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POTISSIMUM INSTITUTIONI

The Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of


Apostolic Life, which publishes this docuent, gi!es it the weight of an
Instruction according to can" #$ of the Code of Canon Law" It deals with
pro!isions and orientations appro!ed b% the &ol% 'ather and proposed b%
the (icaster% with a !iew to clarif%ing the nors of law and assisting in
their application" These pro!isions and orientations presue the )uridic
prescriptions which are alread% in effect, referring to the on occasion,
and in no case derogating fro the"
CONTENTS
INTRODUCTION
The Purpose of Religious Formation
A Constant Concern of the Holy See
The Post-conciliar Activities of the Congregation for Institutes of
Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life
The Reason for This ocument and to !hom It Is irected
Chapter I
RELIGIOUS CONSECRATION AND FORMATION
Religious Identity and Formation
Religious and Consecrated Life According to the octrine of the Church
A ivine "ocation for a #ission of Salvation
A Personal Response
Religious Profession$ An Act of the Church %hich Consecrates and
Incorporates
A Life According to the &vangelical Counsels
Chastity
Poverty
'(edience
Religious Institutes$ a iversity of )ifts to (e Cultivated and #aintained
A Life *nified in the Holy Spirit
Chapter II
ASPECTS COMMON TO ALL STAGES OF RELIGIOUS FORMATION
A+ Agents and *n!ironent of 'oration
The Spirit of )od
The "irgin #ary
The Church and the ,Sense of Church-,
The Community
The Religious Themselves. Responsi(le for Their Formation
Instructors or Formators$ Superiors and 'thers Responsi(le for Formation
/+ The &uan and Christian (iension of 'oration
C+ Asceticis
+ Se+ualit% and 'oration
Chapter III
THE STAGES OF RELIGIOUS FORMATION
A+ The Stage (efore &ntrance into the 0ovitiate
Rationale
Content
Forms of Reali1ation
/+ The No!itiate and 'irst Profession
&nd
Content
Professional !or2 during the Course of the 0ovitiate
Some Conditions to (e '(served
Pedagogy- The irectors of 0ovices and their Colla(orators
Religious Profession
C+ Formation of the Temporarily Professed
!hat is Prescri(ed (y the Church
Significance and Re3uirements of this Stage
The Content and #eans of Formation
+ The On,going 'oration of the Perpetuall% Professed
Reasons for 'n-going Formation
Its Content
Special Times of 'n-going Formation
Chapter IV
FORMATION IN INSTITUTES ENTIRELY ORDERED TOWARDS
CONTEMPLATION ESPECIALLY OF NUNS (PC 7)
The Place of these Institutes in the Church
The Importance of Formation in These Institutes
Some Points To /e Stressed
Lectio ivina
Liturgy
!or2
Asceticism
#easures To /e Ta2en
Chapter V
ACTUAL QUESTIONS CONCERNING RELIGIOUS FORMATION
A+ 4oung Candidates to Religious Life and "ocation Promotion
/+ Religious Formation and Culture
C+ Religious Life and &cclesial #ovements
+ The &piscopal #inistry and Religious Life
&+ Inter-institutional Colla(oration on the Level of Formation
Chapter VI
RELIGIOUS CANDIDATES TO PRIESTLY AND DIACONAL MINISTRY
Formation
The Specific Religious Character of Religious Priests and eacons
The Place of the Religious Priest in the iocesan Pres(yterate
CONCLUSION
ENDNOTES
AREVIATIONS
INTRODUCTION
THE PURPOSE OF RELIGIOUS FORMATION
5- The proper rene%al of religious institutes depends chiefly on the
formation of their mem(ers- Religious life (rings together disciples of
Christ %ho should (e assisted in accepting ,this gift of )od %hich the
Church has received from her Lord and %hich (y his grace she al%ays
safeguards-,65+ This is %hy the (est forms of adaptation %ill (ear fruit only
if they are animated (y a profound spiritual rene%al- The formation of
candidates. %hich has as its immediate end that of introducing them to
religious life and ma2ing them a%are of its specific character %ithin the
Church. %ill primarily aim at assisting men and %omen religious reali1e
their unity of life in Christ through the Spirit. (y means of the harmonious
fusion of its spiritual. apostolic. doctrinal. and practical elements-67+
A CONSTANT CONCERN
7- !ell (efore the Second "atican Council. the Church %as concerned
a(out the formation of religious-68+ The Council. in its turn. gave doctrinal
principles and general norms in Chapter "I of the dogmatic constitution
Luen gentiu and in the decree Perfectae caritatis" Pope Paul "I. for his
part. reminded religious that. %hatever the variety of %ays of life and of
charisms. all the elements of a religious life should (e directed to%ard the
(uilding up of ,the inner man-,69+ 'ur Holy Father :ohn Paul II. from the
(eginning of his pontificate. and in numerous discourses %hich he has
given. has fre3uently ta2en up the matter of religious formation-6;+ Finally.
the Code of Canon La% has underta2en to indicate in more precise norms
the e<igencies re3uired for a suita(le rene%al of formation-6=+
THE POST-CONCILIAR ACTIVITIES OF THE CONGREGATION FOR
INSTITUTES OF CONSECRATED LIFE AND SOCIETIES OF
APOSTOLIC LIFE
8- In 5>=>. the Congregation. in the instruction -eno!ationis causa,
e<panded certain canonical dispositions then in force. in order ,to ma2e a
(etter adaptation of the entire formation cycle to the mentality of younger
generations and modern living conditions. as also to the present demands
of the apostolate. %hile remaining faithful to the nature and the special
aim of each institute-,6?+
'ther documents pu(lished later (y the dicastery. even though they do not
(ear directly on religious formation. still touch it under one or another
aspect- These are ,#utual Relations, in 5>?@.6@+ ,Religious and Human
Promotion., and ,The Contemplative imension of Religious Life, in 5>@A.
