INITIATION IN THE MINISTRY OF THE WORD
Project of Initial Formation for hearing and assimilating Sacred Scripture in a Claretian key
English Translation by: Joseph C. Daries, C.M.F.
PART ONE: General Aspects
Ch. 1. The Word of God and Sacred Scripture
Ch. 2. The Word of God in Claret and in the Congregation
Ch. 3. The Ministry of the Word in Formation
PART TWO: Stages
Ch. 4. I. Stage of Preparation. Postulancy
Ch. 5. II. Stage of Initiation. Novitiate
Ch. 6. III. Stage of Development and Consolidation: Missionaries in Formation
Ch. 7. Special Moments
Appendix1: What the Bible Tells us about the Word of God
Appendix 2: Vocation and Formation Texts of the Bible.
Appendix 3: Texts of Claret on the Bible
Appendix 4: The Word of God in the Congregation (Pedagogical Orientations)
Appendix 5: Methods for Reading and Praying Sacred Scripture.
Appendix 6: Project for Bible Reading during the Formation Process
Appendix 7: Survey on the Word for Postulants, Novices and Students
Appendix 8: Celebration of the Word
Appendix 9: Claretian Bibliography
After completing the General Plan of Formation (GPF), the General Prefecture of Formation proposed to draw up a series of subsidies to facilitate its application to our formation communities in their different situations. One of these subsidies is the Formation Project of Initiation in the Ministry of the Word (IMW), the specific aim of which is to help our formandi to assimilate the Word of God along the lines indicated in SW.
1. The XXI General Chapter insisted that the formation of our missionaries should be a process of initiation in the ministry of the Word, understood as an authentic way of being, acting and signifying.1 Hence, during formation a very relevant place had to be given to a savored and exegetical knowledge of the Bible, and to initiation in the Lectio Divina and other kinds of reading, so that the Word should become one of the hinges of the process of formation.2 All of this involved an array of challenges to Claretian formation, which the drafting of the IMW was meant to deal with.
2. The methodology for its drafting was participative on the Congregational level and was developed in various phases.
In the first stage (July 1994 to July 1995), the Congregation’s Provincial Prefectures of Formation were involved. They contributed concrete formative proposals based on their own experience and on the reflection of the formative communities themselves. In September of 1995 a Commission3 expressly appointed for the task synthesized the proposals sent in by the prefectures and drafted a guideline text to be studied later.
In the second phase (November 1995), the text that had been drafted was directly analyzed by the Provincial Prefects of Formation gathered in Rome. They made numerous corrections, observations and suggestions that the Commission later incorporated, greatly improving the text. This work of integration ended in April 1996.
Throughout the different phases of drafting, various experts also collaborated quite effectively, and their contributions enriched the quality of the project.4
3. The IMW is a pedagogical tool which, besides offering concrete formative guidelines and orientations, is open to further development and enrichment. In the first place, so that it may be better understood, the IMW should be accompanied by a reading of the Claretian bibliography presented at the end (Appendix 9), especially of those biblical studies that have delved more deeply, with scientific rigor, into the Claretian key. In the second place, in order to increasingly define its gradual character, formation centers must keep working on what is distinctive in each formative stage, which is an essential dimension of every process of formation. Finally, it is necessary to keep promoting all those initiatives in the field of experience that can make it more intelligible, adapted and profitable in the distinct cultural areas into which the Congregation has spread.
I would like to end with heartfelt thanks for the collaboration of all who have directly or indirectly made this project possible. In the name of our formation communities, we offer our recognition for the service they have lent to Claretian formation.
Jesús Mª Palacios, CMF
General Prefect of Formation
Rome, 1 January 1997, Solemnity of Mary, the Mother of God.
Documents of Vatican II
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)
PC Decree Perfectae Caritatis on the up to date renewal of religious life (1965)
PO Decree Presbyterorum Ordinis on the ministry and life of priests (1965)
SC Constitution Sacrosanctum Concilium on the sacred liturgy (1963)
Documents of the Holy See
VC John Paul II. Postsynodal Apostolic exhortation Vita Consecrata (1996)
IBC Pontifical Biblical Commission The Interpretation of the Bible in the Church (1993)
Writings of our Founder
API Apuntes de un Plan para conservar la hermosura de la Iglesia, Madrid 1865, 260 pp.
AvSa Avisos a un sacerdote, Vic 1845, 24 pp. [SSW 288-321]
BPP Las Bibliotecas populares y parroquiales, Madrid 1864, 32 pp.
CAs Carta ascética, Barcelona 1862, 52 pp. [SSW 137-174]
CCTT Lozano, J.M., Constituciones y textos, Barcelona 1972.
CI El Colegial o seminarista instruido, Barcelona 1861, t.2, 526 pp.
CIa La Colegiala instruida, Barcelona 1863, 64 pp.
CMT Carta al misionero Teófilo, Barcelona 1858 [SSW 411-441]
CO Antídoto contra el contagio protestante, Barcelona 1857, 62 pp.; Tomo III de Col. de Opúsculos, 125 ff.
EA Viñas, J.M. and Bermejo, J., Escritos Autobiográficos, BAC, Madrid 1981.
EE Bermejo, J., Escritos Espirituales, BAC, Madrid 1985.
EV L’Egoismo Vinto, Rome 1869, 88 pp. [SSW 442-508]
EPD Exhortación pastoral a todos sus diocesanos,Santiago 1854, 10 pp.
EvMt El Santo Evangelio de N.S.J.C. según San Mateo, Barcelona 1856, 230 pp.
MAM Memoria de la Academia de San Miguel, Madrid 1862, 46 pp.
PAM Plan de la Academia de San Miguel, Barcelona 1859, 40 pp.
PBV Prólogo a la Biblia Sacra o Vulgata Latina, Barcelona 1862
PCL Pastoral al Clero, Santiago 1852, 84 pp. y Apéndice de 1855.
PEE Plan de Estudios de El Escorial: in “Miscelánea interesante,” Barcelona 1865, 338 pp.
PIC Pastoral sobre la Inmaculada, Santiago 1855, 38 pp. [SSW 513-570]
PSM Monasterio de El Escorial, Plan de estudios para los Seminarios in “Miscelánea interesante,” 338 pp.
RFC Reglamento para los Aspirantes, Probandos y Estudiantes de nuestra Congregación y sus respectivos Maestros, 1862. Published by the CMF Prefecture General of Formation: Cuadernos de Formación Claretiana, nn. 1-2.
RCS Reglas del Instituto de los Clérigos Seglares que viven en comunidad in “Miscelánea interesante,” Barcelona 1865, 388 pp.
SAW Selected Autobiographical Writings of SAMC, English transl. of EA by Daries, J.C., ClarPubl P.I. 1995.
SSW Selected Spiritual Writings of SAMC, English transl. of EE, by Daries, J.C., ClarPubl P.I., 1991.
Documents of the Congregation
1AP Decree on Apostolate (1967)
2AP Decree on Apostolate (1973)
1 B Decree on Brothers (1967)
2 B 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)
GPF General Plan of Formation (1994)
MCT The Mission of the Claretian Today (1979)
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).
CF Fr. G. Alonso, Circular, Claretians in Formation (1990)
OPML Our Project of Missionary Life (Commentary on the CC: 1989-1991)
Note: The complete bibliographical reference to most of the documents cited here is found either in Appendix 1 of the GPF or is easily accessible in the case of well-known Church or Congregational documents.