DIREZIONE GENERALE OPERE DON BOSCO
Via della Pisana 1111 – 00163 ROMA
General Councillor for Formation
Rome, 5th December 2008
To the Rev. Provincial Formation Delegate
at his address
By way of information:
To the Rev. Fr. Provincial
at his address
The Project of the Rector Major and the General Council for the six-year period 2008-2014 calls for an assessment of the intellectual formation in the various stages of formation and in the study centres of initial formation.
The exercise will give the Province and the Provincial Formation Commission an idea of how far there is growth in our Salesian identity as a result of our intellectual formation. The assessment has several objectives, the most important among them being the following:
The assessment aims at collecting information about the state of our intellectual formation to enable the Rector Major and the General Council to become more aware of the situation regarding our studies and make a proper appraisal of how far the “Ratio” is being implemented in this area.
Further, it seeks to raise questions and reflections in formation communities, in study centres and in the Provinces about the organization of the entire intellectual formation with a view to starting a process leading to improvement in the quality of our studies.
The assessment will also serve to identify the problem areas, overlappings, repetitions and gaps that need to be remedied; but, above all, it will help to learn the positive aspects, strong points and instances of excellence that can be circulated as good practices.
To ensure that those who are directly concerned do take part in the process of assessment, I have thought it best to provide a questionnaire that can be helpful to those in formation in the various stages of formation, their formation guides and teachers, and the Provincial Formation Commission. The questionnaire puts forward some questions which have been inspired by the criteria laid down in the “Ratio”. The stages of formation to be taken into consideration are: the prenovitiate, the novitiate, the postnovitiate and specific formation.
* To carry out the assessment of the stages of formation existing in your Province, I ask you to:
a. hold a meeting with the students of each stage of formation existing in your Province, have a discussion with them on a set of questions from the questionnaire that you consider more useful, and compile the answers together with them;
b. hold a meeting with the formation guides and teachers of each stage of formation existing in your Province, have a discussion with them on all the proposed questions, and compile the answers together with them;
c. hold a meeting with the Provincial Formation Commission in the presence of your Provincial, and having heard those who are in formation and their formation guides and teachers, hold a discussion on all the proposed questions, and compile the answers together with them.
* To carry out the assessment of the stages of formation in an interprovincial arrangement, the Formation Delegate of the Province hosting the stages, will hold a meeting with those in formation and with the formation guides and teachers, as in points a. and b. mentioned above; he will carry out the concluding assessment on the other hand together with the “Curatorium” of those particular stages.
The formation communities that send their students to philosophical and theological study centres which are not in Salesian hands, are also invited to take part in the assessment of intellectual formation. In this case the non-Salesian teachers of the study centre are not consulted; the whole process is carried out within the formation community and the Provincial Formation Commission or the “Curatorium”.
In addition to the answers to the proposed questions, other assessments or suggestions may be submitted if they are deemed helpful for improving the intellectual formation in the Congregation. It would be particularly interesting to receive a final and comprehensive assessment of the studies in each stage of formation or, in general, in the whole of initial formation.
Answers are to be handed in by the 31st of December 2009. I would ask that the replies of your Province be sent only in digital form to the address of the Councillor for Formation: firstname.lastname@example.org
Let me thank you now itself for your collaboration and ask you to pray that this exercise in the entire Congregation may help in improving the preparation of Salesians. May they live their Salesian vocation and carry out their mission among the young with the heart and mind of Don Bosco.
With my cordial greetings,
Fr Francesco Cereda