6>+ and ,The &ssential &lements of the Teaching of the Church on Religious
Life, in 5>@8-65A+ It %ill (e useful to refer to these different documents.
since the formation of religious must (e given in complete harmony %ith
the pastoral directions of the universal Church and of particular Churches.
and in order to assist in the integration of ,interiority and activity, in the
lives of men and %omen religious dedicated to the apostolate-655+ Activity
,for the Lord, %ill thus not fail to lead them to the Lord. the ,source of all
activity-,657+
THE REASON FOR THIS DOCUMENT AND TO WHOM IT IS DIRECTED
9- The Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of
Apostolic Life deems it useful. and even necessary. to address this present
document to maBor superiors of religious institutes. and to their (rothers
and sisters charged %ith formation. including mon2s and nuns. all the
moreso since many of them have re3uested it- It does so in virtue of its
mission of giving guidance to institutes- This can help them to ela(orate
their o%n programs of formation .ratio/, as they are o(liged to do (y the
general la% of the Church-658+ 'n the other hand. men and %omen
religious have the right to 2no% the position of the Holy See on the
present pro(lems of formation and the solutions %hich it suggests for
resolving them- The document has (een enriched (y the numerous
e<periences %hich have (een made since the Second "atican Council. and
it treats 3uestions fre3uently raised (y maBor superiors- It reminds all of
certain re3uirements of the la% %ith respect to present circumstances and
needs- It hopes. finally. to (e of special help to institutes %hich are coming
into e<istence. and to those %hich at this time have fe% means of
formation and information at their disposal-
;- The document is concerned only %ith religious institutes- It deals %ith
%hat is most specific in religious life. and it gives only one chapter to the
re3uirements necessary for approaching the diaconate and priesthood-
These have (een the o(Bect of e<haustive instructions on the part of the
competent dicastery. %hich instructions are also pertinent to religious %ho
are to (e ordained for these ministries-659+ The document strives to give
valua(le directions for the religious life in its entirety- &ach institute %ill
have to ma2e use of them according to its o%n proper character-
The contents of the document apply to (oth se<es. e<cept %here it is
o(vious from the conte<t. and from the nature of things. that it does not-
65;+
I
RELIGIOUS CONSECRATION AND FORMATION
=- The primary end of formation is to permit candidates to the religious life
and young professed. first. to discover and. later. to assimilate and deepen
that in %hich religious identity consists- 'nly under these conditions %ill
the person dedicated to )od (e inserted into the %orld as a significant.
effective. and faithful %itness-65=+ It is conse3uently proper to recall. at
the (eginning of a document on formation. %hat the grace of a
consecrated religious life represents for the Church-
RELIGIOUS AND CONSECRATED LIFE ACCORDING TO THE
DOCTRINE OF THE CHURCH
?- ,Religious life. as a consecration of the %hole person. manifests in the
Church a %onderful marriage (rought a(out (y )od. a sign of the future
age- Thus religious (ring to perfection their full gift as a sacrifice offered to
)od (y %hich their %hole e<istence (ecomes a continuous %orship of )od
in love-,
,Life consecrated (y the profession of the evangelical counsels, Cof %hich
religious life is a speciesC,is a sta(le form of living (y %hich faithful.
follo%ing Christ more closely under the action of the Holy Spirit. are totally
dedicated to )od %ho is loved most of all. so that having dedicated
themselves to his honor. the up(uilding of the Church. and the salvation of
the %orld (y a ne% and special title. they strive for the perfection of
charity in service to the Dingdom of )od and. having (ecome an
outstanding sign in the Church. they may foretell the heavenly glory-,65?+
,Christian faithful %ho profess the evangelical counsels of chastity. poverty
and o(edience (y vo%s or other sacred (onds according to the proper la%s
of institutes freely assume this form of living in institutes of consecrated
life canonically erected (y competent Church authority and. through the
charity to %hich these counsels lead. they are Boined to the Church and its
mystery in a special %ay-,65@+
DIVINE VOCATION FOR A MISSION OF SALVATION
@- At the origin of the religious consecration there is a call of )od for %hich
there is no e<planation apart from the love %hich he (ears for the person
%hom he calls- This love is a(solutely gratuitous. personal. and uni3ue- It
em(races the person to the e<tent that one no longer pertains to oneself.
(ut to Christ-65>+ It thus reflects the character of an alliance- The glance
%hich :esus turned to%ards the rich young man has this characteristic$
,Loo2ing on him. he loved him, .M0 5A$75+- The gift of the Spirit signifies
and e<presses it- This gift invites the person %hom )od calls to follo%
Christ through the practice and profession of the evangelical counsels of
chastity. poverty. and o(edience- This is ,a gift of )od %hich the Church
has received from her Lord and %hich (y his grace she al%ays
safeguards-,67A+ And this is %hy ,the final norm of the religious life, %ill
(e ,the follo%ing of Christ as it is put (efore us in the )ospel-,675+
A PERSONAL RESPONSE
>- The call of Christ. %hich is the e<pression of a redemptive love.
