Council Resources

The processes related to Formation


Taking stock of the processes related to formation


Via della Pisana 1111 – 00163 ROMA

Il Consigliere generale per la Formazione

Rome: March 22, 2006

To the Reverend
Regional Formation Coordinators
and Provincial Formation Delegates

and by way of information
To the Reverend Provincials

Subject: Taking stock of the processes related to formation

Dear Coordinators and Delegates,

Through this letter I wish to inform you about the processes related to formation that are continuing or coming to an end in all the Provinces. In a few days’ time, the General Council will begin reflecting on GC26; it is therefore important that we plan well the formation tasks awaiting us as we move towards the conclusion of this six-year period.

1. Assessment of initial formation

The Rector Major and his Council have studied the assessments of initial formation in the Regions of Africa – Madagascar, South Asia, Western Europe, and Italy – Middle East, and have issued some Guidelines which will be forwarded to the Provincials and to you Delegates. We shall be following the same procedure for the other Regions, as and when their assessments are studied in the next plenary session of the General Council.

2. Vocational fragility

Almost all the Provinces of the Congregation have sent to the Councillor for formation their reflections on vocational fragility. Our Department is preparing a synthesis, by regions, of the contributions received. Some of these reports have already been presented - and others will be presented - in the meetings of the various Regional Formation Commissions, and will be sent to the Provincials and the Provincial Formation Delegates.
To continue this process and bring it to a conclusion, we would suggest that each Delegate and Provincial Formation Commission embark on the following steps after they receive our Report on vocational fragility in the Region:
- amend and improve the study of vocational fragility that has already been done in the Province by drawing on the Report prepared by the Formation Department;
- make a good selection of the lines of action for the Province that will deal directly with the problem of vocational fragility and help in overcoming it;
- present these lines of action to the Provincial and his Council for their study and approval, and for a decision concerning an eventual communication to the whole Province;
- incorporate the chosen lines of action in the Provincial Formation Plan.
By taking these steps the Province will bring to a close its process of reflection on the problem of fragility and channel the operational aspects into the Provincial Formation Plan it is drawing up.
For its part, the Department has in mind to present the report on “vocational fragility in the Region” to the Regional Councillors and the General Council, and would like to conclude the process with a reflection on the theme of “vocational fidelity”.

3. Provincial Formation Plan

The Regional Formation Commissions have already reflected on this matter and will continue to exchange experiences on the formulation of the Provincial Formation plan, a task that will keep the Provinces busy through 2006 and 2007. As I wrote earlier, I would hope that all the Provinces finish drawing up their Plan by December 2007.

4. Team visits

The Team visits to the Regions by the Rector Major and some General Councillors have now come to an end. The conclusions drawn up by the Rector Major have to be implemented and will therefore have to become the object of study on the part of the Regional and Provincial Formation Commissions. With a view to encouraging collaboration in the field of formation among the Provinces, the Rector Major has also begun to hint at the usefulness of having a Regional Formation Plan.

5. Involving families in formation work

The reflection on vocational fragility and on this year’s strenna have made us more aware of the reality of the family of candidates, prenovices and all those who are in formation. Let us make a real effort to get to know these families, assist them in their own growth, and bring about their involvement in their son’s vocational maturing and initial formation.

6. Guidelines concerning Social communication and Salesian studies

Finally, as you already know, we have, together with the Department of Social Communication, finished preparing the “Guidelines for the Formation of Salesians in Social Communication”, and these will be presented to you probably in June - July 2006.
Furthermore, the Provinces and formation communities are already engaged in adopting and implementing the “Guidelines Concerning Salesian Studies During Initial Formation”. Allow me to recommend you to accompany this process.

Since we are close to the feast of Easter, let me take this occasion to send you my Easter greetings, together with those of my collaborators in the Department, Fr. Chrys and Fr. Santo. May the Risen Christ accompany us in our arduous work, giving us strength and hope. My cordial greetings to you and my sincere thanks for your kind collaboration.

In Don Bosco,

Fr. Francis Cereda