Table of Contents

General Prefecture of Formation, ROME 2001

Jesús Mª Palacios, cmf , 

“By this letter I wish to inform you that, considering how important it is to train well in knowledge and virtue the young men that God may call to our Congregation, I have thought of writing these regulations. I enclose them in this letter so that they will be put into practice everywhere, because this is the will of God and of the Blessed Virgin Mary, our beloved Mother” (Letter of our Fr. Founder to Fr. Joseph Xifré)





Chapter 1: First organisation of formation, 1849-1870

    I.   Students in the Congregation (1858)

   II.   Acceptance of Students in the Constitutions (1862)

III.   Vocational and Formative Documents

         1.  Fr. Founder

         2.  Fr. Xifré

         3.  Fr. Clotet

IV.   General Chapters

         1.  I General Chapter. Vich 1859

         2.  II General Chapter. Gracia 1862

         3.  III General Chapter. Gracia 1864

Chapter 2: Period between the years 1871-1899

    I.   Fr. Joseph Xifré (1858-1899)

         1.  Fidelity to one’s vocation

         2.  Vocational Temptations

         3.  How to Overcome Vocational Temptations

   II.   Vocational and Formative Documents
         1.  Vocations.

         2.  Postulants

         3.  Novices

         4.  Professed Brothers

         5.  Professed Students and Professors

III.   General Chapters

         1.  IV General Chapter. Gracia 1876

         2.  V General Chapter. Madrid 1888

         3.  VI Extraordinary General Chapter.Cervera 1895

         4.  VII Extraordinary General Chapter.

              Santo Domingo 1896

IV.   General Dispositions 

Chapter 3: Period between the years 1899-1922

     I.   Fr. Clement Serrat (1899-1906)

         1.  Call to Vocational Fidelity

         2.  Means to Foster Fidelity to One’s Vocation

   II.   Fr. Martin Alsina (1906-1922)

         1.  The “divine pious motion”

         2.  Personalised Formation

         3.  Quality Formation

         4.  Solid Formation in Virtue

         5.  Formation of Character

         6.  Mary in Formation

III.   Vocational and Formative Documents

         1.  Vocations

         2.  Postulants

         3.  Professed Students

IV.   General Chapters

         1.  VIII General Chapter, Vich 1899

         2.  IX General Chapter. Selva del Campo 1904

         3.  XI General Chapter. Vich 1912

  V.   General Dispositions

 Chapter 4: Period between the years 1922-1966 (1st Part)

     I.   Fr. Nicholas Garcia

         1.  The Theme of Vocations

         2.  Formation of the Missionaries

         3.  Formative Stages

         4.  We Are All Responsible for Formation

   II.   Fr. Philip Maroto (1934-1937)

III.   Fr. Peter Schweiger (1949-1967) 

         1.  Urgency of Vocations

         2.  Vocational Screening

         3.  Vocational Acceptance

         4.  Fostering the Esteem for Vocations

 Chapter 5: Period between the years 1922-1966 (2nd Part)

 IV.   Vocational and Formative Documents.

         1.  Vocations

         2.  Postulants

         3.  Novices

         4.  Professed

         5.  Ordo Studiorum Generalis (O.S.G.)

  V.   General Chapters

         1.  XII General Chapter. Vich 1922

         2.  XIII General Chapter. Rome 1934

         3.  XIV General Chapter. Albano 1937

         4.  XV General Chapter. Castelgandolfo 1949

         5.  XVI General Chapter. Rome 1961

VI.   Codex Iuris Additicho (C.I.A.)

 Chapter 6: Formation in the Post-Conciliar Renewal, 1967-1997

    I.   Period of 1967-1971

         1.  XVII Special Renewal Chapter. Rome 1967

         2.  General Directory (1973)

         3.  Fr. Anthony Leghisa

   II.   Period of 1973-1979

         1.  XVIII General Chapter. Rome 1973

         2.  CMF Directory (1975)

         3.  General Assembly. San José de Costa Rica 1976

         4.  Fr. Anthony Leghisa

III.   Period of 1979-1985

         1.  XIX General Chapter. Rome 1979

         2.  CMF Directory (1982)

         3.  Fr. Gustavo Alonso

IV.   Period of 1985-1991

         1.  XX General Chapter (1985)

         2.  CMF Directory (1987)

         3.  Fr. Gustavo Alonso

  V.   Period of 1991-1997

         1.  XXI General Chapter. Rome 1991

         2.  Fr. Aquilino Bocos

         3.  The General Plan of Formation (1994)

         4.  “Heart of Mary” School of Formators

 Chapter 7: The General Plan of Formation, 1994

    I.   Background

   II.   XXI General Chapter

III.   Drafting of the GPF

         1.  Claretian Character

         2.  The General Prefecture of Formation and the

              International Commission

         3.  Consultation to the Congregation

         4.  Study and Approval of the GPF by the

              General Government

IV.   Characteristics of the GPF Project

         1.  Denomination and Title

         2.  Breadth

         3.  Structure of the Approved and Published Text

         4.  For the Entire Congregation

  V.   Meaning of the GPF for the Congregation

         1.  A Proposal of Missionary Life

         2.  A Proposal for the Whole World

         3.  The GPF, a Mature Synthesis of the Process of Renewal

         4.  Magna Carta on Formation

VI.   Conclusion.


During one of the Claretian Renewal Encounters for formators in the Congregation, celebrated in Rome towards the end of the six-year period of 1985-1991, in a dialogue about formation plans and projects, one of the formators complained about the lack of formative plans and orientations at the congregational level. Granting that a formation plan is truly necessary and is lacking in the Congregation, my answer was diametrically opposed.

