What is formation?

Formation aims to immerse leaders in the mission and values of the organisation and deepen their understanding of the spiritual purpose of the ministries they lead. The intent is to infuse their leadership practices with higher purpose, meaning and motivation.

Formation can be thought of as “a process of socialisation into the community and the tradition of Catholic health and aged care for the purpose of building up the community and carrying on the tradition”.

Formation helps leaders understand, integrate and commit to living out the distinctive foundational principles that guide Catholic health, aged care and social services.

Formation begins by recognising the established expertise of the participants in the diverse fields that comprise the contemporary health, aged care and social service contexts. Those involved are professionals in medicine, law, business, finance, administration, organisational development, pastoral care, education, etc. However, they practice these professions within a Catholic ministry setting and this invites them to understand the ethos of Catholic health, aged care and social services and allow the tradition, mission and identity to have maximum influence on their work.

Ethos is defined as the distinguishing character, sentiment, moral nature, or guiding beliefs of a person, group, or institution. The ethos of Catholic health, aged care and social services is seen in the foundational concerns of vocation; heritage; spirituality; response to suffering; Catholic Social Teaching and care for the poor; whole person care; values integration; ethics; discernment and decision-making; and collaboration with church agencies. These are also the distinctive features of the Catholic tradition inherent in these ministries.

The goal of a formation program is to develop leaders who have the working knowledge, skills and commitment to continue this tradition.