,em(races the %hole person. soul and (ody. %hether man or %oman. in
that personEs uni3ue and unrepeata(le personal EIE-,677+ It ,assumes. in
the soul of the person called. the actual form of the profession of the
evangelical counsels-,678+ *nder this form. those %ho are called (y )od
give a response of love in their turn to Christ their Redeemer$ a love %hich
is given entirely and %ithout reserve. and %hich loses itself in the offering
of the %hole person as ,a loving sacrifice. holy. pleasing unto )od, .-o
57$5+- 'nly this love. %hich is of a nuptial character and engages all the
affectivity of oneEs person. can motivate and support the privations and
trials %hich one %ho %ishes ,to lose his life, necessarily encounters for
Christ and for the )ospel 6cf- M0 12#3/".4$/ This personal response is an
integrating part of the religious consecration-
RELIGIOUS PROFESSION: AN ACT OF THE CHURCH WHICH
CONSECRATES AND INCORPORATES
5A- According to the teaching of the Church. ,(y religious profession
mem(ers assume (y pu(lic vo% the o(servance of the three evangelical
counsels. are consecrated to )od through the ministry of the Church. and
are incorporated into the institute %ith rights and duties defined (y
la%-,67;+ In the act of religious profession. %hich is an act of the Church
through the authority of the one %ho receives the vo%s. the action of )od
and the response of the person are (rought together-67=+ This act
incorporates one into an institute- The mem(ers there ,live a life in
common as (rothers or sisters,67?+ and the institute assures them the
help of ,a sta(le and more solidly (ased %ay of Christian life- They receive
%ell-proven teaching on see2ing after perfection- They are (ound together
in (rotherly communion in the army of Christ- Their Christian freedom is
fortified (y o(edience- Thus they are ena(led to live securely and to
maintain faithfully the religious life to %hich they have pledged
themselves- ReBoicing in spirit they advance on the road of love-,67@+
The fact that religious (elong to an institute causes them to give to Christ
and to the Church a pu(lic %itness of separation %ith regard to ,the spirit
of the %orld, 65 Cor 7$57+ and to the (ehavior %hich it involves. and at the
same time of a presence to the %orld in 2eeping %ith the ,%isdom of )od,
65 Cor 7$?+-
A LIFE ACCORDING TO THE EVANGELICAL COUNSELS
55- ,Religious profession places in the heart of each one of you--- the love
of the Father$ that love %hich is in the heart of :esus Christ. the Redeemer
of the %orld- It is love %hich em(races the %orld and everything in it that
comes from the Father. and %hich at the same time tends to overcome in
the %orld everything that Edoes not come from the FatherE-,67>+ ,Such a
love should fill each of you--- from the very source of that particular
consecration %hich -- on the sacramental (asis of holy /aptism -- is the
(eginning of your ne% life in Christ and in the Church$ it is the (eginning
of the ne% creation-,68A+
57- Faith. hope. and charity ena(le religious. (y means of their vo%s. to
practice and profess the three evangelical counsels. and thus to give ,out
standing and stri2ing testimony that the %orld cannot (e transformed and
offered to )od %ithout the spirit of the (eatitudes-,685+
The counsels are. as it %ere. the main support of the religious life. since
they e<press in a significant and complete %ay the evangelical radicalism
%hich characteri1es it- In effect. through the profession of the evangelical
counsels made in the Church. the religious %ishes ,to (e set free from
hindrances that could hold him (ac2 from loving )od ardently and
%orshipping him perfectly and--- to consecrate himself in a more
thoroughgoing %ay to the service of )od-,687+
These touch the human person at the level of the three essential spheres
of his e<istence and relationships$ affectivity. possession. and po%er- This
anthropological uprooting e<plains %hy the spiritual tradition of the Church
has fre3uently put them in relation %ith the three lusts spo2en of (y St-
:ohn-688+ The faithful e<ercise of them fosters the development of the
person. spiritual freedom. purification of the heart. fervor of charity. and it
helps a religious to cooperate in the construction of human society-689+
The counsels lived in as authentic a manner as possi(le have a great
significance for all people.68;+ for each vo% gives a specific response to
the great temptations of our time- Through them. the Church continues to
sho% the %orld the %ays for its transfiguration into the Dingdom of )od-
It is therefore important that attentive care should (e ta2en to initiate
candidates for the religious life theoretically and practically into the
concrete e<igencies of the three vo%s-
CHASTITY
58- ,The evangelical counsel of chastity assumed for the sa2e of the
2ingdom of heaven. as a sign of the future %orld and a source of more
a(undant fruitfulness in an undivided heart. entails the o(ligation of
perfect continence in celi(acy-,68=+ Its practice assumes that persons
consecrated (y the vo%s of religion place at the center of their affective
life a ,more immediate, relationship 6&T 58+ %ith )od through Christ. in
the Spirit-
,The o(servance of perfect continence touches intimately the deeper
inclinations of human nature- For this reason. candidates ought not to go
for%ard. nor should they (e admitted. to the profession of chastity e<cept
after really ade3uate testing. and unless they are sufficiently mature.
psychologically and affectively- 0ot only should they (e %arned against the
dangers to chastity %hich they may encounter. they should (e taught to
see that the celi(acy they have dedicated to )od is (eneficial to their
%hole personality-,68?+
An instinctive tendency of the human person leads to ma2ing an a(solute
out of human love- It is a tendency characteri1ed (y self-centeredness
%hich asserts itself through a domination over the person loved. as if
happiness could (e secured from this possession- 'n the other hand. one
finds it very difficult to understand. and especially to reali1e. that love can
(e lived in a total dedication of oneself. %ithout necessarily re3uiring a
se<ual manifestation of it- &ducation for chastity %ill therefore aim at
helping each one to control and to master his or her se<ual impulses. %hile
at the same time it %ill avoid a self-centeredness that is content %ith oneEs
fidelity to purity- It is no accident that the ancient Fathers gave priority to
humility over chastity. since this latter can (e accompanied. as e<perience
has sho%n. (y a hardness of heart-
Chastity frees the human heart in a remar2a(le manner 65 Cor ?$87-8;+.
so that it (urns %ith a love for )od and for all people- 'ne of the greatest
contri(utions %hich religious can (ring to humanity today is certainly that
of revealing. (y their life more than (y their %ords. the possi(ility of a true
dedication to. and openness to%ard. others. in sharing in their Boys. in
(eing faithful and constant in love. %ithout a thought of domination or
e<clusiveness-
The pedagogy of consecrated chastity %ill conse3uently aim at$
preserving Boy and than2sgiving for the personal love in %hich each
one is held. and is chosen. (y ChristF
encouraging fre3uent reception of the sacrament of reconciliation.
recourse to regular spiritual direction. and the sharing of a truly
sisterly or (rotherly love %ithin the community. %hich is (rought
a(out (y fran2 and cordial relationshipsF
e<plaining the value of the (ody and its meaning. ac3uiring an
elementary physical hygiene 6sleep. e<ercise. rela<ation.
nourishment. etc-+F
giving (asic notions on masculine and feminine se<uality. %ith their
physical. psychological. and spiritual connotationsF
helping in matters of self-control. on the se<ual and affective level.
