8 December 2008

Reflections on BAP - part two

On Wednesday this week, it will be 2 weeks since the end of my BAP, and we were told that this was the latest we would hear the outcome from our Bishops.
I said I'd post again with some further reflections on the process, so here we go!
There were 12 candidates on the panel (there are usually 16). Some had been to a BAP before, but most were there for the first time. For all of us, it was quite strange.
I've applied for many 'regular' jobs, and been through many interview processes (on both sides of the table), so the whole notion of a 3 day selection event seems very thorough! My current job was offered to me on the basis of a 12 minute presentation and a 40 minute interview, and my current salary is a lot more than a stipend!
It does give me confidence in the process though. The church is clearly concerned about getting the right people into training, and although there are criteria for selection, the biggest priority for a BAP seems to be for the panel to get to know the candidates. Once they've done this, they have the difficult job of working out whether the candidate is truly called to the priesthood, and whether they have the skills and abilities to do the job well.
I'm used to the context of a retreat, and the whole thing felt a bit like one. The main difference was that we all felt we were being watched, and we were being watched! Not in a 'Big Brother' way, but the panel members used the time at the meal table to observe how we interacted, and to ask questions about each of us. They used the interviews and the presentations to help them to understand who we were.
As I've said before, I found the whole process to be supportive and overwhelmingly positive. Let's hope I don't have the opportunity to experience another one though, at least not as a candidate!

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