DIREZIONE GENERALE OPERE DON BOSCO
Via della Pisana 1111 – 00163 ROMA
General Councillor for Formation
Rome, 1st September 2008
To the Rev. Provincial Formation Delegate
at his address
By way of information:
To the Rev. Fr. Provincial
at his address
The Plan of the Rector Major and the General Council for the six-year period from 2008 to 2014 asks for a revision of the section of the “Ratio” dealing with the Prenovitiate stage of formation.
This revision aims first of all to assist each Province in assimilating the guidelines of the “Ratio” more deeply and in carrying out a more thorough assessment of the formation programme of its prenovitiate. It also purports to offer the Congregation some guidelines to further strengthen this stage of formation which continues to be very weak and poorly focused on the fundamental objectives of growth to human maturity, a strong commitment to the Christian life, an assessment of suitability of the prenovices, and vocation discernment. No doubt, some progress has been made, but it is still insufficient; the weakness of the prenovitiate has inevitable repercussions on all the other stages of formation. In fact, vocational fragility still persists during initial formation.
The changes that have been introduced stem in the first place from the fact that in the Congregation, in line with the GC26, there is a new awareness of the need to accompany vocations and of an aspirantate prior to the prenovitiate. Aspects that have been revised concern intellectual formation, the formation community and the experience of community living, the team of formation personnel and the spiritual guide. In addition, greater emphasis is placed on involving professional psychologists, on the assessment of suitability for Salesian consecrated life, and on the need for greater care in vocation discernment. Finally, the practical guidelines and norms have been retouched.
In view of this process of revising the “Ratio” on the subject of the prenovitiate, I wish to ask you to conduct a meeting with your Provincial Formation Commission in the presence of your Provincial.
In that meeting let your Commission:
- assess the current formation programme of the prenovitiate of the Province: its positive aspects and its limitations;
- express its opinion on the modifications introduced in the “Ratio”;
- offer other eventual suggestions.
I await your response on these three points.
The responses will have to be handed in by the 31st of March 2009. I would ask you to send the response on the part of your Province in digital format to the Councillor for formation at the following address: firstname.lastname@example.org
Let me thank you already now itself for your collaboration. I greet you cordially in Don Bosco,
Fr. Francis Cereda