(ut also %ith respect to other instinctive or ac3uired needs 6s%eets.
to(acco. alcohol+F
helping each one to profit (y past personal e<periences. %hether
positive. in order to give than2s for them. or negative. in order to (e
a%are of oneEs %ea2nesses. in order to hum(le oneself peacefully
(efore )od and to remain vigilant for the futureF
manifesting the fruitfulness of chastity. its spiritual fecundity .6al
9$5>+. %hich (egets life for the ChurchF
creating a climate of confidence (et%een religious and their
instructors. %ho should (e ready to listen to %hatever they have to
say. and to hear them %ith affection in order to enlighten and
encourage themF
helping them to act %ith prudence in the use of the communications
media and in personal relationships %hich may present an o(stacle
to a consistent practice of the counsel of chastity 6cf- can- 7??-7 and
===+- It remains the responsi(ility not only of the religious to
e<ercise this prudence. (ut also of their superiors-
POVERTY
59- ,The evangelical counsel of poverty in imitation of Christ %ho. though
He %as rich (ecame poor for us. entails. (esides a life %hich is poor fact
and in spirit. a life of la(or lived in moderation and foreign to earthly
riches. a dependence and a limitation in the use and disposition of goods
according to the norm of the proper la% of each institute-,68@+
Sensi(ility to poverty is nothing ne%. either in the Church or in the
religious life- !hat is perhaps ne%. is a particular sensi(ility for the poor
and for the poverty that e<ists in the %orld. %hich characteri1es religious
life today- There e<ist today types of poverty on a large scale that are
either e<perienced (y individuals or endured (y entire groups$ hunger.
ignorance. sic2nessF unemployment. the repression of (asic li(erties.
economic and political dependence. corruption in the carrying out of
offices. especially the fact that human society seems organi1ed in a %ay
%hich produces and reproduces these different 2inds of poverties. etc-
In these conditions. religious are thrust into a closer pro<imity %ith respect
to the most needy and impoverished. the same %ho %ere al%ays preferred
(y :esus and to %hom he said that he had (een sent.68>+ and %ith %hom
he identified-69A+ This pro<imity leads them to adopt a personal and
communitarian style of life more in 2eeping %ith their commitment to
follo% more closely the poor and hum(le Christ-
This ,preferential option,695+ and evangelical choice of religious for the
poor implies an interior detachment. a certain austerity in community
living. a sharing at times in their life and struggles. %ithout ho%ever
forgetting that the specific mission of a religious is to (ear ,outstanding
and stri2ing testimony that the %orld cannot (e transformed and offered to
)od %ithout the spirit of the (eatitudes-,697+
)od loves the %hole human family and %ishes to (ring all together %ithout
e<clusion-698+ For religious it is conse3uently a 2ind of poverty not to let
themselves (e (ound %ithin a certain milieu or social class- A study of the
social teaching of the Church. and particularly that of the encyclical
Sollicitudo rei socialis, and of the instruction ,'n Christian Li(erty and
Li(eration,699+ %ill (e of assistance in ma2ing the re3uired discernments
for a practical actuali1ation of evangelical poverty-
&ducation to evangelical poverty %ill (e attentive to the follo%ing points$
There are young people %ho. (efore entering the religious life.
enBoyed a certain amount of financial independence and %ere
accustomed to o(tain (y themselves all that they %ished- 'thers find
themselves at a higher level of life %ithin a religious community than
they had in their childhood or during their years of study or %or2-
Instruction in poverty should ta2e account of the history of each one-
It should also (e remem(ered that among certain cultures. families
e<pect to gain (y %hat appears to them to (e an advance for their
children-
It is of the nature of the virtue of poverty to (e engaged in a life of
%or2. in hum(le and concrete acts of renunciation. of divestiture.
%hich render religious freer for their missionF to admire and respect
creation and the material o(Bects placed at their disposalF to depend
upon the community for their level of lifeF to desire faithfully that ,all
should (e in common., and ,that to each one is given %hat is
needed, .Acts 9$87. 8;+-
All this is done %ith the intent of centering oneEs life on the poor :esus.
%ho is contemplated. loved. and follo%ed- !ithout this. religious poverty.
under the form of solidarity and sharing. easily (ecomes ideological and
political- 'nly one %ho is poor of heart. %ho strives to follo% the poor
Christ. can (e the source of an authentic solidarity and a true detachment-
OBEDIENCE
5;- ,The evangelical counsel of o(edience. underta2en in a spirit of faith
and love in the follo%ing of Christ. %ho %as o(edient even unto death.
re3uires su(mission of the %ill to legitimate superiors. %ho stand in the
place of )od %hen they command according to the proper
constitutions-,69;+ Further. all religious ,are su(Bect to the supreme
authority of 6the+ Church in a special manner, and ,are also (ound to o(ey
the Supreme Pontiff as their highest superior (y reason of the sacred (ond
of o(edience-,69=+ ,Far from lo%ering the dignity of the human person.
religious o(edience leads it to maturity (y e<tending the freedom of the
sons of )od-,69?+
Religious o(edience is at once an imitation of Christ and a participation in
his mission- It is concerned %ith doing %hat :esus did. and. at the same
time. %ith %hat he %ould do in the concrete situation in %hich a religious
finds himself or herself today- !hether one has authority in an institute or
not. one cannot either command or o(ey %ithout reference to mission-
!hen religious o(ey. they offer this o(edience in continuity %ith the
o(edience of :esus for the salvation of the %orld- This is %hy everything
%hich. in the e<ercise of authority or o(edience. indicates a compromise. a
diplomatic solution. the conse3uence of pressure. or any other 2ind of
tempori1ing. is opposed to the (asic inspiration of religious o(edience.
