DIREZIONE GENERALE OPERE DON BOSCO
Via della Pisana 1111 - 00163 Roma
The General Councillor for formation
Rome, 30th November 2010
To the Reverend
Provincial Formation Delegate
at his address
By way of information
To the Reverend
at his address
After the annual meetings of the Regional Formation Commissions, I want to indicate to you, as is now customary, some tasks to be undertaken in the coming year 2011 with your Provincial Formation Commission, and eventually with your Provincial and his Council.
These tasks are part of the common programme that we are carrying out as a Congregation and have been chalked out for all the Provinces in the Plan of animation and government of the Rector Major and his Council for the six-year period 2008-2014. They do not replace the specific tasks laid down in the programme of your Province and Region.
The Rector Major with his General Council is giving some thought to the “Revision of the Ratio concerning the initial formation of Salesian brothers” and is preparing some “Guidelines for the Aspirantate”. To this end, some rough drafts have been prepared and sent to you in digital form after their presentation to you in the Regional Commission.
I would appreciate receiving the views of your Provincial Formation Commission, with your Provincial present, regarding the formation of Salesian brothers. Similarly, I would be happy to receive the joint feedback of the Provincial Formation and Youth Ministry Commissions, with the Provincial present, regarding the Aspirantate. It would be useful for me to have both these opinions sent to me by 15 May 2011.
Last year you were sent the new text of the Ratio concerning the prenovitiate. You have already had the possibility of studying it with your Commission and those responsible for your prenovitiate formation. It is now time to review your Provincial plan for your prenovitiate and bring it in line with the new guidelines. When you have finished this updating work, I would appreciate receiving the new draft of your Provincial plan for your prenovitiate by 30 November 2011.
Your Regional Formation Commission has taken cognizance of the difficult situation of practical training; with this in mind, it carried out a reflection and concluded it by preparing an aid entitled, “Towards making practical training a formative experience. Suggestions for a Provincial plan for practical training.” In the past year you have discussed these indications in your Provincial Formation Commission. I now ask you to base yourself on the needs of your Province and draw up a Provincial plan for practical training to be attached to your Provincial Formation Plan. Please send me your plan for practical training by 30 November 2011.
For the publication of number 408 of the Acts of the General Council, the Rector Major asked me to present some guidelines to help prevent abuses by fostering growth in affective maturity and forming to consecrated chastity, and at the same time, by applying “Criteria and norms” more carefully in the discernment of candidates and prenovices. For this purpose, I invite you to think of and suggest some initiatives for the various phases of initial formation and for ongoing formation; in particular, do consider the best way of presenting and making use of the letter of the Rector Major that appeared in the same number of the Acts. Subsequently, we shall begin a discussion in the Regional Commissions with the aim of offering not only some initiatives but a programme to ensure this growth and formation.
I wish to remind you that we have begun and are moving ahead with other processes as well, which I entrust to your care, viz. the formation of formation personnel at regional, provincial and local levels; putting into practice the third nucleus of the CG26 on the need for vocation ministry; and taking care of the “quinquennium” for young Salesian priests and young perpetually professed Salesian brothers.
Already now itself I want to thank you for your collaboration. I greet you cordially in Don Bosco.
Fr. Francis Cereda