“Specialised studies” can easily become a subject, which raises hackles when one speaks of it out of context and with prejudicial comments. Bishop Michael Fitzgerald, in his article, reminds us of the time when teachers, full of good will, were asked to give courses for which they had not got a great deal of knowledge…the results were, generally speaking, not great; they themselves got frustrated and the students certainly had gaps in their knowledge.
The Society, with a view to preparing confreres for specific missions (formation, apostolate etc.) has envisaged appointing some of them for specialised studies in different disciplines. This does not mean, in any way, that the confrere who receives specialised training will no longer be available for another apostolate which will be outside his speciality. This is the fear of a certain number of confreres who are alarmed by the lack of confreres available for the traditional tasks of pastoral work.
The Secretary of Initial Formation reassures us that it is not a question of a trite “race for diplomas” but a question of a vision for the mission. We are not exaggerating if we speak of this subject in terms of “a question of survival” for the Society, which is called to reply satisfactorily to the needs of the world of today.
Freddy Kyombo, M.Afr.