Divine Word Missionaries
Brother Formation Program
|Group Dynamics/Interpersonal Communication|
A candidate should have completed an initial level of training in a field. For example:
|Nursing:||registered nurse, B.S. Nursing|
|Teaching:||bachelor's degree with certification|
|Social Work:||B.S. Social Work|
|Business:||Bachelor's or diploma or certificate.|
Rationale for Requirements
The above requirements are established so that after vows the Brother can make a contribution to that SVD apostolate while he is also growing as a young religious. At the same time, he will be gaining experience in his professional/technical field.
With the above program the Brother should be ready both professionally and as a religious for his first permanent assignment after perpetual vows.
The Director of Brother Formation may choose from a number of evaluation forms which are presently in use. Much will depend upon the nature of the community in which the Brother in temporary vows is living. (Refer to the USA/North American formation program evaluations.)
Evaluation of Brother _______________
The six areas for evaluation:
Physical and Intellectual Development
This evaluation form incorporates some of these concerns and asks you to indicate how well the Brother in temporary vows is dealing with these key issues of formation.
Under each of the six major categories there are a number of statements. Below each of the statements are phrases which are intended to help focus your comments. Please use the space below the statements to write your comments. It is probable that you may have no comments for some categories.
1.1 He identifies with the Society.
involved in life and work of the Society
participates in SVD activities
demonstrates loyalty to the Society
1.2 He lives in community without excess dependency.
functions well in community
demonstrates a good level of self-esteem
1.3 He is a contributing member of the community.
shares and listens in a group
shows appreciation for the group process
deals appropriately with conflict and confrontation
II. PHYSICAL & INTELLECTUAL
2.1 He has an appropriate level of education and skills.
has an accurate image of his abilities
continues to develop his skills
offers his skills and talents freely
expresses himself clearly in written and spoken word
2.2 He looks after himself physically.
exercises moderation in food and drink
takes care of himself
3.1 He identifies with the poor.
has ministry contact with the poor.
is content in ministry.
can relate to rich or poor.
3.2 He shows enthusiasm for our SVD charism.
engages in the SVD apostolate.
participates in SVD activities
works as a team member
3.3 He explores his own biases.
displays an openness to challenge.
listens and "explores"
refuses simple answers.
IV. RELIGIOUS LIFE
4.1 He lives a celibate life.
shows happiness in community.
demonstrates ability to love and to share
4.2 He demonstrates a healthy attitude toward obedience.
communicates with superiors.
dialogues with community
deals appropriately with anger
4.3 He lives a simple life.
has few "toys"
shows concern for the poor
shares his belongings and time.
4.4 He is free from clericalism.
views himself as a lay person
can work with SVD priests without feeling dominated or limited.
V. PERSONAL/EMOTIONAL DEVELOPMENT
5.1 He has a healthy relationship with his family.
keeps in touch with his family
does not fall back on family as first line of support
exercises freedom of choice in dealing with family.
5.2 He demonstrates a healthy sexual identity.
Is not overly "macho" or effeminate
relates well with men and women
5.3 He demonstrates a healthy individual identity.
demonstrates poise and confidence
is able to relax
can handle stress and conflict in a healthy way
VI. SPIRITUAL LIFE
6.1 He has a personal relationship with God.
has a sense of the sacred
is aware of his creaturehood
speaks of faith in his life
integrates Christian values
6.2 He participates in spiritual direction
takes major decisions to discernment
6.3 He has a post Vatican II orientation
has a sense of fraternity with all
is open to dialogue
understands that mission is not geographical
appreciates his role as a lay person.
6.4 He has a personal prayer life.
sets aside time for prayer
participates in community prayer and liturgy
attends retreats and recollections
6.5 He has an appreciation for quiet.
is at peace in quiet time
|PQ||=||recommended with qualifications because.....|
|?||=||vocation is questioned because....|
|D||=||dismissal recommended because...|
|I||=||I do not know him well enough to vote on his renewal of vows.|
Your vote is: __________
Your name _________________________ Date __________
[ ] You may pass this evaluation on with my name.
