DIREZIONE GENERALE OPERE DON BOSCO
Via della Pisana 1111 – 00163 ROME
The General Councillor for Formation
Rome, December 12, 2002
To the Reverend PROVINCIALS
At their respective addresses
To the Reverend REGIONAL COUNCILLORS,
Subject: The formation community and the study centre at Cremisan
Dear Fr. Provincial,
To you and to the confreres of your Province my cordial greetings and good wishes for the feast of Christmas that is fast approaching.
Through this letter I want to communicate to you in the first place the guidelines drawn up in this working session by the Rector Major and his Council concerning the formation community and the study centre of Cremisan at Jerusalem in the Holy Land. Last June, following a suggestion made by the Provincial of MOR and his Council, the enrolment of first year students was suspended - also to give some time for reflection on the future prospects of this institution. Now, after a joint study along with the MOR Province, we have reached the following conclusions:
1. We are of the opinion that Cremisan ought to continue as a formation community and a study centre for the first cycle of Theology; it should also continue to offer initiatives of ongoing formation and spirituality for the whole Congregation. In the light of this guideline, the enrolment of students has now begun again and we hope to have the first year of Theology up and running at Cremisan in September 2003.
2. Our plan is for the formation community and the study centre to become more and more international. All the eight Regions of the Congregation are invited to send their students. The team of formation personnel and professors will become international. The study centre will continue to be affiliated to the UPS. The community will have a specific Statute as an international community, and this will also envisage responsibilities involving the Rector Major and his Council, the MOR province, the Faculty of Theology of the UPS, and the Congregation in general.
3. In this same context the language of the formation community and of the study centre will gradually switch to English. In fact, the Congregation needs an international formation community and study centre in the English language, also in order to prepare missionaries who need this language. It will take at least three years to get this proposal under way.
In our present-day pluricultural and globalized context, the Rector Major and his General Council consider an international and intercultural experience to be a very important part of the formation process. They feel that such a proposition is feasible and worthwhile, if a start is made with the phase of Theology studies (first cycle).
And so, we shall now have two international formation communities for Theology studies: the community of Rome–“Gerini” for those who frequent the UPS and the community of Cremisan. It would be a good thing if every Region were to send two students each year to these communities.
With regard to enrolment and for any other information you require, please contact the Rectors of the respective formation communities of Rome and Cremisan. In case of financial difficulties, you may want to count on a scholarship from an international organization or on the solidarity fund of the Rector Major set up for the purpose.
Thank you for your kind consideration and for what you will do to support the commitment of the whole Congregation.
With kind regards,
Fr. Francis Cereda