Initiation into the Missionary Life, Manual for the Claretian Novice

This manual presents the summary of the main topics and formation suggestions that the novices in the congregation must learn and assimilate during the novitiate.

Historical Notes

The organization of the novitiate and its formation orientations began in the Congregation with our Fr. Founder.  We can even go so far to say that, throughout our history, the charsmatic and congregational aspects that define it have been and continue to be the same ones that St. Anthony M. Claret established. The appendix to the Constitutions of 1862 and the Constitutions that followed them introduced formation orientations for the novitiate that lasted until the present renewal after Vatican II.

            In these notes we present some historical data on the development of the pedagogical orientations of the novitiate in the Congregation. We base the notes mainly on the documents of the Congregation and on the decisions and orientations of Chapters and Superiors General.


1. Constitutions of 1857

            In the very first years of its existence (1849-2857), our Congregation envisioned incorporating into itself only priests and coadjutor brothers.  This is seen very clearly in the Constitutions of 1857, practically the same as those of 1849 with some small changes[1]. These Constitutions give some directions regarding the admission and incorporation of these people into the Congregation[2]. Candidates must be admitted by the Director General and the Consultors.  They are to undergo a year of testing before being definitively accepted and one of the oldest and most exemplary priests should accompany them in order to instruct them in the practices of the house and ministries. A kind of novitiate is described and required although it is not called such[3].

            Nonetheless, the Fr. Founder and Fr. Xifré understood that it was urgent and necessary to admit and form students in our Congregation[4]. They did this little by little and established it provisionally as early as 1862, the year in which the 2nd General Chapter was held[5]. These were major steps that changed the future existence and make up of the Congregation[6].

            From a formational point of view, in this period the first novitiates of the Congregation were organized in Vic. In 1861, the first novitiate for priests and students was opened, although the one for brothers had to begin earlier to take care of the candidates that were entering.  From 1861 to 1868, the year the Congregation had to leave Spain because of the revolution, there were two novitiates in Vic, with their respective directors and formation rules[7]. It seems that the novicemaster (for students and priests) was also the prefect of the professed students[8].

2. The 2nd General Chapter (1862)

            The 2nd General Chapter, at which the Founder presided, was held at Gracia from 7 to 14 July 1862[9]. It was a decision-making Chapter, especially in regard to formation.  In it, among other things:

            1. The category of students was instituted through decrees that amended nn. 5 and 13 of the Constitutions of 1857[10]. The new text of n. 5 of the Constitutions read as follows: Moreover [the Congregation] will be made up of Priests, Syudents and coadjutor Brothers.

            2. Decisions were made regarding aspirancy, the novitiate, consecration and definitive incorporation into the Congregation[11].

3. The Formation Rule (1862)

            When the 2nd General Chapter ended, the Founder immediately began working on the first all-inclusive formation document (dealing with more than just studies) of the Congregation.  According to a letter to Fr. Xifré dated 2 August 1862[12], the Founder, on 28 July in Segovia, had delivered to Fr. Clemente Serrat a rule for Students and another rule for the Master or Prefect.  The chapters on aspirants, novices, the master and his assistant were revised some months later, between August and December of l862. In fact, the Founder sent all the finalized documents to Fr. Xifré on 20 December 1862[13]. All of them formed a collection entitled A Rule for Aspirants, Those Being Tested, and Students in Our Congregation and Their Respective Directors[14]. We will now focus on the part dealing with aspirants, those being tested, and the master and his assistant[15].

3.1. Aspirancy

            Aspirants were those who had been accepted by the Congregation in order to undergo two weeks of testing prior to the novitiate[16]. All aspirants (priests, students and brothers) had to be welcomed into a community of the Congregation, cared for lovingly by those in charge and helped to discern their vocation. In order to achieve this last objective, they had to be strictly obedient to the master.  He, personally or through his assistant, taught them lovingly everything that was appropriate in the moral, educational and practical order[17].

            If the aspirants, during this time, gave indications of being people called to the Congregation, they began the year of testing or novitiate.

3.2. The Novitiate

            The novitiate, the year of testing, had as its purpose the laying of the groundwork for the virtues[18] in regard to apostolic ministry.  Thus, the main focus of the novices was obtaining the virtues, firmly establising the foundation for them and diligently putting into practice the most efficacious means leading to them[19].

            In regard to the formation of the novices and in order to direct, teach and regulate[20] the life of the novitiate, it had a master who had to be for all a light, guide, father, teacher and example[21]. He would have personal contact with each novice in order to get to know him more intimately and help him in his vocation[22]. The person called to discharge this supremely important office had to possess “the qualities of maturity, amiablility, discretion and knowledge that were required for this role”[23].

