Council Resources

EAO Salesian Brothers Congress - Huahin Thailand, Day 5 - Callo on EAO Salesian Brothers Specific Formation

Salesian Brothers’ Community
Proposals for EAO Specific Formation for Salesian Brothers


EAO Specific Formation





Proposals: Specific Formation of the Salesian Brothers in the East Asia - Oceania Region 1

Spiritual-Pedagogical Principles:

A. Theological foundations......….....… pp 2
1. Vocation perspective
2. Faith attitude
B. Orientation .....……….……...….....……….. pp 2
1. Starting point and goal
2. Process
3. Duration
C. Formative Experience (Dimensions of the Program) .…....……… pp 3
1. Formative interventions/ Activities ...…....……… pp 3
Intellectual ........…....…. pp 4

Spiritual  - Youth pastoral

2. Formative environment (physical structures) ....……… pp 5
3. Formation community ......... pp 5
4. Regular structure (schedule/calendar/policies/evaluation).…..…….. pp 6
5. Budget (finances) ........………. pp 6
D. Conclusion/Points for Consideration ........… pp 6


Attachment 1: The Specific Formation of the Salesian Brother dated January 9, 2004 . pp 8
Attachment 2: Salesian Pedagogy of Formation – Schema ....……... pp 13
Attachment 3: Pedagogical Framework of Salesian Formation – Narrative .….. pp 14
Attachment 4: The Specific Formation for the Salesian Brothers of the East Asia – Oceania
Region dated October 26, 2011 ........…….………. pp 17
Attachment 5: Proposed Biennium Program of Religious and Pastoral Studies .…..…. pp 19
Attachment 6: School Fees ........……….... pp 20
Attachment 7: Perpetual Profession Program ....………..……. pp 21


Appendix 1: Personal comments and suggestions on the proposed curriculum by Fr Chito Dimaranan,
SDB based on the letter of the General Councilor for Formation dated January 9, 2004 on
the Specific Formation of the Salesian Brother. (Copy furnished by FIN Formation
Commission) ..........…… pp 25
Appendix 2: Email correspondence between Fr Cereda and Fr Andrew Wong regarding the Specific
Formation of the Salesian Brothers dated February 28, 2006 (copy furnished by Fr Rolo
Alcasid) ............ pp 31
Appendix 3: Email correspondence between Fr Cereda and Fr Saldanha regarding the Specific Formation
of the Salesian Brothers dated January 19, 2006 (copy furnished by Fr Klement).…. pp 32

1 Proposals prepared by Bro. Raymond Callo in consultation with Fr. Provincial, Fr. Francis Gustilo, DBCS
(Professors’) community 2

Proposals: Specific Formation of the Salesian Brothers in the East Asia - Oceania Region

Spiritual-Pedagogical Principles --- Analysis of Salesian Brothers in Formation --- Program --- Vision

----------------- Formative Needs ------------

Spiritual-Pedagogical Principles:
A. Theological foundations

1. Vocation perspective
The life of everyone is a vocation. Hence, one’s vocation should be accepted and
fulfilled. The signs of a vocation can be identified. It is manifested in the everyday.
The Salesian vocation can be identified if one’s personal vocation fits the way of life
of the Salesians of Don Bosco.

2. Faith attitude
Vocational discernment is spiritual discernment. Therefore, faith perspective should
be vigorously cultivated. It requires that the Salesian Brother be responsible for
one’s discernment. It also requires that the Formators be attentive and respectful as
companions. Openness to the Holy Spirit is a requirement in order to be in harmony
with the Father’s will.

B. Orientation

1. Starting point and goal
a. Our Identity as Salesians, Formation at its service
The starting point and goal of our formation is our identity as Salesians. A
Salesian is a sign and bearer of God’s love for the young. It requires from the
formand a heart patterned after the Good Shepherd that goes to meet the
young where they are.

Specifically, our constitutions state that the specific formation of the
Salesian Brother should offer him the opportunity to deepen his knowledge
of the spiritual heritage of the Congregation. He receives an adequate
theological preparation appropriate to his consecrated lay status, and
completes the formation with a view to his subsequent apostolic work of
education (Constitutions 116; FSDB 447; See Attachment 1 – The Specific
Formation of the Salesian Brother dated January 9, 2004).
Seen within the context of a definitive option for Salesian life, the period of
specific formation is for the Salesian Brother an opportune time (FSDB 448):
- To assess and complete his progress in his vocation and formation;
- To reaffirm his own identity, which he lives in a complementary manner
with priests, and also his own motivations;
- To reflect, study and qualify himself in the theological and pastoral
aspects of his Christian faith and in his Salesian consecrated life;
- To consolidate an attitude and a pedagogy of continuing formation. 3

b. Aspects of formation
The formation encompasses the different aspects of a person namely:
human, spiritual, intellectual and formation to youth pastoral ministry in
order to acquire the values and attitudes needed to be a SDB.

