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Formation may be a new concept for some. Most people are familiar with the term development, which is about improving what and how we do things. Formation is more about the meaning of and why we do what we do. Even though format and content vary from one formation program to another, all of the programs are based on a common understanding of formation.formationquote-1reallyuse

Formation is an ongoing transformative process that opens us to God's creation and connects us more deeply with God, self, others and the world. Through self-reflection grounded in theology and spirituality, formation enables us to consider our calling, find deeper meaning in our work, realize our gifts and develop our competencies in service of human dignity and the common good.

Key words in this foundational statement are "transformative," "God's action" and "self-reflection." Formation invites reflection that enables us to cooperate with the transformative work of the Spirit in our life experiences. Through formation we travel a journey of becoming more fully who we have been called to be as persons in community. Formation throughout Ascension Health is designed to invite all associates, within their own faith journey, to discover paths to greater flourishing as they serve Catholic healthcare's mission of healing.

Ascension Health's Vision states that we intend to expand the role of the laity, in both leadership and sponsorship, to ensure a Catholic healthcare ministry of the future. Formation programs for leaders in Ascension Health equip them, personally and professionally, to sustain, steward and advance our Ministry so that it will faithfully serve our Mission into the future.

In order to do this, Ascension Health has developed a variety of formation programs, working closely with the faculty of Aquinas Institute of Theology in St. Louis. In concert with our Health Ministries, we will help create a Model Community of persons who will sustain a vital Catholic healthcare ministry into the future.
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