[ ] You may pass the evaluation on without my name.
[ ] Please do not pass this evaluation on.
Process for Inter-Province Transfers
The process can be initiated by the Brother in temporary vows, the Directors of Brother Formation the Provincial Superior.
The person initiating the request should prepare a written statement indicating the reasons for a change.
The reasons for a change are discussed by the above parties.
The Provincial Superior, if he has not already been involved, is brought into the discussion.
The Director of Brother Formation and the Brother in temporary vows explore together possible placement sites.
The choice for new placement is discussed with the local superior and the local supervisor.
The Director of Brother Formation prepares a concrete proposal and offers it to the Provincial Superior.
If a change is made, the Director of Brother Formation then meets with the involved parties at the new placement site to develop a placement agreement.
This agreement should include:
8.1 The name of the local director.
8.2 The relationship with the local superior and the community.
8.3 A job description.
8.4 A statement of financial responsibility, for example, how the costs of insurance, studies and loan repayments will be handled
Brother in Temporary Vows to Seminarian:
The Brother writes to the Director of Brother Formation stating his desire to prepare for priesthood and his reasons for it. Copies are given to the local formation director, the local superior and the Provincial Superior.
The Director of Brother Formation and the local formation director send their recommendations to the Provincial Superior with copies to the local superior of Dorish Maru college.
The Brother has an interview with the local superior and formation director at the Dorish Maru College.
If it is deemed advisable or necessary, psychological testing may be requested. The results are to be available only to the formation directors involved.
Recommendations are sent by the local superior and formation director of Dorish Maru College to the Provincial Superior with copies to the Director of Brother Formation.
The Provincial Council decides if the Brother will be accepted into the Dorish Maru College formation program.
Confidentiality during the above process is accorded to the individual discerning his vocation.
Seminarian to Brother: (Suggested Procedure)
The seminarian writes a letter to his formation director at Dorish Maru College stating his desire to become a Brother and his reasons for it. Copies are sent to the Director of Brother Formation and the Provincial Superior.
The Dorish Maru College formation director sends his recommendation to the Provincial Superior with a copy to the Director of Brother Formation.
The seminarian is interviewed by the Director of Brother Formation.
If it is deemed advisable or necessary, psychological testing may be requested. The results are to be made available to the formation director.
A recommendation is sent by the Director of Brother Formation to the Provincial Superior, with a copy to the Dorish Maru College formation director.
The Provincial Council decides if the seminarian will be accepted into the Brother Formation Program.
Confidentiality during the above process is accorded to the individual discerning his vocation.
Nature of the Program:
The OTP is voluntary in nature, but fully endorsed by the Director of Brother Formation.
The ordinary length of the program will vary from a minimum of 18 months to a maximum of three years. Two year, however, is average.
The first stage of the program involves language and cultural studies. Such studies will normally not take more than half of the total time in the country. It should be as complete as the preparation given to a new missionary to that country. The language learned will be the one used in the apostolate in that country, or area, where the Brother will undertake his supervised mission experience.
The second stage consists of an in-depth supervised mission experience. As such it is something lived and not only learned about. OTP is not simply an exposure program. The Brother will participate in some aspect of the regular apostolate of the host province. To become an effective learning situation the experience must be supervised. This involves a personal learning relationship with an experienced missionary. The activity must be such that it involves the Brother with the people of the area. To have any depth, the supervised mission experience should consist of one long placement (at least 12 months) rather than many shorter ones. In this way the Brother will realize the impact and consequences of his ministry and have adequate time to develop a wholesome and fruitful relationship with his supervisor, confreres and those with whom he works.
Goals of the Program
The goals of the OTP, an in-depth supervised ministry experience are:
To broaden the Brother's understanding of Church and its missionary mandate.
To solidify and mature the Brother's vocation in the Society of the Divine Word.
To clarify the Brother's interests, aptitudes and knowledge of the way in which he can contribute to the missionary work of the SVD.