            In the exercise of his functions, the master, who was aided by an assistant[24], had to be:

• deeply devoted to God and to the Virgin[25];

• most faithful to the superior[26];

• and father, teacher, doctor (as psychologist) to the novices, caring for their spiritual and bodily health[27].

            When the novitiate year ended, if the novices had acquired the formation necessary to be good missionaries and were dedicated and resolved to remain in the Congregation, they prepared for their definitive consecration to God and to the Immaculate Heart of Mary with 10 days of exercises[28].

4. The “Supremely Important Maxims” of Fr. Xifré (1862)

            Another result of the material treated at the 2nd General Chapter was the document that Fr. Xifré published at the end of September of 1862, entitled Supremely Important Maxims for All Times and for All Missionaries, but Most Especially for Those Who Are in the Year of Testing[29]. It is a short document containing 10 maxims concerning the attitudes that those being tested should cultivate in the novitiate (trust, humility, joy, etc.) as well as their relationships to their superiors and the director.

            The novice should completely believe and be secure in the knowledge that his vocation could be fulfilled.  For this he needed to trust in the Lord, who had chosen him, had given him the aptitude and everything necessary to fulfill the vocational project to which he had been called.  He had to trust in the Heart of Mary, because she is our Mother and Formatrix.  And he had to trust in the Congregation, that prays for all its members and helps them with the means they need to be faithful[30].

            Along with the personal security based on the Lord, on the Heart of Mary and on the Congregation, the novice must also have deep humility[31] and self-confidence.  He must not be afraid or saddened when he experiences his own limitations or is tempted to distrust.  For the same reason, he must never become worn out by great deal of work he may have to do or by his lack of talent or knowledge for his vocation; neither by the many faults and imperfections he may commit nor by the temptations that he must endure[32].

            In addition to these reasons for trust, the novice must employ various means in order to be humble and to overcome his temptations or personal limitations.  The means advised are:

• Prayer[33]. Those being tested should ask the Lord for what they need in terms of health, knowledge and virtue in order to be faithful; to pray earnestly to the Heart of Mary, as Mother and Formatrix; to have confidence in the prayers that ones own brothers are offering for them.

• Self-knowledge through introspection.  In order to increase humility, the one being tested must frequently go inside himself, studying who he was and who he wants to be[34].

• Spiritual Direction.  During times of temptation, anxiety or depression, besides struggling against them and praying, it is indispensable and necessary to go to a spiritual director or to the superior[35].


1. Organization of the Novitiates

            The first novitiates of the Congregation widely varied in their set up and organization as well as in their formation programs.  Until 1868, as we mentoned earlier, the novitiate for brothers and the one for priests and students were both in Vic.  After the revolution, one was set up in Prades y Thuir; upon the return to Spain, in Gracia and, once more, in Vic. In 1888 one was estblished in Cervera.

            There were two kinds of novitiate in two segregated areas; one for priests and students and another for coadjutor brothers. In terms of formation, the brother novices, with their master, lived with the professed brothers; and the priest novices and students formed one section along with the professed students under a single formator, who was, at one and the same time, master and prefect.  Moreover, the student novices, during the time of the novitiate, carried on with their ecclesiastical studies while also going through the activities proper to the year of testing[36]. This last situation, not true in all novitiates nor always desirable, was the object of various considerations in changing it[37].

            Lack of personnel, on the one hand, and insecurities in the set up due to unavoidable changes of location, on the other, prevented a more appropriate organization of formation.  Nevertheless, in 1888, with the reorganization of the formation centers and the transfer of the novitiate for the students and for the brothers to Cervera, the situation changed[38].

2. A Pedagogical Treatise for the Novices

            In 1888, the pedagogical treatise Spiritual Practices for the Use of the Novices of the Congregation[39] was published. Although the work lists no author, it was written by Fr. Vallier, by order of Fr. Xifré. It follows very closely the steps of the treatise written for the Jesuit novices by Fr. Idiáquez, S.J. Although that treatise may be its source, it is adapted according to the spirit of the Congregation[40] and reoriented and enriched with sources and Claretian references taken from the Constitutions, The Spirit of the Congregation and from the tradition of the Congregation. It is also distinguished by the broad and deep Marian tone that characterizes it, by the many references it makes to the Virgin, perfectly consistent with the Claretian spirit[41].

            The purpose of the book is to put together and present a compendium of the practices that the novice should make a holy habit in order to reap the abundant fruits of formation and strengthen perseverance in their vocation.  The book attempts to help the novice to achieve union with Christ, arriving at a prefect imitation of Him, of his works, of his way and manner of acting and behaving[42]. The treatise, although filled with minutely detailed practical suggestions, gets its value from taking the Gospel and the example of Jesus as points of reference for acquiring religious customs and habits.

