The new Directory came into effect on 24th Ocotber, 2011. Some formators are not aware of the changes and additions in the new directory on formation. The numbers releted formation with changes are presented here. The changes are shown in red colour.



Article 1.         General Questions Regarding Formation

156.The formation plan for those called to the Claretian missionary life (Can. 650 § 1) is made up of the elements expressed in the following, which are gathered together and presented in our General Plan of Formation, called “Formation of Missionaries.”.[1]

The fundamental objective of formation is to promote growth in union and conformity with Christ according to the Claretian charism, in a responsible and creative manner.[2]

Formation does not consist only in the study of a series of subjects, but of an experiential process in which the encounter with God and the Congregation help the individual to identify and to express his own identity beginning with the call he has received from God. In addition to vocational discernment, the initial formation must offer to the one in formation the necessary elements to build a foundation on which he can maintain a commitment for ongoing personal and spiritual growth throughout his life.

Formation should be:

          personalised, appealing to personal conscience and responsibility, as well as to a personalised interiorising of the values of the Claretian community and a respect for the gifts of the individual;

          integrating the different essential aspects of missionary life in a search for personal unity, while avoiding any dichotomising or extremist tendencies;

         transforming that leads to increasing levels of human and spiritual maturity as the one in formation advances in his formative process.

          keenly sensitive to the needs and characteristics of today’s men and women;

          gradual and progressive, respecting the different stages of formation, as well as the different pace and level of maturity of each individual.

All members of the Congregation on all its different levels are responsible for the important task of missionary formation, as much through their testimony of life as by their collaboration (Can. 652 § 4; CC 76).[3]

162. So that the function of formation may be more complete, where possible there should be a formation team with complementary abilities. The formators should be offered the means and resources necessary to undertake their work, and they must commit themselves to it without reservation.[4]

 163.The function of the formation director or formation team is:

–to discern, together with the candidate, the work that God is performing in him and the ways in which God wishes him to advance;

–to accompany him in his various stages of growth, respecting his own pace and offering him at each moment the help and questioninghe needs for his development;

–to offer him in each formative phase solid doctrinal foundations and practices according to his personal needs and future responsibilities;

–to verify the results he has obtained and judge whether he has the capabilities demanded of him at present by the Church and the Congregation.

 166. It is recommended that Provinces and Independent Delegations have a formation council, established in the form determined by the respective government (No. 457 h).[5]

Where it exists, it also belongs to the formation council to carry out an animating and evaluating work regarding formation in its various aspects.[6]

             In order to assure continuity in the formative process there must be good communication among those in charge of the different stages of the formative process, and updated reports about the candidates should be given to new formators.

 168. Each province should have a formation plan prepared in conformity with the General Plan for Formation and approved by the Provincial Superior with his Council (No. 457 h). This plan should include vocation promotion and a consideration of the different stages of formation, as well as matters relating to permanent formation.

Each formation centre should apply the provincial formation plan to its own situation and draw up its own corresponding plan.

          Similarly, each province or delegation will select, prepare, and accompany those who will need to assume the work of formation.[7]

169. Our academic centres should draw up their own statutes (Can. 659 § 3), detailing their objectives, orientation, selection and appointment of professors, the formation of an academic council, student participation, economic administration, etc.

          These statutes should be drafted by those responsible for the centre, with the participation of the community, and are to be approved by the major superior. At these centers, the responsibility of the Rector or Director is limited to the academic area. Nonetheless, there must be good coordination with the formator, the formation team and the superior of the community.

 The Claretian Professors in these centres need to be conscious not just of their contribution to academic formation, but also their participation in the holistic formation of Claretian Students.


Article 2. Vocation Ministry


  1. 170. Vocation ministry is the specific activity by which each community commits itself to foster, welcome, and accompany those who feel a vocational calling.[8] Vocation promotion has to be a priority in each Province, Independent Delegation and community, and for every Claretian (CC 58). Every Claretian is responsible for fostering vocations, above all, by being a model for those whom God might be calling to the Claretian life.[9] Each community should be welcoming toward vocations and should include vocation promotion within their community project and pastoral planning, assigning some member of the community to be more directly responsible for this ministry.

 171. The aim of vocation ministry is to help the candidate discover his vocation in the Church and if he feels drawn to the Congregation makes an option to follow Jesus according to the Claretian charism.[10] Youth ministry that does not lead young people to make their own option for the Lord should be considered incomplete.

