Christian maturation and Integral human formation

Christian Maturation and Integral Human Formation

are, in my opinion, two areas of major importance for everyone including, of course, members of monastic communities and all institutes of consecrated life. Married life, the single life and community life are different expressions of the life of the baptised.

It is of some interest to me that the phrase “integral humanism” is mentioned in a 2014 Vatican document, Rejoice, A Letter for the Year for Consecrated Life, by Cardinal Braso, president of the Congregation for Religious Life and Institutes of Consecrated Life”.

All ways of life in the church are enlightened by a better understanding of our Christian maturation.

Life in community, just as its other expressions, has to address internal and external communications, how members mature and change through the passage of time and how our communities are to promote adult behaviour in all situations.

I began my interest in human and Christian maturation when I met Dr Jeannine Guindon (1919-2002), founder and director of the “Institut de formation humaine intégrale de Montréal,” (IFHIM) in 1993, when she and Sr Helen Kilimnik SNJM gave a training weekend to over two hundred laypeople, sisters and clergy in the parish of St Benedict, Ealing Abbey in London.

Dr Guindon impressed me greatly and I have been trying to follow and practise her analysis and method ever since. You are invited to follow our small group’s progress on this link.

Dr Guindon had developed the more theoretical work of [1] Eric Erikson according to six developmental identities of our humanity in her work, first with a group of young prisoners in Montréal, and later with a group  called “psycho-educateurs”. Later, she formed the “Institut de formation humaine intégrale de Montréal” and this has continued her work in many places of conflict throughout the world

You may be interested in the progress of “Born of the Spirit“, an upcoming Colloquium in Atchison Kansas, 6-7 January 2015, and the title of a book we hope to publish

Centre for Integral Humanism

Jeannine Guindon, The Integral Human Formation of Candidates for the Priesthood, ed. Jeannine Guindon, tr. T. Prendergast (Sherbrooke, QC: Éditions Paulines, 1993);

Jeannine Guindon, Le Processus de rééducation du jeune déliquant par l’actualisation des forces du moi, (Centre de recherches en relations humaines, Montréal, 1969, 1996). ISBN 978-2890921924

Jeannine Guindon’s chapter, “The Psycho-Educateur Training Program”, in W.C. Morse et. al.,Training teachers for the Emotionally Disturbed (University of Michigan, Michigan), 1973, 173-95;

Jeannine Guindon, “The Psycho-Educateur Model”, document du travail no 54. (School of Psycho-Education, University of Montréal), May 1977.


Jeannine Guindon, Vers L’Autonomie Psychique de la
Naissance à la Mort, Bévileau 2001.
ISBN 978-2-89092-274-7

My publications:
84 [A64.] Article: “Different Models of Monastic Liturgy and their Effect on Worshippers”, Questions LiturgiquesStudies in Liturgy 93 (2012) 51-73.

65 [A57] Article: « A New Liturgical Hermeneutic: Human Growth in Faith », New Blackfriars 90 (2009) 219-231.

[1] The term “Integral human formation” owes its existence to the late Dr Jeannine Guindon, who established both a way of fostering emotional and psychological maturation and the “Institut de formation humaine intégrale de Montréal,” 55, boul. Gouin Ouest, Montréal, Québec, H3L 1H9, Canada.

© James Leachman, O.S.B.,  22 February 2018