To heighten the sense of international mission awareness.
To develop awareness of the impact of another culture on the individual Brother.
To facilitate early initiation into language and cultural studies.
Prerequisites of the OTP
will be in temporary vows for at least two years.
will exhibit personal stability in his vocational choice.
will have an appropriate level of emotional and spiritual maturity.
will be in good physical health.
will have satisfactorily completed a preparation program at Dorish Maru College, Heart of life or I.N.S.T.E.P.
will have sufficient professional skills or knowledge to contribute to the missionary efforts of the host province.
The Brother who wishes to participate in the OTP will confer with the Director of Brother Formation to determine if the applicable prerequisites have been met.
Each Brother requesting admittance to the OTP will draw up
goal statements for each of the following areas:
2.1 personal growth
2.2 spiritual growth
2.3 vocational development
2.4 professional contribution.
The Director of Brother Formation will meet with the Brother to discuss placement possibilities and to assist in the preparation of goals statements.
The Director of Brother Formation will present the application and a statement of approval from the host province to the Brother’s home Provincial Superior.
When the application is approved by the Provincial Superior, the Director of Brother Formation will coordinate the preparation program and other specifics with the Brother and the Provincial Superior.
Should an application be denied, it is referred back to the Brother, along the same lines of communication.
National Director of the Host Province
In provinces where there are many OTP participants, the province may have a National Director of OTP. His responsibilities are to:
formulate local policy for OTP.
clarify lines of authority and accountability for the supervisors and participants in the program.
assure the availability of spiritual directors of OTP participants and the time for them to attend to this dimension of the formation program.
coordinate the OTP for the Province.
maintain contact with the Director of Brother Formation in Australia.
participate in those sessions when evaluations and contracts are prepared between the Brother and on-site supervisor.
Qualities of the On-Site Supervisor
In those provinces where the OTP has been established, the local Provincial Superior appoints the "on-site supervisor" for the Brother. Ideally, some of the qualities that the provincial should look for in the selection process are:
A person who can provide the Brother with a welcoming atmosphere of acceptance and freedom to exercise ministry so that the Brother can come to a deeper awareness and understanding of himself as an SVD missionary Brother.
A role model for the religious missionary life.
An ability to live and interact with young confreres.
An adequate mission experience.
An ability to direct in-service training, along the lines of the missionary activity, reflection and evaluation.
A willingness to work with the Brother in the ongoing evaluation that the program requires.
A theological background that has kept up with recent developments.
A contemporary understanding of, and appreciation for, the Brothers' role in the Church and our Society.
Responsibilities of the On-Site Supervisor
The on-site supervisor is to accept responsibility in three broad areas:
Set goals and determine the OTP schedule with the Brother; establish the responsibilities of the Brother; provide in-service training and supervision.
Set a weekly or monthly meeting time with the Brother to reflect on the OTP experience as a learning/formation experience.
Facilitate the five required evaluations.
Although the evaluations are to be prepared by the Brother himself, the supervisor will go over the material with him and offer his observations. In light of the supervisor's comments, the evaluation is to be put in final form.
At any time in the program, the supervisor may offer a personal evaluation of the Brother to the National Director of OTP in the host country and the Director of Brother Formation in Australia. It is highly recommended that a final evaluation of the Brother should be prepared by the supervisor and submitted to the two persons named above.
Evaluations during OTP
Evaluations are an important part of the OTP. Without such instruments, supervision would remain only an ideal with little implementation and no practical means of accountability. Without supervision and accountability there would be little if any formal training.
Language School Evaluation:
The purpose of this evaluation is to determine how the Brother is doing in language studies, his adjustment to his new environment and a reflection on his achievement of goal statements.
Evaluations will take place after the third month (or midway through the course) and at the completion of language school.
An initial report is to be drafted by the Brother himself, and where possible, presented to the language school director or major teacher for additional comments.
Copies of this evaluation are distributed to the National Director of OTP in the host country, the Director of Brother Formation in Australia and the on-site supervisor.
