DIREZIONE GENERALE OPERE DON BOSCO
Via della Pisana 1111 – 00163 ROMA
Il Consigliere generale per la Formazione
Rome, 6th May 2008
To the Reverend
Regional Formation Coordinators and
Provincial Formation Delegates,
at their respective addresses
Dear Coordinators and Delegates,
I hope that all of you are keeping well. After the GC26, which was an intense and unforgettable experience for me, we are now ready to take our first steps and resume our journey together. In the first place, I thank all those who sent me their congratulations and good wishes on my reconfirmation in the Formation Department. And now, let me offer you some items of information together with some suggestions and indications for this year 2008.
The Acts of the GC26 will be ready in the month of June. In this connection, I wish to suggest to you to involve your Provincial Formation Commission and devote some time for reflection on the Chapter document. I think it is important for the Provincial Commission to become aware of and assume responsibility for the implementation of the GC26 in the area of formation. It falls to the Commission to identify “the tasks arising from the GC26 with regard to ongoing formation and initial formation” at the level each confrere, each local community and the province.
In February 2007, together with the Regional Coordinators, we studied the situation of formation in the Congregation, both in its positive aspects and in its weak points. This reflection entered to form part of the Rector Major’s Report to the GC26. On the basis of this Report and also of the decisions taken by the General Chapter, the Department is now preparing the formation section of the plan of the Rector Major and the General Council for the six-year period 2008-2014. When it is ready, I shall send it to you.
During this year, according to the calendar that has been agreed upon with you, we shall be holding the meeting of the Regional Formation Commissions. In the course of this meeting, we shall, among other things, look over the six-year plan of the Rector Major and the Council for what concerns formation. We shall also discuss with you the reflections you have developed in your Provincial Commission regarding “the tasks arising from the GC26 with regard to ongoing formation and initial formation”.
Some provinces have already finished drafting their provincial formation plan; most provinces however have asked to be allowed to conclude the work by the end of this year 2008; do see if you can succeed in finishing your plan within this period. I would advise you to give your plan a six-year frame of reference. It ought to be reviewed and updated after a General Chapter and carry on till the next General Chapter. In this way the provincial plan will be able to assume the tasks arising from the GC and draw inspiration from some of the aspects of the six-year plan of the Rector Major and the Council which concern formation. In addition, it will make for a better coordination of all the provinces in their work.
So as not to burden your Provincials with communications, I am sending this letter only to you Delegates. I leave it to you to see how to maintain a link with your Provincial. You may give him this letter, if he so wishes; however, it would be a good thing for you to speak with him about the tasks to be accomplished in this sector.
I wish to thank you and your Provincial Commissions for the formation work you are carrying out in your provinces and for your collaboration with this Department. During this month of May, let us entrust ourselves to the Holy Spirit, to Mary Help of Christians and to the Salesian saints whose memory we shall be celebrating.
I send you my greetings with my esteem, gratitude and affection.
In Don Bosco,
Fr. Francis Cereda