2.1. Objective

The objective of the novitiate is for the novice to succeed in incarnating the definition of the Claretian Missionary, as a Son of the Immaculate Heart of Mary.  The definition must permeate the novices’ entire formation process. In the final instance, the novice must have from the very beginning a clear idea that his vocation is missionary and that he must be formed from a missionary and apostolic perspective[43].

2.2. Personalized Formation 

It is asked of the novices that they act and habitually operate out of their own personal interiority, reflectively assimilating the fomational values that are presented to them and overcoming routine and banality[44]. For this reason, they must grow accustomed to operating with presence of spirit, thinking about what they are doing and doing everything for God and according to God[45].

2.3. Study

The novices must set aside a time for study.  With the so-called Reading of memory in community they must foster piety[46]. Also, they must develop attitudes and dispositions in a missionary perspective, since “all these things well stated and understood in time serve the ministry of saving souls”[47].

2.4. Some of the Virtues Emphasized

            1. Humility is a virtue inherent in the life of the novice that must endure throughout his life[48]. The ultimate goal is to identify himself with the definition of the missionary, whose content describes the third degree of humility, the highest degree to which they can aspire[49].

            2. Zeal for the glory of God and the salvation of souls[50] is a continuous aim of every missionary and one toward which the novice “even from the novitiate will address…his prayers[51].

            3. The spirit of prayer must be fostered through the Gospel text that is proposed each day, through particular examens of the presence of God[52] and through interior recollection[53].

3. The General Chapters (1888-1912)[54]

            The General Chapters treat the tipic of formation in the novitiate according to varying circumstances.

1. The 5th General Chapter (Madrid 1888)[55] demanded that the greatest care and effort be made in the discernment and vocational selection of novices[56].

            2. The 6th Extraordinary General Chapter (Cervera 1895)[57] explained the causes for the expulsion of novices[58], in accordance with what appears in our Constitutions[59].

            3. The 8th General Chapter (Vic 1899)[60] confirmed the existence of a single novitiate for the Congregation, under the jurisdiction of the General Government[61]. Nevertheless, Provincial Superiors should be prepared to organize their own novitiates when circumstances dictated[62].

            4. The 9th General Chapter (Selva del Camp 1904)[63] made various statements regarding the Constitutions, some with a clearly formational content and referring to the novitiate (n. 56 of the first part)[64]. The novices, having ended their year of novitiate and before professing, should dispose of, through a public or private document, the use, usufruct and administration of all their goods; and it would seem most appropriate for them also to draw up a will[65].

            5. The 11th General Chapter (Vic 1912)[66] agreed to solicit the approval of the Apostolic See[67] of the following points: that the time of aspirancy, instead of 15 days, would be in principle a year, with the possibility of reducing this time in special cases; that, after the novitiate, a temporary profession would be made, not a definitive one, for three annual renewals and that no one would be admitted to perpetual profession before the age of 21. At the end of this period of temporary vows, the professed that were considered worthy would be admitted to perpetual profession; if the opposite were true, they would be dismissed.


1. A New Situation

            With the passing of time, the appearance of the new Code of Canon Law and the revision of our particular law, the development of the Congregation and changing circumstances in formation, the need was seen to move to a new edition of a treatise for the formation of novices. The Superiors of the Congregation considered, with wide agreement, putting together a work that was “original and our own, that would contain the unmistakeable spirit of our Fr. Founder and of the early Missionaries of the Institute”[68].

2. “The Instructed Novice” (l931)

            Thus was born The Instructed Novice, written by Fr. Ramón Ribera in 1931[69]. The work is totally Claretian.  It has abundant references to the Word of God, to the Heart of Mary and to the Congregation.  The Instructed Novice gave supreme importance to the praxis of the spiritual life (methods of prayer, retreats, spiritual exercises, examens, spiritual reading, etc.); to the living of the vows; and to a living assimilation of the Constitutions and of the traditions of the Congregation. These practices had to be carried out in a community that fully lived the Claretian life and that had every intention of transmitting to the novice the experience of life as lived in the Congregation.

1.1. The Objective of the Novitiate

            The novitiate is a time that proceeds relgious profession and serves to test the vocation of the novice and to lay the groundwork for the virtues.  The novitiate is also a time for the novices to be formed in the true spirit of the Congregation and to be authentic Sons of the Heart of Mary, tireless apostles and heralds of God’s glory[70].

1.2. Self-formation

            Self-formation is equivalent to personalized formation[71].  Speaking of self-formation, The Insructed Novice does not emphasize individualism[72], since the other agents of formation must always be taken into account: the Lord, the superiors and the community[73]. What is emphasized is the personal involvement of the novice in his own formation, always in accord with the Congregation’s project and in harmony with the orientations of the formators.