I supported my opinion by spontaneously recalling the valuable postconciliar documents that we all knew and others, less known, previous to the Council. Among these were the Regulations of our Fr. Founder, published by the General Prefecture of Formation, the orientations of the Constitutions and the Directory, the circular letters of the Superiors General, especially those of Fr. Nicholas García, the Ordo Studiorum Generalis (O.S.G.), etc… I ended by affirming that the formative tradition of the Congregation had always been very rich. Furthermore, the General Government had the intention of making an operative proposal to the next General Chapter to draft as soon as possible a general plan of formation.

This anecdote made me reflect later. Partly carried by curiosity, and partly by the desire to render a service to formation, I right away dedicated myself to the investigation of the historical reality of the Congregation in the field of formation intending to make it known to the formators in a systematic form.

The first opportunity came with the drafting and publication of the General Plan of Formation (GPF). In order to underscore the connection of the GPF with our formative tradition, I wrote some brief Historical Notes on the formation in our Congregation, its evolution through some official and semiofficial documents, and a brief exposition of the drafting process of the GPF.

Now, with the launching of the Immaculate Heart of Mary School for formators, I have deemed it necessary to further develop and present those historical notes as an introduction to the study of the GPF. To this end, I have expanded them with the exposition of the contents of the documents and I have completed them with new documents, previously not quoted.

These notes are given as an aid for formators, so that they may come to know the partly scattered and forgotten tradition of our formative reality. They are also intended as a stimulus for the scholars who may want to delve in some particular aspects of our formative history.

Jesús Mª Palacios, cmf.
General Prefect of Formation. 
25 December 1996Solemnity of the Nativity of our Lord


1B              XVII GEN. CHAP., Decree on Brothers (1967)

1F              XVII GEN. CHAP., Decree on Formation (1967)

2B              XVIII GEN. CHAP., Decree on Brothers (1973)

2F              XVIII GEN. CHAP., Decree on Formation (1973)

AG CMF   Archivo General CMF. Rome

Aut            Autobiography of our Fr. Founder

CC             CMF Constitutions

CCTT        J.M. LOZANO, Constituciones y Textos [Constitutions and Texts], Barcelona 1972

CF             G. ALONSO, Claretians in Formation, Rome (1990)

ColCC       CMF, Colección de Circulares [Collection of Circulars], Madrid 1941

CPR          XX GEN CHAP., The Claretian in the Process of Congregational Renewal (1985)

CS             ST. ANTHONY MARY CLARET, Cartas Selectas [Selected Letters], ed. prepared by J. BERMEJO, BAC, Madrid, 1996, pp. XLVII, 625.

Dir             CMF Directory (1987)

EA             J.M. VIÑAS – J. BERMEJO, San Antonio María Claret, Escritos Autobiográficos [Autobiographical Writings], BAC, Madrid 1981

EC             J. GIL, Epistolario Claretiano [Claretian Collected Letters] (I-II, Madrid 1970; III, Madrid 1987)

E.C.           J. XIFRÉ, Espíritu de la Congregación de Misioneros Hijos del Inmaculado Corazón de María [Spirit of the Congregation of Missionaries, Sons of the Immaculate Heart of Mary], Madrid 1892)

EE             J. BERMEJO, San Antonio María Claret, Escritos Espiri­tuales [Spiritual Writings], BAC, Madrid 1985

FRMC       N. GARCÍA, La Formación Religiosa, Misionera y Claretiana [a circular on Religious, Missionary and Claretian Formation], 5 June 1947: Anales, 39 (1947), pp. 64-118.

GPF           CMF, General Plan of Formation (1994)

MCT         XIX GEN.CHAP., The Mission of the Claretian Today (1979)

OSG          CMF, Ordo Studiorum Generalis pro Missionariis Congre­gationis Filiorum Immaculati Cordis Mariae Virginis [General Regulation of Studies for the Missionaries of the Congregation of Sons of the Immaculate Heart of the Virgin Mary] (1929, 1959)

RC             Instruction Renovationis Causam: De accomodata re­nova­tione institutionis ad vitam religiosam decendam (On the renewal and adaptation of religious life) SACRED CONGREGATION FOR RELIGIOUS, 6 February 1969.

RDV          CMF, Resumen alfabético de las Disposiciones Vigentes contenidas en los Capítulos Generales y en las Circulares [Alphabetical summary of the Current Dispositions contained in the General Chapters and in the Circulars], Madrid 1897.

SW            XXI GEN CHAP., Servants of the Word (1991)