%hich is to align oneself %ith the mission of :esus and to carry it out in
time. even if such an underta2ing is difficult-
A superior %ho promotes dialogue educates to a responsi(le and active
o(edience- All the same. it remains for the superiors to use ,their o%n
authority to decide and to prescri(e %hat is to (e done-,69@+
For the teaching of o(edience. it should (e remem(ered$
that to give oneself in o(edience. it is first necessary to (e conscious
of oneEs e<istence- Candidates need to leave the anonymity of the
technical %orld. to 2no% themselves as they are. and to (e 2no%n as
persons. to (e esteemed and lovedF
that these same candidates need to find true li(erty in order that
they may personally pass from ,%hat pleases them, to ,%hat pleases
the Father-, For this. the structures of a formation community. %hile
ever remaining sufficiently clear and solid. %ill leave ample room for
responsi(le initiatives and decisionsF
that the %ill of )od is e<pressed most often and preeminently
through the mediation of the Church and its magisteriumF and
specifically for religious. through their o%n constitutionsF
that for o(taining o(edience. the %itness of the elder mem(ers in a
community has greater influence on the young than any other
theoretical consideration- Still. a person %ho ma2es the effort to
o(ey as Christ did. and in Christ. can succeed in overcoming less
edifying e<amples-
&ducation in religious o(edience %ill therefore (e given %ith all the clarity
and e<igency that is necessary so that one does not %ander from the
,%ay., %hich is Christ in mission-69>+
RELIGIOUS INSTITUTES: A DIVERSITY OF GIFTS TO BE
CULTIVATED AND MAINTAINED
5=- The variety of religious institutes resem(les a ,%idespreading tree,
%hich. (eginning %ith a seed so%n (y )od. ,has gro%n up in the field of
the Lord, and multiplied-6;A+ Through them the Church manifests Christ
,to (elievers and un(elievers ali2e. Christ in contemplation on the
mountain. or proclaiming the 2ingdom of )od to the multitudes. or healing
the sic2 and maimed and converting sinners to a good life. or (lessing
children and doing good to all men. al%ays in o(edience to the %ill of the
Father %ho sent him-,6;5+
The variety is e<plained (y the diversity of the ,charisms of their
founders.,6;7+ %hich ,appears as Ean e<perience of the Spirit.E transmitted
to their disciples to (e lived. safeguarded. deepened and constantly
developed (y them. in harmony %ith the /ody of Christ continually in the
process of gro%th- EIt is for this reason that the distinctive character of
various religious institutes is preserved and fostered (y the ChurchE-,6;8+
There is thus no uniform %ay for o(serving the evangelical counsels. (ut
each institute should define its o%n %ay. ,2eeping in mind its o%n
character and purposes-,6;9+ This is true not only %ith regard to the
o(servance of the counsels. (ut %ith respect to all that concerns the style
of life of its mem(ers in vie% of tending to%ard the perfection of their
state-6;;+
A LIFE UNIFIED IN THE HOLY SPIRIT
5?- ,Those %ho ma2e profession of the evangelical counsels should see2
and love a(ove all else )od %ho has first loved us 6cf- 5 7n 9$5A+- In all
circumstances they should ta2e care to foster a life hidden %ith Christ in
)od 6cf- 8$8+. %hich is the source and stimulus of love of the neigh(or. for
the salvation of the %orld and the (uilding up the Church-,6;=+ This love.
%hich orders and vivifies the very practice of the evangelical counsels. is
poured out in hearts through the Spirit of )od. %hich is a Spirit of unity. of
harmony. and of reconciliation. not only among persons. (ut also %ithin
the interior of each person-
This is %hy the personal life of a religious must not (ecome dichotomi1ed
(et%een the generic end of religious life and the specific end of the
instituteF (et%een consecration to )od and mission in the %orldF nor
(et%een religious life itself on the one hand. and apostolic activities on the
other- There is no religious life e<isting concretely ,(y itself, upon %hich is
grafted the specific and the particular charism of each institute as
su(ordinate additions- In institutes dedicated to the apostolate there is no
pursuit of sanctity. profession of the evangelical counsels. or life dedicated
to )od and to his service %hich is not intrinsically connected %ith the
service of the Church and of the %orld-6;?+ Further ,apostolic and
charita(le activity is of the very nature of religious life, to such an e<tent
that ,the entire religious life--- should (e im(ued %ith an apostolic spirit
and all apostolic activity %ith a religious spirit-,6;@+ The service of oneEs
neigh(or neither divides nor separates a religious from )od- If it is moved
(y a truly theological charity. this service o(tains its value as service of
)od-6;>+
And thus it can truly (e said that ,the apostolate of all religious consists
first in their %itness of a consecrated life-,6=A+
5@- It %ill (e the duty of each one to verify the %ay in %hich their activities
in their o%n lives are derived from intimate union %ith )od and. at the
same time. confirm and strengthen this union-6=5+ From this point of vie%.
o(edience to the %ill of )od. manifested here and no% in the mission
received. is the immediate means through %hich one can secure for
oneself a certain unity of life. patiently sought (ut never fully attained-
This o(edience is only e<plained (y a resolve to follo% Christ more closely.
%hich is itself enlivened and stimulated (y a personal love of Christ- This
love is the interior principle of unity of all consecrated life-
The proof of a unity of life %ill (e opportunely made in terms of the four
great fidelities$ fidelity to Christ and the )ospel. fidelity to the Church and
to its mission in the %orld. fidelity to religious life and to the charism of
oneEs o%n institute. and fidelity to humanity and to our times-6=7+
II
ASPECTS COMMON TO ALL STAGES OF RELIGIOUS FORMATION
A) AGENTS AND ENVIRONMENT OF FORMATION
THE SPIRIT OF GOD
5>- It is )od himself %ho calls one to a consecrated life %ithin the Church-
It is )od. %ho all through the course of a religious life. 2eeps the initiative$
,He %ho has called you is faithful. and he %ill do it-,6=8+ :ust as :esus %as
not content to call his disciples. (ut patiently educated them during his
pu(lic life. so. after his resurrection. he continued through his Spirit. ,to
lead them to the fullness of truth-,6=9+
The Spirit. %hose action is of another order than the findings of psychology
or visi(le history. (ut %ho also %or2s through them. acts %ith great
secrecy in the heart of each one of us so as later to (e made manifest in
fruits that are clearly visi(le$ The Spirit is the Truth %ho ,teaches.,
,reminds., and ,guides-,6=;+ He is the Anointing giving desire.