 172. So that this option may be a viable one, a “vocational culture”[11] must be encouraged in the Province or Delegation, informing the youth of the vocations that exist in Church, challenging and accompanying them in the maturation of their vocational choice young people should be presented with a broad spectrum of vocational possibilities in the Church. This presupposes on the part of those committed to youth ministry an ability to orient young or adolescent persons in the progressive discernment of their vocation, respect for the call of God and firmness in insisting on the fidelity due to the Lord.[12]

With a true ecclesial sense and in collaboration with the local church, we should take care to integrate families, diocesan priests, religious, and teachers into our vocation ministry.[13]


173. In all provinces and, whenever possible, in the independent delegations there should be at least one Claretian specifically prepared and dedicated full time to vocation ministry. In all the Provinces and Independent Delegations of the Congregation, a Claretian Vocation Team[14] should be established, which will also seek to incorporate some lay persons.

 174.This team is responsible for vocational animation throughout the province or delegation, encouraging the participation of all and should draft plans for vocation promotion. In doing this it should make explicit the three modes of life in our Institute: priestly, diaconal and lay. It should not forget the task of promoting vocations to the various other groups of the Claretian Family.[15] In order to fulfil its mission, it should have the necessary resources with which to work.

          The provincial government should encourage and evaluate the work of the team and that of the local communities.


175.Within the vocation ministry team of the province or delegation there should be those assigned to do a serious and responsible study of candidates according to their age and stage of development, so as to reach the best discernment possible concerning their sincerity, freedom of choice, their physical, psychological, intellectual, moral, religious, apostolic and community aptitudes, and the universal availability required by our charism. In making this discernment they should, if they deem it necessary, avail themselves of methods of psychological testing and a review of life, without prejudice to the privacy of each person (Cann. 220, 642). They will take into account the criteria expressed in the Vocational Directory and the directives of the Congregation.[16]


176. Mutual collaboration between vocation teams on an inter-provincial level is desirable for an interchange of experiences, and for clarifying the objectives and the means used in vocation ministry. To this end, they should hold periodic meetings and inform all of our communities of their activities.[17] Our vocation ministry will be open to collaboration with all the groups of the Claretian Family, with other religious institutes, and with dioceses.


177.The General Prefecture of Formation should promote various vocational activities on the provincial and inter-provincial levels and keep the Congregation informed of experiences, achievements and difficulties in this area.


        Each province or delegation will determine the location of the vocation ministry within the organizational chart of the institute and its relationship with the Prefectures and Secretariats. The same will apply to the General Government.

        The general director of vocation ministry will seek to promote vocation activities in the different areas of the Congregation, and will be informed of experiences, successes and difficulties in this endeavor.


Article 3. Reception of Prospective Vocations and Pre-novitiate Candidates.

 A. The Minor Seminary and other forms of reception        

178.The Claretian community carries out the initial reception and development of vocations through institutionalised forms such as minor seminaries or similar centres, and through other forms of welcoming vocations such as parish groups, youth groups, apostolic movements, etc. of those adolescents and young adults who have expressed a desire to be Claretians.[18]


179. Admission to the Minor Seminary or to a centre of vocation discernment belongs to the local Superior, keeping in mind the opinion of the animator or the provincial team for vocation ministry; or of whoever is designated by legitimately approved statutes. Dismissal is always the responsibility of the local Superior, after hearing from the formators or those responsible.[19]

 B. Pre-Novitiate

180.The pre-novitiate in the Congregation is an educational institution erected to help candidates, who show signs or the seeds of a Claretian vocation, to discern and to respond to it. It also welcomes those who have concluded their studies at the Minor Seminary or other experiences of vocational reception.


181. Specific objectives of this stage include:


‑providing for the integral human formation of the candidates and the harmonious development of their physical, intellectual, and moral conditions corresponding to their age;

‑seeing to it that they live their gift of faith as expressed in prayer, in their self‑offering to the Father through Christ in the Spirit, and in their sensitivity to the needs of others;

‑enabling these candidates, as a consequence of their faith‑life and as a preparation for possible religious consecration and incorporation into the Claretian community, to orient their affective life and sexuality in a mature manner, to learn how to share and make sparing use of material goods, and to be community minded in their personal decisions;

‑accompanying them in discerning and cultivating their vocation and presenting them with a clear and adequate notion of the characteristics of our service in the Church, taking always the figure of our Founder as the point of reference;

‑having the candidates exercising some apostolic activity.

