like an arrow. I make an effort to balance my activities with prayer. I always start and close my days with God. Even though I am not always in an ideal situation I am trying to serve God faithfully. As a result, I have a sense of knowing how God always goes along with me and of how God loves me.

Photo of Mei.


Life as a Novice – FCJ Formation

September 29, 2014
Novitiate is a fairly intense time of formation. It comes after postulancy and is a formal step into the Society. During novitiate we live in community and are accompanied by a named sister (novice director). We do study of the FCJ Constitutions, learn more about our spirituality, have an opportunity to deepen our prayer life and live reflectively. We also do apostolic work in situations which are different to our normal ministry or job. As an Ignatian congregation we also do the Spiritual Exercises – a 30 day silent retreat. Here are some reflections from Rowena, one of our current novices. Rowena is from the Philippines but is doing her novitiate in Indonesia. rowena
Novitiate is a great invitation and it is the most challenging phase of the journey of my life so far.  For me it is a precious time in which I am so much closer to God.  It’s a school of new beginnings made up of many elements: welcoming; learning; growing; exercising; living; deepening and letting go.
I am learning so many things during this special time: how to grow the love of Jesus in my heart; how to live with Jesus as the centre of my life; how to know myself better; how to stretch myself more in love for others; how to be a woman at the foot of the cross and go beyond it; how to be a contemplative in action, particularly in my daily living.
I have valued and enjoyed my apostolic ministries: visiting and accompanying the sick; teaching children and working with youth.  I have been inspired and helped by all those I have worked with and for.
Lots of questions come into my mind to ponder???  How to give myself fully to Jesus? How to love him faithfully, to follow him tenderly and serve him lovingly?  It is not always easy but bit by bit and through prayer I am aware of how to respond and I go on learning day by day.  Throughout this pilgrimage of my life Jesus is indeed my faithful companion. It is his everlasting love that strengthens my faith, hope and love.
I have been helped by the unconditional love and endless support of our novice director throughout this journey.  She has helped me and directed me as I have been moulded and shaped through God’s love.  I am grateful too to the many companions who have loved and supported me in so many ways.  God’s grace is always there for me.  Thanks be to God for love always in all things.  United in mind, heart and prayer with all those who read this.  God bless each one of you.


July 7, 2014

My feet are just beginning to walk on solid ground again after a spell of ten days in bed with a bad dose of flu.  How grateful I am to my very loving community who took care of me so kindly and generously in recent days.   How very beautiful community life can be when we do our best to live it!   My little group has lived its companionship to the full these days…Thank you God for my dear companions!


July 8, 2013

By 10.55am we were lined up in the entrance procession and enjoying the choir as they sang a few hymns to set the atmosphere.  To our relief nearly all of our guests were in their seats.  Our main room was looking nicely filled with a few empty seats wisely placed for latecomers.  Tyas’ family and friends were seated in the front left rows and FCJs to the right with FCJ Companions in Mission, friends and colleagues taking up most of the other available seating. As the choir sang out the first words of the Entrance Hymn we began to process in and we were drawn into the ceremony moment by beautiful moment.  Tyas looked lovely.  She was so composed and sure of herself.  As Tyas pronounced her vows her voice resounded loud and clear.  There was a glow of joy about her – which is still with her!  The ceremony was followed by a delicious lunch.  The food was just right, it tasted good and there was plenty of it without it being too luxurious.  At 6pm the FCJs gathered together for Tyas’ missioning.  We had a simple meal together as we shared our memories of the day.  It was lovely to be FCJs together at the end of such a special day for all of us – and especially for Tyas.  Thank you for keeping us in your prayer…I assure you of ours…


July 7, 2013

At 5am this morning I walked around our house enjoying the cool air and the silence that pervaded everything.  The main room of our house looked lovely – like a chapel – all set up for the vows.  Gradually other FCJs appeared and continued their part of the final preparations.  At this stage no further instructions are needed – we work as one body with one heart and one mind – helping each other in a true experience of companionship.  Tyas meanwhile – is radiant – she’s ready…This is a happy day for all  – for FCJs, for Tyas’ family and friends, for our Church and World…You all are included in our prayers of intercession…Thank you for your prayers…