2. Process
a. A life-long process
The formation process is a lifelong process.

b. Characteristics of the formation process
The formation process is a personalized, communitarian, comprehensive
and diversified, continuous and gradual, inculturated in the Salesian spirit.

Furthermore, it is complemented by a psycho-spiritual approach to the
formation process (See Attachment 2 and 3 - Framework).

3. Duration
Specific formation for the Salesian Brother takes two years following the
academic school year starting in June of the first year and ending March of the
second year (4 semesters and one summer).

C. Formative Experience (Dimensions of the Program)

1. Formative interventions/ Activities
The formative interventions revolve around the following areas: Human formation,
Intellectual formation, Spiritual formation (liturgical, sacramental, Salesian, communal),
Youth-pastoral formation which is taken from the Formation of the Salesians of Don
Bosco (FSDB), Project and Animation of the Rector Major and Council for the next six
years, Experiences of a Multi-cultural formative community, Inculturated
Understanding, Servant Leadership, Vision of the different FIN Commissions. The last
three aspects of the formative interventions are specific for the needs of the Filipino
Salesian Brothers but not exclusive for them.

Furthermore, the following formative interventions complement the two-year Biennium
on religious and pastoral studies as proposed by the General Councilor for Formation
(See Attachment 4 – October 26, 2011).

The needs of the Salesian brothers and of the province have to be identified in order to
make the formation program more responsive to them and to the Salesian Brother

The formative interventions are given as seminars, conferences, programs and activities
outside of the two-year Biennium program of studies. They are the following:

a. Develops a gentlemanly behaviour and societal values (Siya ay makatao)
b. Able to form patterns of relationship – a brother to all particularly to the
Salesian priest (Marunong makipagkapwa-tao) 4

c. Serene affectivity (hospitable and able to empathize)
d. Able to meet different kinds of people (May paggalang sa ibang tao)
e. Deep sensitivity to world of work and its culture (Marunong makiramdam)
f. Able to size up situations and adopt a professional approach (able to listen &
foresee realities in an immersion-awareness process and able to do his part in a
spirit of tiyaga at sipag)
g. Address needs at one’s psycho-social stage
h. Cultural dialogue – personal issues vis-a-vis cultural mentality and its
i. Formation towards celibate life and vow of chastity
j. Media formation - Educate to the values of information technology &
k. Healthy lifestyle - recreation, arts, music

a. To reflect, study and qualify himself in the theological and pastoral aspects of
his Christian faith and in his Salesian consecrated life by taking up the two year
Biennium Program on Religious and Pastoral Studies (See Attachment 5 –
Proposed Program of Studies)
b. Adept at evangelization and Catechetics particularly towards the young –
working young and laity
c. Knowledgeable of Don Bosco and the historical development of his brother
d. Educated to/Aware of social realities and be suitably prepared to take his place
in the world of work (able to share himself (stewardship) and the truths that he
embodies (conceptualization)
e. Qualifies himself in his specific field/roles assigned to him (humble,
commitment to quality and excellence)

a. Able to share in the pastoral love of Christ the good shepherd (Maka-Diyos at
Mapag-katha, radical holiness and prophetic witnessing, calling)
b. Grows in his attachment to the person, style and spirit of Don Bosco (fidelity to
Salesian charism)
c. Deepens his consecrated lay identity (mature, responsible freedom)
d. Joins characteristics of his lay state with his pastoral concerns
e. Able to offer himself and his ministry to God for his good and the good of the
Church (man of deep prayer experience: deepens his personal prayer life,
develops a discerning spirit and fosters communion)
f. Appreciation of spiritual direction and prayer
g. Appreciation of the Salesian charism in the Salesian family
h. Monthly recollection and Annual retreat

Youth pastoral:
a. Sensitive to the needs of poor youth, and particularly the working youth/class
(life-giving environment)
b. Able to evangelize culture through witness of life and active involvement
(healing, available for dialogue) 5

c. Identified with his mission of educator and evangelizer of the young particularly
in his field of work/ministry (persuasion)
d. Collaboration with the laity – involvement of the laity in the formation of the
formands as collaborators in the apostolate, family, friends, clergy, support staff
of seminary (growth, participatory, common formation process, bayanihan)
e. Pastoral sense – acquire the values, attitudes and skills needed for pastoral
discernment and action
f. Summer pastoral exposure and processing of experiences
g. Weekends can be for pastoral exposure or updating in one’s field of

2. Formative environment (physical structures)
The Salesian Brother community will live in the same house with the Community of
Professors (Rinaldi community) but with separate rhythm of life. The Rinaldi
community has sufficient facilities to accommodate the Salesian Brothers’
community. It may not be the ideal set up nevertheless, it is the most acceptable set
up now in terms of cost, feasibility, and accessibility to the studentate of theology as
well as interaction with the clerics.

