Table of Contents





Chapter 1 Claretian Formation: Objective and Frame of Reference

Chapter 2 Becoming Conformed with Christ the Missionary

Chapter 3 Agents and Models of Inspiration

Chapter 4 Formative Factors (Personal and Environmental)

Chapter 5 Dynamics and Means

Chapter 6 Persons and Structures of Animation and Coordination


Chapter 7 Stage of Vocation Ministry and Acceptance

Chapter 8 Stage of Preparation: Postulancy

Chapter 9 Stage of Initiation: Novitiate

Chapter 10 Stage of Development and Consolidation: Missionaries in Formation

Chapter 11 Differentiated Formation

Chapter 12 The Missionary in an Ongoing Process of Formation





Documents of Vatican II

AG Decree Ad Gentes on the Church’s missionary activity (1965)

DV Constitution Dei Verbum on divine revelation (1965)

GS Constitution Gaudium et Spes on the Church in the modern world (1965)

LG Constitution Lumen Gentium on the Church (1964)

OT Decree Optatam Totius on the training of priests’ formation (1965)

PC Decree Perfectae Caritatis on the up-to-date renewal of religious life (1965)

PC Decree Presbyterorum Ordinis on the ministry and life of priests (1965)

SC Constitution Sacrosanctum Concilium on the sacred liturgy (1963)

Papal Documents

Paul VI

EN Apostolic Exhortation Evangelii Nuntiandi (1975)

MQ Motu Proprio, Ministeria Quaedam (1972)

SDO Motu Proprio, Sacrum Diaconatum Ordine (1967)

PR Apostolic Constitutions Pontificalis Romani (1968)

John Paul II

CA Encyclical Centesimus Annus (1989)

ChL Apostolic Exhortation Christifideles Laici (1989)

D&V Encyclical Dominum et Vivificantem (1986)

DiM Encyclical Dives in Misericordia (1980)

MD Apostolic Letter Mulieris Dignitatem (1988)

PDV Apostolic Exhortation Pastores Dabo Vobis (1992)

RD Apostolic Exhortation Redemptionis Donum (1984)

RH Encyclical Redemptor Hominis (1979)

RM Encyclical Redemptoris Mater (1987)

RMi Encyclical Redemptoris Missio (1991)

SRS Encyclical Sollicitudo Rei Socialis (1990)

VS Encyclical Veritatis Splendor (1993)

Documents of the Holy See

AAS Acta Apostolicae Sedis

CIC Codex Iuris Canonici (1983)

DVM Development of Vocation Ministry in Particular Churches (1992)

EV Enchiridion Vaticanum

FLC Document Fraternal Life in Community (1994)

IBC Document on the Interpretation of the Bible in the Church (1993)

MR Document Mutuae Relationes (1978)

OPR Ordo Professionis Religiosorum (1970)

PFS Directives on the Preparation of Formators in Seminaries (1993)

PI Instruction Potissimum Institutioni (1990)

RC Instruction Renovationis Causam (1969)

RFIS Ratio Formationis Institutionis Sacerdotalis (1985)

RHA Religious and Human Advancement (1980)

RO Rite of Orders (1968)

Writings of our Founder

Ap Apuntes para el Régimen de la Diócesis (1857)

Aut Autobiography

CI El Colegial Instruido (1860)

CPP Carta Pastoral al Pueblo (1853)

DCr Doctrina Cristiana (1851)

EA Escritos Autobiográficos (1981)

EC Epistolario Claretiano (1970, 1987)

EE Escritos Espirituales (1985)

RE(A) Reglamento para los Estudiantes (text A) (1862)

RE(B) Reglamento para los Estudiantes (text B) (1862)

SSW Selected Spiritual Writings. Engl. tr. of EE (1991)

Documents of the Congregation

AG.CMF CMF General Archives

AP Decree on Apostolate (1967)

1B Decree on Brothers (1967)

2B Decree on Brothers (1973)

CC CMF Constitutions (1986)

CCTT Constituciones y Textos CMF (1972)

CPR The Claretian in the Process of Congregational Renewal (1985)

DC Declaration on our Charism (1967)

Dir CMF Directory (1987)

1F Decree on Formation (1967)

2F Decree on Formation (1973)

G Decree on Government (1967)

GPF General Plan of Formation (1994)

MCT The Mission of the Claretian Today (1979)

OSG Ordo Studiorum Generalis (1929, 1959)

1RL Decree on Religious Life (1967)

2RL Decree on Religious Life (1973)

SH Declaration on Our Spiritual Heritage (1967)

SW Servants of the Word (1991)

Other Abbreviations

Bro Fr. G. Alonso, Circular,The Brothers and the Claretian Mission Today (1981)

CF Fr. G. Alonso, Circular, Claretians in Formation (1990)

CYT Collection: Claretians of Yesterday and Today (Prefecture Gen. of Formation)

EsC Fr. J. Xifré, El Espíritu de la Congregación (1880)

MTM Fr. A. Bocos, Missionary Testament of our Martyrs (1992)

OPML Our Project of Missionary Life (Commentary on the CC: 1989-1991)

RCC Fr. G. Alonso, Circular, The Renewed Constitutions (1982)

Zeal Fr. N. García, Circular, On Zeal (1931)

Note: The complete bibliographical reference to most of the documents cited here is found either in Appendix 1 or is easily accessible in the case of well-known Church or congregational documents.


