Section for Permanent Formation

Religious Brothers
Let all the religious, especially the directors and the vocation promoters, exert effort to promote vocations for religious brothers.
The reservations some people may have about this type of vocation have to be overcome through proper information. Help them accept the values of the religious life as such.

Aspirants to the lay brotherhood who do not come from
our seminary are required:
a) to have a professional preparation; if he does not have any, it is preferable that he would have a technical preparation or at least two (2) years of college education;

b) to be not more than 30 years of age for under-graduates and not more than 35 for college graduates. Admission of those who exceed the age requirement will be studied in a case to case basis.

During postulancy, the aspirant shall have to demonstrate:
1) the intellectual capacity to understand the nature and commitment of religious life and the capacity to undertake the required studies;

2) a disposition for common life and for collaboration in the tasks which are to be entrusted to them.

The formation of the religious brothers after the novitiate lasts for a minimum period of five years and shall end two years after solemn profession (Const. 184). Let this be carried out in our formation houses. Let there always be a religious who will attend to their human and spiritual formation. Normally, it is the master or the prefect who
takes care of this in the formation houses (PF 367).

Continuous Formation
“Continuous formation constitutes the longest and most fruitful period in the life of a religious. It is the key to understanding the whole formation process” (Const. 256). “All previous stages are oriented towards it” (PF 390). Continuous formation must be considered the first duty of the province (Const. 263). Continuous formation “does not refer primarily to professional or cultural aspects or to responses to external circumstances; rather, it looks above all to the fundamental care of the person” (PF 396; Const. 259).

Whatever refers to agents or instruments as well as to its organizational principles is found in the Plan of Formation (nos. 410- 436) and the Constitutions (nos. 260-275). Let the secretariats, especially those of formation and spirituality, always bear these items in mind. Through them and in connection with the secretariats at the general level, let the provincial council fulfill its role as promoter and organizer of continuous formation (Const. 266-268). It is the duty of the secretariats to implement the program of continuous formation of the province specified by the provincial chapter and incorporated in this directory.

After a reasonable period of time (ten years after solemn profession, for example), the provincial council may grant a religious who may so request, an extended time for reflection, interiority, study or retraining, preferably in one of our houses with stable community life and observance, or to have a sabbatical leave and attend a course of renewal. The provincial council may also consider granting a religious who is already 25years in the religious life a pilgrimage to (a) place/s of renewal even outside the country.

Castelo

Fray James Castello, OAR
Head, Section on Ongoing Formation