Evaluation of Missionary Work
The purpose of this evaluation is to critically review the Brother's mission involvement. Determination of strengths and weaknesses would be appropriate. These are all put within the broad framework of the goals already established: personal, spiritual, vocational and professional.
Three written evaluations need to be prepared by the Brother during the course of this second stage of the OTP:
After the third month,
After the six month, and
One month prior to the completion of this stage of the program.
Name of Person Evaluating: ____________________
To what extent does he participate in community prayer and liturgy?
Is his personal prayer life evident?
How well has he adapted to the new culture?
How does he relate with confreres and co-workers?
What is the quality of his contribution to the apostolate of the province?
Does he seem well-suited personally to his chosen profession or work?
Does he seem happy as an SVD Brother?
Is he able to fit himself into the Society's pattern of life and apostolic activities?
Have the supervisory sessions been regularly used?
Have they been fruitful? How could they be improved?
What is the date for the completion of the next evaluation?
The purpose of the OTP contract is to clarify and specify the expectations of the Brother and his supervisor which are to be fulfilled during the course of the mission experience. The contract serves as a job description or program for implementation of the goals of the OTP.
Upon arrival in the host country, the National Director of OTP, the on-site supervisor and the Brother will meet to formulate the contract. (This initial formulation might need to be adjusted at a later date, for example, after the completion of the language school, so as to reflect the actual situation and the real scope of the Brother's missionary involvement.)
The OTP contract should include the following information:
Place and timetable for language studies.
A description of the site of the Brother's assignment.
A description of the Brother's role in that site.
A specific statement of responsibilities for each area of the Brother's involvement, including goals and objectives for each area.
A clear statement of the lines of authority and accountability.
A statement of the responsibilities of the supervisor.
Copies of the signed contract should be kept by the Brother and supervisor. Copies should be distributed to the National OTP Director in the host country and the Director of Brother Formation in Australia.
1. Profile of mission experience setting:
1.1. Name of location
1.2. Number of staff
1.3. Description of site
1.4. Socioeconomic description of the situation
1.5. Language, educational and racial background
1.6. Religious affiliations of the people
1.7. History of the mission
2. General description of the type of mission work which the OTP Brother is involved in.
3. Types of opportunities that the mission offers the OTP Brother.
4. Specific tasks for which the Brother will be responsible. It is well to indicate the approximate time planned for allocation to each task. Ideally, a weekly program ought to be outlined for the Brother.
5.1. Name of the supervisor and his responsibilities.
5.2. Lines of authority of those to whom the Brother is responsible.
5.3. Provisions for formal supervisory sessions with the supervisor: time, frequency and length of sessions.
6. Provisions for continued language studies, if necessary.
7. Aids to help the Brother integrate theology and mission experience for example, resources, such as local seminary, district house, suggested readings, etc.
The contract should be signed and dated by the Brother and the supervisor.
The purpose of the OTP schedule is to provide all concerned (Brother, supervisor, National OTP Directors in the host country and the Director of Brother formation in Australia) with a timetable for the OTP experience.
At the initial meeting in the host country, the Brother, the National OTP Director and the supervisor should draw up a calendar to indicate the timetable for the various OTP stages and other events involved in the mission experience. Like the contract, this timetable might need to be adjusted during the course of the program.
The contents of the schedule should include the following information:
The dates for language studies (Stage One)
The time of involvement in the apostolate (Stage Two: Mission Experience).
The time of the annual retreat.
The times of quarterly recollections.
The time of the annual vacation.
Time of any local workshops that the Brother might benefit from.
Weekly day(s) off.
The schedule of the two language school evaluations.
The schedule of the three mission work evaluations
The schedule for the weekly or monthly meetings with the supervisor.
Copies of this signed schedule are retained by the Brother and his supervisor. Copies are sent to the National OTP Director in the host country and the Director of the Brother Formation in Australia.
To be completed at the initial meeting of the Brother, National OTP Director and the on-site supervisor.