There are varied areas for apostolate. The school of theology is adjacent to the
Rinaldi community. There are sufficient facilities such as a school chapel, big dining
hall, sufficient rooms, and a common kitchen, sports facilities (2 basketball courts
and 1 football field).

There is also access to other services such as communication (telephone and
internet), medical and dental facilities, as well as joint activities with the clerics.

There is a need for some facilities to be renovated in order to accommodate the
Brothers’ community such as a separate dining hall, an audio-visual room, laundry
facilities, offices for the formators, conference room. These facilities have to be
determined together with the Rinaldi community as well as the cost the community
has to share for their use.

Furthermore, there is a need to acquire some equipment for the community such as
laundry machine, multi-media (computer and printer, TV and DVD player,
newspaper subscription), liturgical materials (mass kit, liturgical books, and

The need for a vehicle for the use of the community will have to be discerned.

There is an immediate problem of the lack of sufficient and regular supply of water,
which needs to be addressed immediately.

3. Formation community
The ideal number of formators is three made up of one Salesian priest who will be
the Rector/In-charge and Catechist of the community, and two Salesian brothers
wherein one will be the Economer and the other the Prefect of Discipline. The ideal
number of brothers in formation will be nine with a ratio of 1- formator: 3 – 6

formands. The formators do not necessarily have to be all Filipinos. One Filipino
formator is sufficient to assist the community. Formators from other provinces is
necessary because of the multi-cultural nature of the formative community, for
greater collaboration among the provinces and better accompaniment of the

Furthermore, the community will not employ support staff. The community will
share in the housekeeping duties.

4. Regular structure (schedule/calendar/policies/evaluation)
Programming will be done at the start of the school year to determine the daily
timetable, calendar of activities for the year, the community schedule, province
schedule, national and liturgical schedule, and school schedule. The structures of
community will provide a formative, flexible and rhythmic way of life. However,
there will be other activities that need to be added and activities that need to be
strengthened. The mid-year and end year evaluation will provide the necessary
control. House rules and policies as well as job descriptions will all be in black and
white. Policies need to be clear and well articulated.

5. Budget (finances)
The proposed board and lodging for each formand will be Php 387 per day (three
hundred eighty-seven pesos)/ USD 9 per day or Php 12,000 per month (twelve
thousand pesos)/ USD 279 per month. Minimum wage in Metro Manila is Php 426
pesos per day (four hundred twenty-six pesos)/ USD 9.9 per day or 13,200 per
month (thirteen thousand two hundred pesos)/ USD 307 per month.

School fees on the other hand would depend on the number of units enrolled per
semester (See Attachment 6 – School Fees).

D. Conclusion/Points for Consideration

1. The program is envisioned to be for two years. No one will be accepted into the
program until one batch has finished the two years. This will ensure that the group
is focused into specific formation.
2. It presupposes that participants into this program has a mastery of the English
language in order to be able to fully participate in the academic demands of the
program as well to be able to live in community.
3. The program presupposes also that the participants are already perpetually
professed brothers or are at least preparing for perpetual profession.
4. If the brothers are preparing for perpetual profession, there is a separate program
for them which they can join with the clerics (See Attachment 7 – Perpetual
Profession Program).
5. The two year specific formation program follows a psycho-spiritual process
6. There are formative needs of the formands that will not be addressed by the
academic nature of the two year studies. Hence, there is a need to incorporate into
the two year program of specific formation the other formative
programs/interventions. The specific formation program is good only in as much as
it addresses the formative needs of the formands. It is recommended that the
formators know the vision of each province in relation to the formation of their
Salesian Brother.
- What are the brothers’ needs?
- What are the provinces’ needs?
- How do we envision our brothers to be in the future?
7. The Biennium program on religious and pastoral studies is on a two year cycle. The
professors of the program are made up priests, brothers, sisters, lay
single/married/male/female in order that the nature of the contents reflect the
richness of the expression of being Church specifically the lay element of the
Salesian Brother vocation.

However, there are some points in the academic program that needs serious
consideration such as: the absence of canon law for religious and lay as a course;
the theological terminology of the subject offerings which can be associated with a
clerical content as well as a need for a process oriented set of courses covering the
area of psychology and sociology.

8. The Salesian brothers as a community will have opportune moments to interact
with the community of the Seminaryo ng Don Bosco made up of priests and clerics
for common formative experiences.

9. Finally, what are the commitments of the different provinces? In my experience, the
commitment of the provinces has been limited to providing formands for the
program but not formators. Formators are essential to the program as the formands
because we are not forming them to be Filipino Salesian brothers nor are we
forming them to be generic Salesian Brothers. There is the huge factor of cultural
influence and differences that need to be considered and Filipino formators are
hampered by this limitation. Second, when formators are provided by other
provinces for the program, they stay only for a year which is also short changing the
program and specifically the formands because the Formator also goes through his
own dynamics as he enters into a community. It takes time for the community
members to adjust to each other. It takes time for a Formator to be acquainted with
the running of the program. One year is not enough. There is a need for stability of