Sion Institute for Formation and Research
In 2010 an internal institute was founded in our Community for questions in formation and research. Because it serves the Sion Community and its mission, it is called the Sion Institute for Formation and Research. The Sion Institute supervises the whole formation process of those who wish to become Schoenstatt Fathers and it also promotes further studies of the members already ordained a priests, such as doctoral studies, specializations, etc.
Formation is understood as encompassing three areas: 1. whole-personal (in the sense of an integration of personality, mind and soul, as takes place in the novitiate and tertianships), 2. academic (theological studies and professional formation until the beginning of formal pastoral work as deacon/priest) und 3. ongoing (further formation after the beginning of the pastoral work, such as pastoral courses).
It is the task of the Institute to reflect on the existing practice of the community in all areas of formation, coordinating and, if needed, improving and developing guidelines. The findings and suggestions are placed at the disposal of the competent authorities.
Research concerns itself with questions in the study of Schoenstatt and Fr. Kentenich, both in general (queries from confreres around the world) and academically (accompaniment and support of confreres who are working on a further degree, such as a doctorate). In service of the latter, since 2010 the institute organizes an annual “Sion Seminar” for those confreres working on a doctorate.
To support the research, the institute is responsible for the development and maintenance of relevant research instruments. The main collections are the research library which was founded in 2008 (including Kentenich and Schoenstatt books and manuscripts in all languages, a library of sources used by Fr. Kentenich, and a collection of diploma, licentiate, and doctoral theses on Schoenstatt topics) and the Paul Vautier Collection (his research papers), both located in the institute wing of the Father House.
Members of the institute are currently Fr Raul Espina (Chile) and Fr Antonio Bracht (Brazil), from the General Council, Fr Peter Locher (Germany) and Fr Werner M. Kuller (Germany), both former novice masters and with a broad experience in the area of formation.