appreciation. Budgment. choice-6==+ The Spirit is the consoling advocate
%ho ,comes to assist us in our %ea2ness., sustains us. and gives us a filial
spirit-6=?+ This discreet (ut decisive presence of the Spirit of )od demands
t%o fundamental attitudes$ humility. %hich ma2es one resign oneself to
the %isdom of )odF and the 2no%ledge and practice of spiritual
discernment- It is. in fact. important to (e a(le to recogni1e the presence
of the Spirit in all the aspects of life and of history. and through human
mediation- Among these last must (e included openness to a spiritual
guideF this openness is prompted (y the desire of having a clear
2no%ledge of oneself and (y a readiness to let oneself (e advised and
directed %ith the intent of correctly discerning the %ill of )od-
THE VIRGIN MARY
7A- The %or2 of the Spirit has al%ays (een associated %ith the "irgin #ary.
#other of )od. and #other of all the mem(ers of the people of )od- It is
through the Spirit that she conceived the !ord of )od in her %om(F it %as
for the Spirit that she a%aited %ith the Apostles. persevering in prayer 6cf-
L) ;7 and ;>+ follo%ing the Ascension of the Lord- This is %hy the
presence of the "irgin #ary is encountered (y religious from the (eginning
to the end of their formation-
,Among all persons consecrated unreservedly to )od. she is the first- She
-- the "irgin of 0a1areth -- is also the one most fully consecrated to )od.
consecrated in the most perfect %ay- Her spousal love reached its height in
the divine #otherhood through the po%er of the Holy Spirit- She. %ho as
#other carries Christ in her arms. at the same time fulfills in the most
perfect %ay his call$ ,Follo% me-, And she follo%s HimCshe. the #otherC
as her Teacher of chastity. poverty and o(edience--- If the entire Church
finds in #ary her first model. all the more reason do you find her soCyou
as consecrated individuals and communities %ithin the ChurchG, &ach
religious is invited ,to your religious consecration according to the model of
the consecration of the very #other of )od-,6=@+
A religious encounters #ary. not only under the title of an e<emplar. (ut
also under that of a mother- ,She is the #other of religious in (eing #other
of him %ho %as consecrated and sent. and in her fiat and agnificat
religious life finds the totality of its surrender to and the thrill of its Boy in
the consecratory action of )od-,6=>+
THE CHURCH AND THE "SENSE OF CHURCH"
75- /et%een #ary and the Church there are many close (onds- She is its
most eminent mem(er. and she is its #other- She is its model in faith.
charity. and perfect union %ith Christ- She is a sign of sure hope and of
consolation for the Church. until the coming of the day of the Lord 6cf- L)
;8. =8. =@+- Religious life is also associated %ith the mystery of the Church
(y a special (ond- It pertains to its life and holiness-6?A+ It ,is a special
%ay of participating in the sacramental nature of the People of )od-,6?5+
'neEs complete gift to )od ,unites the religious Eto the Church and her
mystery in a special %ayE and urges such a one to %or2 %ith undivided
dedication for the good of the entire /ody-,6?7+ And the Church. through
the ministry of its pastors. ,(esides giving legal sanction to the religious
form of life and thus raising it to the dignity of a canonical state. --- sets it
forth liturgically also as a state of consecration to )od-,6?8+
77- In the Church religious receive that %hich nourishes their (aptismal life
and their religious consecration- In it. they receive the (read of life from
the ta(le of the !ord of )od and of the /ody of Christ- It %as. actually.
during the course of a liturgical cele(ration that St- Anthony. %ho is rightly
deemed to (e the father of the religious life. heard the living and
efficacious %ord %hich led him to leave everything in order to underta2e
the follo%ing of Christ-6?9+ It is in the Church that the reading of the !ord
of )od. accompanied (y prayer. esta(lishes the dialogue (et%een )od and
religious.6?;+ encouraging them to high aspirations and necessary
renunciations- It is the Church %hich associates the offerings %hich
religious ma2e of their o%n life %ith the &ucharistic Sacrifice of Christ-6?=+
It is through the sacrament of reconciliation cele(rated fre3uently. finally.
that they receive. from the mercy of )od. pardon for their sins and are
reconciled %ith the Church and their o%n community. %hich has (een
%ounded (y their sins-6??+ The liturgy of the Church should thus (e for
them the summit to %hich an entire community is tending. and the source
from %hich flo%s its evangelical strength 6cf- SC 7.5A+-
78- This is %hy the tas2 of formation is necessarily carried on in
communion %ith the Church. of %hich religious are mem(ers. filially
o(edient to its pastors- The Church. ,%hich is filled %ith the Trinity.,6?@+ as
'rigin says. is a universal communion in charity. according to its image
and dependence on its source- It is from her that %e receive the )ospel.
%hich she helps us to understand. than2s to her tradition and to the
authentic interpretation of the magisterium-6?>+ For the communion %hich
is the Church is organic-6@A+ It remains. than2s to the Apostles and to
their successors. under the authority of Peter. the ,lasting and visi(le
source and foundation of the unity (oth of faith and of communion-,6@5+
79- It is therefore necessary to develop among religious ,a manner of
thin2ing, not only ,%ith, (ut. as St- Ignatius of Loyola also says. ,%ithin,.
the Church-6@7+ This sense of the Church consists in (eing a%are that one
(elongs to a people on a Bourney$
A people %hich has its source in the Trinitarian communion. %hich is
rooted in human historyF %hich is (ased upon the foundation of the
Apostles and upon the pastoral ministry of their successors. and %hich
recogni1es in the successor of St- Peter. the "icar of Christ and the visi(le
head of the %hole ChurchF
A people %hich finds in the Scriptures. tradition. and the magisterium. the
triple and uni3ue channel through %hich the !ord of )od comes to itF
%hich longs for a visi(le unity %ith other Christian. non-Catholic
communitiesF
A people %hich is not una%are of the changes that have occurred through
the centuries. or of the present legitimate diversities %ithin the Church.
