FORMDEV

I’ve been referring to FORMDEV since my fourth blog post (Becoming More Digital), and now, on the Lasallian Centennial Opening Celebration, it seems to be a good time to finally explain what FORMDEV is.

FORMDEV, which stands for Formation and Development, is an ecumenical community of DLSU College of Computer Studies (CCS) faculty, staff, and student volunteers, whose mission is to proclaim by word and deed the Lasallian and Gospel values of faith, zeal, and love, especially for one’s community and for the poor (see photo below). On the second and third trimesters of each academic year, the FORMDEV volunteers facilitate a 0.5-unit course, also called FORMDEV, on the life of St. La Salle and the Lasallian and Gospel values.

FORMDEV facis wearing our signature shirt - Faith, Zeal, Love for community, Love for the poor. Can you see the ANIMO (on the shirt)? Thanks to Carlo Fajardo (FORMDEV Batch 6) for the cool shirt design.

FORMDEV began, by God’s grace, as the “CLP” group in academic year (AY) 1999-2000. The group’s objective was simple: to study the life of St. La Salle, with the hope that it would inspire the members of the group to be more Christ-like and more concerned about the plight of the poor.

The Lord led me to form the CLP group during my first year as Dean of CCS after I realized that, despite my being a graduate of De La Salle University (where I obtained my Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Computer Science), I never really knew who St. La Salle was (apart from his being the founder of the Institute of the Brothers of the Christian Schools). So I gathered together a group of CCS faculty members, which eventually grew to include CCS students and staff, to study St. La Salle’s life.

When our group finished studying Br. Luke Salm’s eminently readable biography of St. La Salle, The Work is Yours, in AY 2001-2002, the student members, in a meeting of the group with our beloved Br. Cecilio Hojilla (1944-2009) at the Brothers’ House in DLS-Dasmariñas, unanimously suggested that all CCS students should have the same experience of getting to know St. La Salle and the members of the CCS community more deeply. Preparations were then made to offer the FORMDEV course to all CCS sophomores in AY 2002-2003. In AY 2003-2004, we transferred FORMDEV to the first year.

FORMDEV facis from Batches 1 and 4-7 with our beloved Br. Ceci Hojilla. Photo taken during the trimestral FORMDEV recollection-workshop, September 2007.

Since its inception, more than 4,500 freshmen have been served by more than 250 FORMDEV facis, whose names are all listed in Appendix III (pp. 15-23) of the FORMDEV Handbook. It is our hope that one day the seeds the we have planted in the hearts of all our handles will bear fruit.

Current facis of FORMDEV, with facis from Batches 1 and 7-10. Photo taken during the trimestral FORMDEV recollection-workshop, April 2011. Thanks to Cyrus Orais (FORMDEV Batch 9) for photoshopping the original pic.

The members of the FORMDEV community undergo continuous formation, primarily through:

    • Weekly inductive study of the books of the Bible (there are currently 9 Bible study groups that meet weekly; two more groups — the faculty and alumni faci Bible study groups — meet on the 2nd and 4th weeks of every month); and
    • Trimestral recollections.

We also regularly engage in outreach activities, including teaching high school kids software applications at a parochial high school nearby every week, and helping build houses for Gawad Kalinga or Habitat for Humanity on the second and third trimesters.

Finally, alumni, student, and faculty facis also watch movies and play sports together, and hold a FORMDEV family reunion every Christmas.

More about the history and organization of FORMDEV, the Lasallian and Gospel values that we proclaim, and our duties as FORMDEV facilitators can be found in the FORMDEV Handbook, which can be downloaded from the FORMDEV site.

The establishment of FORMDEV was a miracle and by God’s grace alone. In fact I think that the main reason God made me CCS Dean was so that I could establish FORMDEV, which, for me, is the most important legacy of my deanship. 🙂 And it is also only by God’s grace that the FORMDEV family and ministry continue to thrive. For…

“God chose things the world considers foolish in order to shame those who think they are wise. And he chose things that are powerless to shame those who are powerful. God chose things despised by the world, things counted as nothing at all, and used them to bring to nothing what the world considers important. As a result, no one can ever boast in the presence of God.” (1 Corinthians 1:27-29, NLT)

Amen!

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