Divine Word Missionaries
|DURATION:||6 weeks: from August 15th to October 1st|
|PROGRAM:||Week 1- community|
|Week 2- vocation|
|Week 3- the Society|
|Week 4- consultations and discussions|
|Week 5- retreatWeek 6- making decisions|
A. The goal of novitiate formation:
introduction into deeper experiences of God and the grace of the religious-missionary vocation
the formation of mature spiritual personality
deciding whether to become a brother or priest
active entrance into the spirituality of the Society
preparation leading to the decision to offer oneself to serve the Triune God, the Church and the Society by taking vows
the formation of responsibility for witnessing the missionary charisma
B. The means of achieving the goal:
life of prayer and reflection
the deepening of spiritual and religious life
experiencing the values of community and its imperfections
the study of the Constitution of the Society
working together with sacramental grace in a mature way
life according to evangelical counsels
work as a test of responsibility and apostolic disposition as an individual and in the community
C. The structure of the novitiate
duration: one full year
place: the formation house designated by the decree of the General Council
spiritual direction: Novice Master appointed by the Provincial; assisted by Socius
organization: novitiate experienced in the community of brothers and fratres; among those responsible for the novitiate, there should also be brothers
D. The range of activities:
spiritual exercises: daily Mass, deepening meditation, the practice of individual and community life, regular confessions and talks with the Novice Master, devotions, recollections and retreat (3 times, for 10 days each).
intellectual activities: spiritual conferences (5 hours a week), getting to know the spirituality of the Society (1 hour), the theory of religious life and the history of different religious orders (1 hour), introduction to the bible (1 hour), bible study (once a week), the history of the Society (1 hour), liturgy, etc. (1 hour), missiology (1 hour), Latin and foreign languages.
practical activities: housework, work in the trade shops, gardening and farming, development of personal hobbies
mature experiences of vows as a consecrated life, forming awareness for the responsibilities of living according to the missionary charisma of the Society; preparation to take on the tasks of the Society (OTP, studies overseas, etc.), coming to the decision through readiness to take the final vows
B. The means of achieving the goals:
continuing development in spiritual and community life, exercising of sacramental and liturgical life, frequent and systematic spiritual direction; involvement in community life, intellectual and practical formation, active involvement in pastoral and missionary life
duration: temporary vows (circa 5 years), studies in the Theological Institute for the Laity (3 years), trade and pastoral formation (3 years)
place: formation house of the Brothers’ Institute, getting experience in other houses of the Province or outside of it, as well as OTP
responsibility for formation: rector of the house with other officials
organization: according to the daily order of the house
D. The range of activities
Brothers: the conference topic is different for brothers in the Institute and outside of it
The Brothers’ Institute:
-brothers’ spiritual formation.
The Trade formation:
-the deepening of missionary vocation as a brother and preparation for perpetual vows
A significant element during this period is spiritual formation which includes various spiritual practices defined by the Constitution of the Society and the program for Brothers’ formation.
Intellectual formation for brothers is carried out according to the program of the Theological Institute for the Laity at the Warmia-Mazury University.
Practical Formation consists of pastoral practices, various missionary awareness activities and education in various trades.
It is important that this formation includes the integral development of all human aspects of life.
As the SVD Constitutions (413,415) state, ongoing formation is very important in our apostolic life.
-ongoing formation enables us to better fulfill the charisma of our Society and also the task assigned
-development and deepening of spiritual, intellectual and physical aspects of life by taking courses and participating in various workshops
Is stated by the Constitutions and the official documents of the Society as well as the church documents
D. Range of activities:
These are assigned by superiors and spelled out in various documents, as the tasks arise.
The formation program presented above is simply an outline. Therefore, as time goes on, it will need to be enhanced and refined. It is a guide showing the direction in which the formation should go. The way the Polish SVD would appear does not depend on the formation program alone but on one’s own work toward personal growth and transformation.
P. Roman Czajka, svd.