DIREZIONE GENERALE OPERE DON BOSCO
Via della Pisana 1111 – 00163 ROMA
The General Councillor for Formation
Rome, 11 November 2005
To the Revv.
Regional Formation Coordinators
Provincial Formation Delegates
My Dear Coordinators and Delegates,
We are now more than half way through the six year period. Last July in the General Council we carried out an assessment of the Project of animation and government of the Rector Major and the Council. Looking at the work that has already been done and at what still remains, I want to tell you something about some of the procedures that we are following up.
1. Almost all the Provinces have completed the revision of the Formation Section of the Provincial Directory and these have received the approval of the Rector Major and the General Council. This is in line with the new Ratio. Some Provinces, Vice Provinces and Delegation, just a few, will need to do this work during the next Provincial Chapter.
2. We are coming to the end of the process of the Evaluation of the formation communities in the Congregation. In some Regions the Report on initial formation still needs to be presented; others are sending in their replies for this Report; others again are already waiting for the concluding Guidelines from the Rector Major and the General Council in this regard.
3. At this time the latest replies from the Provinces are coming in to the Department about their reflection on the question of vocational frailty. A lot of work has been done that has helped the Provinces to acquire a mentality of assessment and discernment in regard to formation topics. These replies will need to be studied and examined in the General Council.
4. In this last part of the six year period we have still to deal with a final task, required by the Ratio and which concerns the drawing up of the Provincial Formation Plan. In the next few days you will be able to find on the formation site, on the documents’ page, a working document that could help you with this task. It is to be hoped that all the Provinces will be able to complete this Plan by December 2007.
During the years since the GC25, especially through the Acts of the General Council we have been able to go more deeply into some issues, such as care for Salesian Brother vocations, the tasks of the Provincial Delegate and the Commission for Formation, interprovincial collaboration and Salesian studies.
In addition we have been able to reflect on some particular issues, such as the evaluation of the formation communities, vocational frailty and the care of candidates for Salesian life, which have helped us to understand the need for a change in methods of formation and for giving greater attention to focusing on the individual.
Taking into account these various matters that have matured over the years and of the procedures that we have been setting in place in our Provinces the work of drawing up the Provincial Formation Plan will be easier to carry out.
Thank you for the thoughtfulness and generosity which you will certainly know how to put to good use in this task of forward planning before the next General Chapter in 2008. With my best wishes and thanks for your collaboration.
In Don Bosco
Fr Francesco Cereda