(ut see2s rather to discover the continuity and unity that are all the more
realF
A people %hich identifies itself as the /ody of Christ. and %hich does not
separate the love for Christ from that %hich it should have for his Church.
2no%ing that it represents a mystery. the very mystery of )od in :esus
Christ through his Spirit. poured out and communicated to humanity today
and for all timeF
A people %hich. as a conse3uence. does not accept (eing perceived or
analy1ed from a merely sociological or political point of vie%. since the
most authentic part of its life escapes the attention of the %ise men of this
%orldF
And. finally. a missionary people. %hich is not satisfied %ith seeing the
Church remain a ,little floc2, (ut is ever see2ing to have the )ospel
announced to every human (eing so that the %orld %ill 2no% that there is
no other name under heaven given to us %here(y %e may (e saved, 6Acts
9$57+. e<cept that of :esus Christ 6cf- L) >+-
7;- A sense of Church also implies a feeling for ecclesial communion- In
virtue of the affinity %hich e<ists (et%een religious life and the mystery of
a Church. ,%hose unity--- in communion and service,6@8+ is assured (y the
Holy Spirit. religious. as ,e<perts in communion., are ,called to (e an
ecclesial community in the Church and in the %orld. %itnesses and
architects of the plan for communion %hich is the cro%ning point of human
history in )odEs design-,6@9+ This is (rought a(out through the profession
of the evangelical counsels. %hich frees the fervor of charity from every
impediment and causes religious to (ecome a prophetic sign of an intimate
communion %ith )od loved a(ove all elseF it is also effected through the
daily e<perience of communion of life. prayer. and apostolate. essential
and distinctive constituents of their form of consecrated life. %hich ma2es
them signs of fraternal communion-6@;+
This is %hy. especially during the course of initial formation. ,life in
common. seen especially as an e<perience and %itness of
communion.,6@=+ %ill (e deemed an indispensa(le milieu and a
preeminent means of formation-
THE COMMUNITY
7=- At the heart of the Church. and in communion %ith the "irgin #ary.
community life enBoys a privileged role in formation at every stage-
Formation depends to a great e<tent on the 3uality of this community- This
3uality is the result of its general climate and the style of life of its
mem(ers. in conformity %ith the particular character and spirit of the
institute- This means that a community %ill (e %hat its mem(ers ma2e it.
that it has its o%n re3uirements. and that (efore it can (e used as a
means of formation. it deserves to (e lived and loved for %hat it is in the
religious life. as the Church conceives it-
The (asic inspiration is o(viously the first Christian community. the fruit of
the Pasch of the Lord-6@?+ /ut in tending to%ard this ideal. it is necessary
to (e a%are of its re3uirements- A hum(le realism and oneEs faith should
animate the efforts made during formation to%ard fraternal life- The
community is esta(lished and endures. not (ecause its mem(ers find that
they are happy together due to an affinity in thought. character. or
options. (ut (ecause the Lord has (rought them together and unites them
(y a common consecration and for a common mission %ithin the Church-
All adhere to the particular mediation e<ercised (y the superior in an
o(edience of faith-6@@+ #oreover. it should not (e forgotten that the
Paschal peace and Boy of a community are al%ays the fruit of death to self
and the reception of the gift of the Spirit-6@>+
7?- A community is formative to the e<tent that it permits each one of its
num(ers to gro% in fidelity to the Lord according to the charism of his or
her institute-
To accomplish this. the mem(ers must (e clear among themselves on %hy
the community e<ists. and on its (asic o(Bectives- Their interpersonal
relationships %ill (e mar2ed (y simplicity and confidence. (eing (ased
primarily upon faith and charity- To%ard this end. the community is formed
each day under the action of the Holy Spirit. allo%ing itself to (e Budged
and converted (y the !ord of )od. purified (y penance. constructed (y
the &ucharist. and vivified (y the cele(ration of the liturgical year- It
strengthens its communion (y generous mutual assistance and (y a
continuous e<change of material and spiritual goods. in a spirit of poverty
and %ith the help of friendship and dialogue- The community lives the
spirit of its founder and the rule of the institute profoundly- Superiors %ill
consider it their particular office to see2 to (uild a community of (rothers
or sisters in Christ 6cf- can- =5>+- Then. each one. a%are of his or her
responsi(ility %ithin the community. is moved to gro%. not only for self (ut
for the good of all-6>A+
Religious in formation should (e a(le to find a spiritual atmosphere. an
austerity of life. and an apostolic enthusiasm %ithin their community.
%hich are conducive to their follo%ing Christ according to the radicalism of
their consecration-
It is fitting to recall here the %ords of Pope :ohn Paul IIEs message to the
religious of /ra1il$ ,It %ill therefore (e good that the young. during the
period of formation. reside in formative communities %here there should
(e no lac2 of the conditions re3uired for a complete formation$ spiritual.
intellectual. cultural. liturgical. communitarian. and pastoralF conditions
%hich are rarely found together in small communities- It is therefore
al%ays indispensa(le to 2eep dra%ing from the pedagogical e<perience of
the Church all that can assist and enrich formation. in a community
suita(le to the individuals and to their religious. and in some cases.