1.3. Right Intention

            Rightness of intention[74] is considered as an element of the first magnitude[75]. Right intention gives an all-inclusive meaning to the life and existence of the novice, orienting them only toward God, to fulfillment of God’s will and to concern for God’s interests. In this way, the novice will also grow in human maturity and emotional balance, giving his life a positive and optimistic meaning and always seeking the good of others[76].

1.4. Duties of the Novice

            1. Among the duties of the novice are listed the struct observance of the Constitutions, the practice of the virtues of relgioous life, especially those referring to the vows and those indicated in the Constitutions, and the assiduous exercise of prayer and meditation.  Likewise, in reference to his own personality, mastery of himself and of his own judgment, of his will and passions, reform of his character and external behavior according to the spirit of the Congregation[77]. The novice must behave in a way that is worthy of a Son of the Heart of Mary[78].

            2. A very important duty of the novices is attending the ascetical conferences that must be given to them by the Fr. Master on the spiritual life, the Constitutions and the Congregation.  The Instructed Novice, for doing spiritual reading, indicates the Sacred Scriptures, ascetical works of sound doctrine and the lives of the Saints, mainly of our brother Claretians and those of religious and missionary saints[79]. Moreover, it of course proposes the reading of works on the spirit of the Congregation[80]. For this, it suggests that the novices learn by heart texts from the Constitutions and other chosen spiritual documents.  It also proposes that they make themselves learn texts from the Sacred Scriptures[81] and from the Holy Fathers.

            3. Fr. Ribera is not content to merely give a pedagogical commentary on the virtues proper to the novice according to the document “de probandis” (“On Those Being Tested”)[82]. It is really interesting that the section on the virtues begins with “the fundamental virtue, charity, the origin and motivation for all the others”[83]. The is the virtues that the missionary needs most, as the Fr. Founder says[84] and it is the primary one those in formation should seek[85].

            4. Spiritual direction is an expression of docility to the Spirit and of responsible cooperation with the Fr. Master in seeking God’s will.  Although it is not obligatory[86], it is highly recommended by the Church, by the Fr. Founder[87] and by the Congregation as a very effective means for overcoming difficulties on the vocational journey and for stimulating one own holiness[88]. It is advised that the spiritual accounting be made each month on the day of retreat. Nevertheless, the tradition of the Congregation has been for this to be done weekly in our novitiates and at least every 15 days in our scholasticates[89].

1.5. The Newly Professed

            As rules for postulants and spiritual practices for novices, The Instructed Novice is also valuable for the professed, with appropriate adaptations[90]. In fact, the last section of the work (Part V) is dedicated to the newly professed (students and brothers)[91]. This section gives some advice to students and brothers so that they do not lose the spirit acquired in the novitiate, but rather strengthen it in themselves, grow in the virtues, progress along the road to holiness that they have embarked upon and prepare themselves adequately for the renewal of vows.

2. Fr. Nicolás García, Superior General

            Fr. Nicolás García wrote many good things on the Claretian vocation and on our formation.  His clear-sightednes in regard to the novitiate is seen in several letters.  He considered the time of novitiate as fundamental for the future of the Congregation and for the soundness of life and perseverance of the religious[92].

            2.1. The novitiate is a time for the novice to engrave the image of the missionary on his soul, to shape his personality in conformity to the characteristics that define the Claretian missionary. The novice must “possess the conditions necessary to fulfill the duties of a religoous and a Missionary and show morally secure hopes that he will not backslide.  Thus, the Congregation also demands proofs in the novitiate”[93].

            2.2. Talking about masters, he asks that they form and accustom the novices to living in union with God.  In order to do this the novices need recollection, not only external, but also interior silence or “mental solitude”, since God is not in noisiness, in commotion, in distraction.  Likewise, so that the novices may live in the presence of God, they must accustom themselves to being alone with themselves, since God is enthroned in the interiority of the person[94]. The masters must form the novices in the life of prayer proper to the spirit of the Congregation[95], and in the type of perfect obedience that they are going to live in the future[96].

            For this reason, the master has to make the greatest effort to lay the novices’ foundations in self-denial since they must work at “the sacrifice of their own judgement and will” and at submission to the norms of the Congregation, both those that the Fr. Founder left us in the Constitutions and the orders and dispositions of the Superiors, through external and internal discipline. This must be personalized so that it may spring from the individual’s conscience and personal conviction and be free and spontaneous[97]. If the novices are not suited for this, they should leave the Congregation[98].