182. .Formation in the pre-novitiate should be carried-out using suitable dynamics:

‑In all areas of its activities, the pre-novitiate should establish a lifestyle suited to the age, situation and educational level of its students and see to their development in keeping with sound psychological and pedagogical norms.

‑Formation should be imparted in a climate of friendship, discipline and a community of faith. Students should be expected to show signs of religious sensibility and sincere piety so that, in professing and celebrating their faith with their peers, they may come to experience a close union with God and their fellow human beings. Thus they may discover an experiential awareness of the mystery of Christ and of the Church.

-Formators should foster an accompaniment and a personalized formation for the candidates, paying special attention to the experience of faith, affective-sexual integration, and human relations;[20]

‑Families should be incorporated into this educative process by means of an adequate relationship with the students and by their presence in the seminary.

‑Formation should be open to the social and ecclesial realities, and to the persons, works and communities of the Congregation, and its multicultural nature.[21]

‑An effort must be made to involve the students in this education process. This involvement should be personal, progressive, integral and objectively verifiable.


183.For admission to the pre-novitiate, a candidate should have the following qualifications:

          show signs or seeds of a Claretian vocation discernible from his basic personal aptitudes, and of his having an elementary life of faith and religious sensibility (No. 180).

          show an initial desire to follow Christ in the Congregation, either because he is openly inclined to our missionary life or because he thinks of it as a possibility for himself.


Article 4.         Postulancy


186.The Claretian postulancy is the formative stage immediately preparatory for the novitiate. These are its specific aims:


          ‑to form a judgement as to the maturity, aptitude and missionary vocation of the candidate;

                 ‑to test the level of his religious instruction and, if necessary, to complete it,

  ‑to see to it that the candidate has enough knowledge of the Congregation to allow him to make a serious initial option for it,

                 ‑to introduce him into the state of life that he is going to lead in the novitiate,

          ‑to initiate him into acquiring habits of discipline, community‑mindedness and study.


189. It is the prerogative of the major superior, once having been duly informed by those responsible for the pre-novitiate, and keeping in mind the purpose and objectives of the postulancy:

  1. to determine the conditions that the candidates need to have for this formative period,
  2. to admit candidates and dismiss them,
  3. to determine the modality and duration of this stage, consistent to what is indicated in n. 193.

190.In the act of being admitted, the candidate must present a written statement, signed by himself and two witnesses ‑ in keeping with the law of the land insofar as possible ‑ to the effect that:

    1. his entry into the Congregation and any tasks he may perform in it are not in the nature of a work contract, and hence, if he later leaves the Institute, he will not be able to demand any compensation for works he has done or for damages he may have incurred during his stay in the Congregation (CC 59);
    2. that he knows and accepts the norms of the Congregation concerning misconduct in sexual or financial matters, and that the Congregation is not liable for the legal and moral consequences of these acts;
    3. that he is not aware of any canonical impediment to his entering the Congregation(can 597; 693);
    4. that he does not have contractual obligations for unlawful misconduct in sexual matters or financial offenses.

 191. The postulancy of those coming from a minor seminary or from other forms of welcoming vocations may coincide with the last period of the pre-novitiate.

Should someone be allowed to enter the postulancy directly, the government of the Province or Independent Delegation must arrange for the most opportune and effective way to complete this stage, bearing in mind the circumstances of the candidate and organising an experience ‑ a group experience if possible – in our communities.


192. It is recommended that the period of postulancy be spent outside the novitiate house. If it does take place in the novitiate, it should constitute a different section. In some cases with permission of the Major Superior, it may even be made outside our houses, but always under the guidance of an experienced religious.

194. Formation personnel in charge of postulants should have adequate preparation and, in order to assure continuity in formation, should keep in close contact with the novice master and with those responsible for the prior formative stages and for the vocation ministry.[22]


Chapter X.




Article 1.         The Novices



  1. 198. In order for the novitiate to be valid, it should be held in a house properly designated for this purpose (Can. 647 § 2). The erection, transfer or suppression of the novitiate must be done by means of a written decree of the Superior General with the consent of his council (Can. 647 § 1; Dir. 496 f). This is to be requested by the Major Superior with the consent of his council (No. 457 m).

 199. Only those candidates who do not have any canonical impediment (Can. 643) and wish to be Claretian missionaries, and possess the requisite qualities of age, physical and psychological health, aptitude, and human, spiritual and vocational maturity (Can. 642), may be admitted to the novitiate. Those who have shown progress in fulfilling the demands of religious life and apostolic activities in our Institute should be regarded as suitable candidates.