Language Studies (Stage One)
1. The first evaluation: Date:_______________
(This is to be prepared after the third month or midway through the Brother’s language program)
2. The second evaluation: Date:_______________
(This is prepared at the completion of language studies.)
1. The third evaluation: Date:_______________
(This is to be prepared after the third month of mission experience. It is the time to inquire whether the contract is in need of re-negotiation.)
2. The fourth evaluation: Date:_______________
(This is to be prepared six months of mission experience. It offers the opportunity to determine how to use the remaining six months to the best advantage.)
3. The fifth evaluation: Date:_______________
(This is to be prepared one month before the completion of the mission experience stage.)
Supervisory Evaluation Schedule (weekly or monthly)
1. Expenses covered by the sending province are:
1.1. Preparation program
1.2. Travel to and from OTP
1.3. Educational expenses, such as tuition, books, room and board for language studies and cultural studies.
1.4. All medical expenses
1.5. Extraordinary expenses are normally taken care of by the sending province, but discussion between the host and sending provinces should ordinarily take place before these expenses are incurred.
2. Expenses covered by the host province are:
2.1. Monthly allowance. (This should be in line with what local SVD students or others on OTP receive.)
2.2. Room and board during the ministry stage of OTP.
Money received by the Brother is to be disposed of according to SVD Constitutions.
The National OTP Director in the host country and the Director of Brother Formation in the Australia are to establish an acceptable procedure for billing and payment of all OTP expenses.
MEMBERSHIP AND VOWS
When a Brother is approved for OTP he is transferred from his current province to the one in which he will be working on OTP. This transfer is made by the Provincial Superiors concerned for the purpose of this formation program. Through this transfer he has all of the rights and privileges, as well as all of the responsibilities, of any member in temporary vows within a province of the Society.
Renewal of Vows
Vows are to be renewed for two to three years before departure.
Evaluations take place in the host country according to the Constitutions. The Director of Brother Formation in Australia should be notified each time evaluations are made on the Brother.
Copies of the Brother's records are forwarded to the Provincial Superior in the host country upon the transfer of the Brother. These are returned to the Provincial Superior of the sending province when the Brother returns to his home province.
Constitution 522.3 states: “A director is to be appointed in each province or for several provinces, responsible for the recruitment, education and formation of Brothers. He sets up and implements a suitable formation program; in this he is responsible to the provincial superior and his council.”
In the Temporary Vow Program
To meet with the individual Brother at the beginning of the program to assess previous evaluations.
To meet with the Brother at the beginning of each vow year in a goal-setting interview.
To meet quarterly with the Brother.
To facilitate participation in training experiences.
To assist the individual Brother in discerning a professional choice.
To conduct the annual evaluation of individuals in the temporary vow program.
To discuss with the individual Brother the annual retreat opportunities.
To assist the Brother in developing a program of theological study.
To plan and implement "cluster" activities. This will include two meetings during the course of the year in the Province "cluster".
To provide guidance and evaluation, at least annually, of apostolic activities.
To assist in the planning and evaluation for the preparation for perpetual vows.
To assure that an adequate program of spiritual training and preparation is provided and effected.
To provide funds from an approved budget for education expenses and special activities. Ordinary expenses are provided by the local community.
To assist in the selection of local formation supervisors.
In the Province
The role of the Director of Brother Formation will be:
To apply or see that the Brother Formation Program is applied in the Provinces.
To evaluate and oversee the programs dealing with Brother Formation Programs already established as well as to propose new ones.
To have some authority to intervene when the program for the Brothers in formation is not followed, or when development is not taking place in a Brother candidate or a Brother in temporary vows.
To determine if an institution/parish is ready for valid formation to take place, and also to determine if there are role models present in that formation institution/parish.
To help the individual Brothers who are in the formation program to choose their vocation in the SVD, and to help determine their overall readiness for mission work.
To coordinate proposals with the Provincial Superior for intra-provincial assignments during formation years.
To coordinate the annual gathering.