3. The 12th General Chapter

            The 12th General Chapter (Vic 1922)[99], Besides adapting our legislation (Constitutions and General Dispositions) to the new Code of Canon Law, made important decisions for formation[100]. Regarding the novices:

            1. It decreed that they must know before professing that “if they have hidden any secret impediment or any secret illness, the Superiors have no wish to admit them, since their profession would consequently be invalid”[101]. For this reason, 3 months prior to first profession, the novice, requesting in writing to be admitted, will make a statement of intentions in the sense proposed by the Congregation[102].

            2. Those who, during the year of novitiate, are found to be in danger of death, will be able to profess in articulo mortis (at the point of death) with permission of the Superiors, according to the particular case[103].

            3. The master will explain to them n. 56 of Part I of the Constitutions according to the meaning given by the Chapter[104].


            The Second Vatican Council brought about a profound change in the life of the Church and of relgious Institutes. With it began a process of renewal, adaptation and accomodation of religious life and, within it, of the formation for it.  The Congregation, faithful to the Church, fully involved itself in the process of conciliar renewal, looking forward to the future with great hope.

1. The Instruction “Renovationis Causam”

            In 1970, the Congregation undertook the application of the Instruction Renovationis Causam[105] in regard to the novitiate and profession in the Congregation[106]. This instruction introduced radical changes with regard to experimentation with the the structure and formational dynamics of the novitiate.

            Among the faculties granted for this experimentation until the next General Chapter the following may be noted due to their importance:

            1. The estblishment for all candidates of a time of canonical postulancy according to the intention and norms of Renovationis Causam.

            2. During the novitiate, the introduction of formational activities outside it, the realization of certain studies useful for the formation of the novices and a new kind of relationship between them and the professors of the institute.

            3. The acceptance of temporary bonds (or promises) before temporary or perpetual profession.

            4. The establishment of a special time of preparation for perpetual profession[107].

            The 18th General Chapter (Rome 1973) developed and promulgated a formation document entitled Formation.  Among the specific provisions may be highlighted: approval ad experimentum for 6 years of the faculties approved by the General Government for the Congregation regarding the novitiate according to the Instruction Renovationis Causam[108].

2. General Assembly in San José de Costa Rica (1976)

            The Assembly held in Costa Rica was very important for the Congregation from several points of view[109]. It widely discussed the problem of vocations and the situation in formation.  Among the specific proposals approved we can highlight those referring to the novitiate[110]:

            1. A special time needs to be estblished for postulancy and before the novitiate there must be a painstaking analysis of the personality of the candidates (basic personality, attitudes, motivations, community life and apostolic restlessness).

            2. Doctrinal considerations are offered for developing the programs that must be set up in the novitiate, indicating that extraneous material that might not be related to pursuit of the objective of the novitiate had to be avoided.  Creation of interprovincial novitiates is encouraged.

3. The General Plan of Formation (1994)

            3.1. The 21st General Chapter (Rome 1991) approved, after a process of discernment, the development of a General Plan of Formation (GPF)[111]. The General Prefecture of Formation carried this out through an International Committee (1992-1993). And at its session of 25 June 1994, the General Government approved the text for promulgation and publication.

            Chapter IX of the GPF is dedicated to the period of the notiviate, also called the period of initiation.  The GPF presents the formational dimension of the novitiate taking into account the norms and orientations of the new Canon Law (CIC 1983), of our revised Constitutions (1986) and of the most recent Directory (1987).

            3.2. The novitiate is a time of integral inititiation into the following of Christ the Evangelizer, according to the Claretian charism.  At the same time, the Congregation should verify the intention and suitability of the novices. In regard to this last instance, the novitiate has the purpose of achieving the novices’ incorporation into the Congregation through religious profession[112]. In order to fulfill its purpose the novitiate has to develop a formation program with objectives, courses of action and appropriate means[113].

            3.3. The master of novices, besides having appropriate apostolic experience, must possess a great love for the Congregation, teaching ability, and the necessary gifts of maturity, amiability, prudence and sound doctrine regarding the nature and mission of the Congregation in the Church[114].

            Among his functions, the master must:

            1. Personally accompany each novice, directing him in a persoanlized way and inculcating into him the human and Christian virtues.

            2. Make every effort to create and animate a true community of faith and love among the novices.

            3. Assure that they pursue the unity of the missionary life that allows them to harmoniously integrate the spirit of union with God and apostolic activity.

            4. Discern and verify the vocation of the novices[115].

Jesús Mª Palacios, CMF

General Prefect of Formation 16 July 2002

[1] Cf. CC 1857, nn. 5, 41. They are published in  CCTT,  pp. 127-267.

[2] Cf. CC 1857, Chapter VIII.

[3] Cf. CC 1857, nn. 39, 43-44, 46.

[4] Cf. Letter of 4 August 1858: EC. I, p. 1624.

[5] Cf.  GPF,  pp. 17-22;  CVD, pp. 20-29; J. Mª PALACIOS, Historical Notes on Formation in the Congregation, Rome 1997, ch. I, pp. 17-42.