 200. Before being admitted to the novitiate, all candidates should present certificates of their Baptism and Confirmation and of their free status (Can. 645 § 1). Clergy candidates and those who come from other seminaries or Religious Institutes need to present a written report from their respective superior (cf. Can. 645 & 2 & 3).


202. Admission to the novitiate belongs to the Major Superior with the consultative vote of his council (Can. 641; CC 69; Dir. 458 e). But with respect to a priest, seminarian, or ex-religious, whose reports may present some doubt, the Major Superior must call for a deliberative vote of his Council.

For any just reason the novice can be dismissed by the Major Superior (Can. 653; Dir. 271).


2.       Process of Incorporation

219. During the novitiate it should be made known to the novices that the Congregation will not take the responsibility for the moral and legal consequences arising from acts against consecrated chastity. Before the first profession the novices should declare in writing that they know and accept the will of the Congregation, according to what is stated in n. 190.


220. An official record of the profession should be drawn up, and signed by the religious himself, the superior who receives the profession, the secretary of the community, and two witnesses. In houses where professions take place habitually there should be a special book to contain these records.

233. The local superior of the house where the profession takes place will inform the provincial secretary of the person professed concerning all professions. The provincial secretary should inform the secretary general of all first and perpetual professions and report perpetual professions to the pastors of the places where the professed were baptised (Can. 535 § 2).






Article 1.         Missionaries in Formation


  1. 193.In the post‑novitiate period, the work begun in the novitiate should be continued and integrally deepened in all aspects of Claretian missionary life, with a view to definitive incorporation into the Congregation and into the missionary service in the Church.[23]

 239.For formative or other reasons, it may be advisable to follow a system of inter-provincial formation centres. It is fitting that these have the close support of the Provincial Government in whose territory the Centre is located and that the relationship between those in formation and their own province or delegation is properly cared for.

Because of the universal and multicultural character of the Congregation, intercultural formation centres on all continents will continue to be created and consolidated, with clear criteria for operating and suitable teams of formation.[24]

 143. Major superiors:


                 a)    Are not obliged to promote their students to Orders.

             b)    Should in every case ascertain their fitness for promotion to Orders. To this end, the members of the community are obliged to report to the Major Superior regarding the fitness of candidates to diaconate and priesthood.

                 c)    Need the deliberative vote of their consultors for approval (No. 457 f).

                 d)    Can grant dimissorial letters to members of their respective organism who are to be ordained (Can. 1019 § 1).

                 e)   Can confer Ministries on their professed subjects[25] and delegate this conferral to another.

f)     Shall report the ordination to the pastor of the place where the one ordained was baptized (Cann. 535 § 2; 1054,).


244.The title of ordination of our members is that of “Common table“.


145.During the last years of study it is necessary to direct each of the students toward a particular pastoral area and, in dialogue with the major superior, the formator, and the student himself, decide upon the most suitable specialisation, in harmony with the options of the Congregation and bearing in mind the needs of the province or delegation and of the Congregation in general.

[1] Formation of Missionaries. General Plan of Formation. Madrid, 1994. cf. PI 66; VC 68; XXI Gen Ch, Acta 14, Ann. 60 (1991) p.253.

[2] Cf. VC 65.

[3] MFL 63.2

[4] Cf. OT 5; 1F 75; MFL 63.5; GPF 416; Cf. Ann. 67 (2005)24 ss.; MFL 63,4.

[5] Cf. 1F 84, 162; 2F 13.

[6] Cf. 1F 162-164.

[7] GPF 108-109.

[8] CVD 49.

[9] Cf. 1F 97; IPM 36-37.

[10] TMHL 73.1.

[11] GPF 280; IPM 37.7.

[12] Cf. IPM 37.3.

[13] Cf. VC 64; IPM 37.7.

[14] Cf. 2F 19.c

[15] Cf. MCT 186.

[16] CVD 232; “Chapter Directives regarding some subjects related to the vows of chastity” n. 3 (November 11. 2003).

[17] Cf. 2F 19 c.

[18] Cf. 1F 106; GPF 324

[19] Cf. 1F 86.1.

[20] TMHL 73.3; MFL 63.1

[21] TMHL 72.1

[22] Cf. RC 12,IV.

[23] Cf. 1F 123.

[24] TMHL 72.2; MFL 63.5.

[25] Cf. MQ No. IX.