1. Need for and thrust of the General Plan of Formation (GPF)

1. Our Congregation of Missionaries, Sons of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, founded by Saint Anthony Mary Claret, throughout its history and particularly during the years of conciliar renewal, has had sufficiently well-qualified formative standards for guiding the formation of its missionaries[1]. Nevertheless, it was lacking a well-drafted and more concrete pedagogical tool to sum up and articulate the experiences, norms and orientations of the Church and of the Congregation in formative matters.

2. The GPF responds to the decision of the XXI General Chapter to draft, during the six-year period of 1991-1997, a formation plan for the whole Congregation, containing the core essentials of our charism.[2] In turn, the Chapter decision was in response to the norms of the Code of Canon Law[3], to the thrust of our Constitutions[4] and to the need felt in the Congregation in recent years[5], which was echoed in Fr. Gustavo Alonso’s Circular Letter, Claretians in Formation[6]. This decision was later promulgated by the Very Rev. Aquilino Bocos, Superior General, on 4 October 1991[7], with a view to its implementation according to the tenor of our particular law[8].

2. Nature and aim of the GPF

3. The GPF sets forth and unfolds in an organic and pedagogical way, and with a universal outlook, the formative principles and norms that appear in the Code of Canon Law, the Constitutions, the Directory and other documents of the Church and the Congregation. It also includes the formation experiences that have been taking place in the Organisms of our Institute. Within these, it stresses, though without slighting other elements of a more general character, those that are proper of our charism, striving to harmonize their universality and unity with their diverse cultural expressions.

4. In the present setting of the Congregation, the GPF aims at:

— Orienting and giving consistency to our initial and ongoing process of formation.

— Guaranteeing a Claretian formation which, since it is missionary, must always be open to the signs of the times and in tune with the events of both the world and of the universal and particular Church[9].

— Being a guide for the drafting of provincial and local plans of formation[10].

— Serving as a pedagogical tool for formators and formandi.

3. Addressees of the GPF

5. The GPF regards the Claretian as being in a continual process of formation[11]. It is addressed to all members of the congregational community, in keeping with their proper condition: priests, deacons, brothers and students[12]. It is also addressed to those who feel called to join the community and are in a phase of discernment and preparation.

6. All Claretians should view the GPF as a useful instrument for the formation of the members of the Congregation, since we are all responsible for formation[13]. Nonetheless, the GPF lays special stress on vocation ministry and on the initial formation of those called to the missionary life of the Congregation. Hence it is addressed in a particular way to those who make up formation communities and centers for welcoming vocations, to those who work in vocational ministry and to formators and formandi.

4. Sources of Inspiration for the GPF

7. As ecclesial sources of inspiration, the GPF looks to the documents of the Magisterium of the church on religious and priestly formation. It pays special attention to those emanating from the Second Vatican Council and to those published in the postconciliar period[14]. Thus it looks, among others, to the Code of Canon Law, the instruction Potissimum Institutioni, the document Development of Vocation Ministry in Particular Churches, the apostolic exhortation Pastores Dabo Vobis and to the Directives on the Preparation of Formators in Seminaries.

8. As congregational sources of inspiration that reflect our charism, the GPF takes into account:

— The writings of our Father Founder, above all his Autobiography, his Spiritual Writings and his works on vocation and formation. Outstanding among the latter is the Regulation he wrote on the formation of the aspirants, novices and students of the Congregation.

— Documents of the Congregation, particularly the Constitutions and Directory; likewise, the orientations of the General Chapters of the postconciliar period and of the Superiors General.

— The Congregation’s experience as reflected in the texts drafted by the Prefecture General of Formation, the diverse areas of the Congregation and the formation plans of the Major Organisms.

5. Structure of the GPF

9. The GPF consists of an introduction, two parts and various appendices. Part One addresses the general aspects of Claretian formation common to all our missionaries. Part Two runs through the stages of initial and ongoing formation. The appendices offer various tools to help understand and apply the GPF.

10. Each of the parts is divided into chapters with a view to facilitating a detailed treatment of the different questions. Both the paragraphs and notes of the text are numbered in a continuous fashion throughout the plan, in order to aid in citing and consulting it.

[1] Cf. Historical Notes and Appendix 1.

[2] Cf. XXI General Chapter, Minutes 14.

[3] Cf. CIC 659 2, 3; 242; 660 1.

[4] Cf. CC 72.

[5] Cf. XXI General Chapter, Report of Government, p. 82.

[6] CF, p. 44.

[7] Cf. Annales 60 (1991) 255.

[8] Cf. Dir 504.

[9] Cf. CIC 659 2.

[10] Cf. Dir 167.

[11] Cf. CPR 66-71.

[12] Cf. CC 7; Dir 156, 158.

[13] Cf. CC 58, 76; Dir 160, 169.

[14] Cf. Appendix 1.