[6] The first student that entered the Congregation was Hilario Brossosa. A recently ordained deacon, he was admitted on 1 July 1858 (Cf. M. AGUILAR, Historia de la Congregación de Misioneros Hijos del I. Corazón de María, vol. I, Barcelona 1901, p. 100).

[7] Cf. C. FERNÁNDEZ, La Congregación de los Misioneros Hijos del Inmaculado Corazón de María, vol. I, Madrid 1967, pp. 237-238.

[8] Cf. C. FERNÁNDEZ, op.cit., pp. 242-247.


[10] Cf. AG CMF: AD, 1, 11.

[11] Cf. AG CMF: AD, 1, 11.

[12] Cf. EC II, p. 509.

[13] “This letter serves to inform you that, considering how fitting it is for the young men God has called to the Congregation to be well formed in knowledge and virtue, I have thought to write this Rule that I now have the pleasure of sending along with this letter, so that everything in it may be put into practice, since it is the will of God and of Most holy Mary, our dear Mother” (Letter to Fr. José Xifré, Madrid, 20 December 1862: EC II, pp. 576-577).

                The saint’s closing words have been interpreted in the Congregation to mean that the rules were especially inspired by the Lord and the Virgin (Cf. A. LARRAONA, The Chapters of the Constitutions Relating to Students and Their Prefect: Studia Claretiana, 1 (1963), pp. 8-41).

[14] For a fuller treatment, besides the work by Larraona cited earlier, cf. CCTT, pp. 271-298; J. Mª VIÑAS, The Formation of the Missionary in the Congregation According to the Father Founder St. Anthony Mary Claret: Cuadernos de Formación Claretiana, 1, General Prefecture of Formation, Rome 1987, pp. 24; The Formation of the Missionary Novices According to the Father Founder, St. Anthony Mary Claret: Cuadernos de Formación Claretiana, 2, General Prefecture of Formation, Rome 1988, pp. 20.

                This Rule was of paramount importance in determining the future course of formation in the Congregation so that, with it, by its inclusion in the Constitutions, the basis was laid for the organization of academic formation and the realization of studies that was subsequently developed in the Congregation (Cf. P. SCHWEIGER, circular letter De studiis in Congregatione impense fovendis, Annales, 45 (1959-1960), pp. 155-156; also, Ordo Studiorum Generalis (O.S.G), Romae 1959, Proemium, pp. X-XII).

[15] The text in the CC 1862, cf. Appendix 1.

[16] Cf. J. Mª VIÑAS, n. 12.

[17] Cf. ibid. n. 14.

[18] Cf. ibid.  nn. 1, 15.

[19] Cf. ibid. nn. 15-22. In his Autobiography he enjoined the novices to recite the Little Office of the Virgin for vocations because in this way “She would provide the Congregation with all the vocations it needs in order to grow, spread and endure” (Aut 794).

[20] Cf. ibid. n. 1.

[21] Cf. ibid. n. 9.

[22] Cf. ibid. n. 7; cf. also n. 8.

[23] Ibid. n. 1.

[24] Cf. ibid.n. 9.

[25] Cf. ibid. n. 2.

      [26] Cf. ibid. nn. 3, 8.

      [27] Cf. ibid. n.4.

     [28] Cf. ibid. n. 24.

     [29] Cf. CCTT, pp. 647-648.

     [30] Cf. CCTT, n. 1.

     [31] Cf. ibid. nn. 2, 3.

     [32] Cf. ibid., n. 7.

     [33] Cf. ibid., n. 6; cf. also n.1, cited above.

     [34] Cf. ibid., n. 2.

     [35] Cf. ibid., nn. 5,6, 8.

     [36] Cf. M. AGUILAR, Historia de la Congregación de Misioneros Hijos del I. Corazón de María, vol. I, pp. 293-300, 574-583, 614-626; C. FERNÁNDEZ, Compendio histórico de la Congregación de los Hijos del Inmaculado Corazón de María, vol.I, Madrid 1967, pp. 137-139; 359-386; 859-872; C. FERNÁNDEZ, La Congregación de Misioneros Hijos del Inmaculado Corazón de María, vol.I, Madrid 1967, pp. 237-246; 691-707.

                Concerning the orientation for formation, in addition to the works cited above, Cf. F. NAVAL, Plan of a Novitiate (manuscript), no place or date, AG. CMF: GN, 7, 9, pp. 10. I had to have been written during his stay in Vic between 1881 and 1888. Fr. F. Naval was assistant and aide to the novicemaster and professor in Vic during those years; afterwards he was professor and, later, superior in Cervera from 1888 to 1901. The plan for the novitiate that he wrote includes both novices and professed (students).  It envisions a novitiate like the one in Vic and not like the one recently organized in Cervera, which was for novices exclusively dedicated to the spiritual practices proper to the year of testing.

     [37] On 26 May 1868, Fr. Clotet had already presented this note to the General Council: “General Council.  Novitiate.  It seems appropriate that it be like that of other religious Institutes, dedicated solely to spiritual things” (C. FERNÁNDEZ, La Congregación de Misioneros…, p. 242).

     [38]  Cf. 5th GENERAL CHAPTER,  Minutes, AG CMF: AD, 1, 22; session 4, afternoon of 10 June 1888; CMF. Boletín religioso de la Congregación de Misioneros Hijos del Inmaculado Corazón de María, 4 (1887-1888), p. 163; cf. also, C. FERNÁNDEZ, Compendio histórico…, p. 869.

     [39] [P. VALLIER], Prácticas Espirituales para uso de los novicios de la Congregación de los Hijos del Inmaculado Corazón de María por disposición del Rmo. P. José Xifré, Superior General de la Congregación, Madrid 1888, pp. 271.

     [40]  Concerning the plan laid out by Fr. Vallier cf. F. M. ALDUAN, Vida del siervo de Dios R.P. Pablo Vallier Escartín, Santiago de Chile 1919, pp.320-321; J. POSTÍUS, Report to Fr. General on the Work of Fr. Vallier, (photocopied), Madrid 1928, AG. CMF, GR, 04, 19; R. RIBERA, The Instructed Novice, Madrid 1931, Prologue, p. IX-X). The work by Fr. Francisco J. Idiáquez is entitled: Practices and Pursuits for the Use of the Brother Novices of the Company of Jesus in the Novitiate of Villagarcía. In Villagarcía. At the Seminary press. 1766, 12º, 152 p., 34. Fr. Postíus in the report to Fr. General does a sufficiently critical analysis of the work by Fr. Vallier. He advises against reprinting it; and feels it is preferable to produce a totally Claretian work for the novices of the Congregation.

     [41] This work, as Fr. Ramón Ribera says, has a good reputation in the Congregation and has been, after the Constitutions, “the mold in which the greater part of the Missionaries that belong to the Congregation today has been formed”(cf. R. RIBERA, El Novicio…, Prologue, pp. IX-X).

     [42] Cf. [P. VALLIER], Prácticas Espirituales…, Introducción, pp. 6-7.

     [43] Cf. ibid., p. 214.

     [44] Cf. ibid., Introduction, p. 6; conclusion, p. 211.

     [45] Cf. ibid., conclusion, p. 211.

     [46] Cf. ibid.,  pp. 115-116.

     [47] Ibid. p. 115.

     [48] Cf. ibid., conclusion, pp. 214-215.

     [49] Cf. ibid., conclusión, pp. 216-217.

     [50] The search for the glory of God is present in every section of the pedagogical manual.  Its methodology is aimed at this.  Each chapter, at the very beginning proposes a Gospel text as a reference for a concrete activity, orienting the intentions, emotions and works of the novices toward the Lord.

     [51]  Ibid.  conclusion, pp. 214-215. As a prayer of daily self-offering the novice will say the following: “Opening to your presence, O my God, all the recesses of my heart, I offer to You out of my poverty the entire abundance of my affections.  I offer in homage to You all the tasks and works of this day, united to the merits of the life, passion and death of Jesus, of his most holy Mother and of the Saints. I offer you the gold of charity, the frankincense of prayer and the myrrh of mortification” (Ibid., p. 18).

     [52] Cf. [VALLIER], Prácticas Espirituales…, pp. 171-182.

     [53] Cf. ibid. conclusion, pp. 196-203.

     [54] In this section we will cite the Chapters using the abbreviation RDV that makes reference to the book: CMF, Resumen alfabético de las Disposiciones Vigentes contenidas en los Capítulos Generales y en las Circulares, Madrid 1897, pp. 216.

     [55] 5TH GENERAL CHAPTER, Minutes, AG CMF: AD, 1, 22.

     [56] Cf. 5TH GENERAL CHAPTER, Ses. 4, CMF, RDV, n. 538.

     [57] 6TH EXTRAORDINARY GENERAL CHAPTER, Anales 5 (1895-1896), Appendix.

     [58] Cf. Ses. 12, CMF, RDV, nn. 373-375.

     [59] Cf. CC., 1870, Part I, n. 67.

     [60] 8TH GENERAL CHAPTER, Anales, 7 (1899-1900), Appendix.

     [61] Cf. Rescript of 28 October 1895.

     [62] Cf. Appendix, pp. 12-13.

     [63] 9TH GENERAL CHAPTER, Anales, 9 (1903-1904), Appendix.

     [64] Cf. Appendix, pp. 34ff.

     [65] Cf. CC., 1870, Part I, n. 63.

     [66] 11TH GENERAL CHAPTER, Anales, 13 (1911-1912), pp. 515-521, 545-560, 641-644.

     [67] Cf. Rescript of 20 June 1912, Anales, 13 (1911-1912), pp. 551-552.

     [68] R. RIBERA, El Novicio…, pp. 479; reference in Prologue, p. X.

     [69] In the work “my brothers will find no other merit that its having been inspired by obedience, put together with tender affection for the young men that are the hope of the Congregation, and having gathered and condensed in it the teachings of our holy Founder and of some of those venerable companions of his that had such a great influence on the formation of the early generations of Missionaries, the light of our beloved Congregation” (Prologue, pp. X-XI).

     [70] Cf. ibid. Prologue, p. XII.

     [71] Cf. ibid., p. 182.

     [72] Cf. ibid., p. 183.

     [73] Cf. ibid., p. 189

     [74] This exists “when one’s actions are motivated only by the glory of God, or to please God, or love of God” (R. RIBERA, El Novicio…, pp. 305-306).

     [75] Cf. ibid., pp. 306-307.

     [76] Cf. ibid., p. 310.

     [77] Cf. ibid., pp. 27-28.

     [78] Cf. ibid., pp. 366-367.

     [79] Cf. ibid., p. 140.

     [80] Cf. ibid., p. 140.

[81] Specifically it is recommended that they learn the collection of sentences from Sacred Scripture found in the book The Treasury of the Humanist by Fr. Girbau, mainly from the letters of St. Paul and other important passages from the New and Old Testament (Cf. R. RIBERA, El Novicio…,  pp. 373-374).

     [82] Cf.  CC. 1924, Part I, ch. XXIV.

     [83] Ribera, op. cit., p. 216.

     [84] Cf. Aut. nn. 438-453.

     [85] Cf. Ribera, op. cit., pp. 218-219.

     [86] Cf. ibid., pp. 175-176.

     [87] Cf. ibid., pp. 177-179.

     [88] Cf. ibid., p. 179.

     [89] Cf. ibid., pp. 177-179.

     [90] Cf. ibid., Prologue, XI.

     [91] Cf. ibid., pp. 412-459.

     [92] “The time most apropos for formation is the Novitiate” (N. GARCÍA,  FRMC., Annales, 39 (1947), pp. 65-119; quoted from p. 112).

     [93] N. GARCÍA, circular letter on Missionary or Claretian Spirituality, Annales, 35 (1939), pp. 49-108;; it is also found in en Collection of Circular Letters, ColCC,  (Madrid, 1941, pp. 866), on pp. 85-155; quoted from p. 147.

     [94] Cf.  N. GARCÍA, circular letter on Formation of Our Students, Anales, 28 (1932), pp. 225-224: ColCC., pp. 513-533., quoted from p. 527.

     [95] N. GARCÍA, FRMC., pp. 112-113.

     [96] Cf. N. GARCÍA, Christian and Religious Obedience, Anales, 22 (1926), pp. 5-28; ColCC., pp. 622-646, quoted from p. 628.

  [97] Cf. N. GARCÍA, Formación de…, ColCC., pp. 528-529.

     [98] Cf. N. GARCÍA, Obediencia…, ColCC., p. 628.

     [99] 12TH GENERAL CHAPTER, Anales, 18 (1921-22), pp. 901-922, 925-975.

     [100] Cf. Ibid., pp. 914-915.

     [101] Ibid. Disposiciones 84, p. 955.

     [102] Cf. Ibid. Disposiciones 95, 96, pp. 957-958.

     [103] Cf. Ibid.  Disposiciones 90, pp. 958-959.

     [104] Cf. Ibid.  Disposiciones 90, pp. 956-957.

     [105] RC (6 February 1969).

     [106] A. LEGHISA, Circular Letter To the Major Superiors of the Congregation Regarding “Renovationis Causam”, Annales, 50 (1970), pp. 293-29; also, Decree of the General Government, The Application of the Instruction “Renovationis Causam” to Our Congregation, Annales, 50 (1970), pp. 296-319.

     [107] Cf. Decree, pp. 302-303.

[108] Cf. 2F, 20.

     [109] GENERAL ASSEMBLY IN COSTA RICA, Annales, 52 (1976), pp. 431-472.

     [110] Cf. Ibid., pp. 438, 457, 464-469.

[111] Cf. Minutes 14, 13 September 1991, Annales 60 (1991), p. 253.

[112] Cf. GPF 348.

[113] Cf. GPF 368.

[114] Cf. GPF 369.

[115] Cf. GPF 370.