priestly vocation, 6I)P IH 7. pp- 798-99+-
7@- Here it is necessary to (ring up the pro(lem caused (y inserting a
religious formation community in a poor milieu- Small religious
communities inserted in a %or2ing class district. on the periphery of
certain large cities. or in the inner city. or in the more remote or poorer
areas of the country. can (e a significant e<pression of ,the preferential
option for the poor., since it is not enough to %or2 for the poor (ut there is
also the 3uestion of living %ith them and. as far as possi(le. li2e them-
Ho%ever. this demand should (e modified at times according to the
situation in %hich religious find themselves- First of all. it is necessary to
insist. as a general rule. that the re3uirements of formation should prevail
over certain apostolic advantages that come from an insertion into a poor
milieu- It must (e possi(le to reali1e and maintain solitude and silence. for
e<ample. %hich are indispensa(le during the %hole time of initial
formation- 'n the other hand. the time of formation contains periods of
apostolic activities %here this dimension of religious life can find
e<pression. on condition that these small. inserted communities conform
to certain criteria %hich assure their religious authenticityF that is. that
they offer the possi(ility of living a truly religious life in accord %ith the
ends of the instituteF that. in these communities. the life of communal and
personal prayer and. conse3uently. times and places of silence. can (e
maintainedF that the motives for the presence of the religious (e first of
all. evangelicalF that these communities al%ays (e ready to respond to the
needs of the superiors of the instituteF that their apostolic activity not (e
primarily a response to a personal choice. (ut to a choice of the institute.
in harmony %ith the pastoral %or2 of the diocese. for %hich the (ishop is
primarily responsi(le-
It must (e remem(ered. finally. that in countries and cultures %here
hospitality is held in particularly high esteem. a religious community. %ith
regard to times and places. insofar as possi(le. ought to (e a(le to
maintain its autonomy and independence %ith respect to its guests- This is
undou(tedly more difficult to reali1e in religious houses of a modest
dimension. (ut it should al%ays (e ta2en into consideration %hen a
community ma2es plans for its communitarian life-
THE RELIGIOUS THEMSELVES: RESPONSIBLE FOR THEIR FOR
FORMATION
7>- It is the individual religious %ho holds the first responsi(ility for saying
,yes, to the call %hich has (een received and for accepting all the
conse3uences of this responseF this is not primarily in the order of the
intellect. (ut of the %hole of life- The call and the action of )od. li2e his
love. are al%ays ne%F historical situations are never repeated- The one
%ho is called is therefore invited unceasingly to give an attentive. ne%. and
responsi(le reply- The Bourney of each religious %ill recall that of the
people of )od in &<odus. and also that evolution of the disciples. %ho %ere
,slo% to (elieve,6>5+ (ut %ho. in the end. %ere (urning %ith fervor %hen
the risen Lord revealed himself to them-6>7+ This indicates the e<tent to
%hich the formation of a religious should (e personali1ed- It %ill therefore
(e a 3uestion of strongly appealing to the conscience and personal
responsi(ility of each religious. so that they interiori1e the values of
religious life. and at the same time. the role of life %hich is proposed to
them (y the director of formation so that they find %ithin themselves the
Bustification for their practical choices. and find in the creator Spirit their
fundamental dynamism- Therefore. a right (alance must (e found (et%een
the formation of the group and that of each person. (et%een the respect
for the time envisioned for each phase of formation and its adaptation to
the rhythm of each individual-
INSTRUCTORS OR FORMATORS (SUPERIORS AND OTHERS
RESPONSIBLE FOR FORMATION)
8A- The spirit of the risen :esus is made present and active (y means of a
comple< of ecclesial mediations- The %hole of the religious tradition of the
Church attests to the decisive character of the role of teachers for the
success of the %or2 of formation- Their role is to discern the authenticity of
the call to the religious life in the initial phase of formation. and to assist
the religious to%ard a successful personal dialogue %ith )od %hile they are
discovering the %ays in %hich )od seems to %ish them to advance- They
should also accompany religious along the paths of the Lord6>8+ (y means
of direct and regular dialogue. al%ays respecting the proper role of the
confessor and spiritual director in the strict sense of the %ords-
Further. one of the main tas2s of those responsi(le for formation is to
ascertain %hether the novices and the young professed are (eing
effectively follo%ed (y a spiritual director-
Formators should also offer religious solid nourishment. (oth doctrinal and
practical. in 2eeping %ith each oneEs stage of formation- Finally. they
should progressively e<amine and evaluate the progress that is (eing
made (y those in their charge. in light of the fruits of the Spirit- They must
decide %hether the individual called has the capacities %hich are re3uired
at this time (y the Church and the institute-
85- In addition to a sound 2no%ledge of Catholic faith and morals. ,those
%ho are responsi(le for formation need to have$
the human 3ualities of insight and responsivenessF
a certain e<periential 2no%ledge of )od and of prayerF %isdom
resulting from attentive and prolonged listening to the !ord of )odF
love of the liturgy and understanding of its role in spiritual and
ecclesial formationF
necessary cultural competenceF
sufficient time and good %ill to attend to the candidates individually.
and not Bust as a group-,6>9+
Conse3uently. this office re3uires inner serenity. availa(ility. patience.
understanding. and a true affection for those %ho have (een confided to
the pastoral responsi(ility of the instructor-
87- If there is a group of formators under the personal responsi(ility of the
one %ho is in charge of formation. the individual mem(ers should act in
harmony. 2eenly a%are of their common responsi(ility- *nder the direction
of the superior. ,they should cultivate the closest harmony of spirit and
action., and should form %ith one another and %ith those in their charge.
one united family-6>;+ 0o less necessary is the cohesion and continued
colla(oration among those responsi(le for the different stages of
formation-
The %or2 of formation as a %hole is the fruit of the colla(oration (et%een
those responsi(le for formation and their disciples- If it remains true that
the disciple assumes a large part of the responsi(ility for his or her o%n
formation. still this responsi(ility can only (e e<ercised %ithin a specific
tradition. that of the institute. for %hich those responsi(le for formation
are the %itnesses and immediate e<ponents-
) THE HUMAN AND CHRISTIAN DIMENSION OF FORMATION
88- In its declaration on Christian education. the Second "atican Council
set forth the aims and means for every true education in the service of the
human family- It is important to 2eep these in mind in the reception and
formation of candidates for religious life. since the first re3uirement for
this formation is the a(ility to identify a human and Christian foundation
%ith a particular person- 0umerous failures in religious life can. in effect.
(e attri(uted to defects that %ere not perceived. or overcome. in this area-
0ot only should the e<istence of this human and Christian foundation (e
verified in one %ho is entering religious life. (ut it is necessary to assure
that effective adBustments are made all during the period of formation.
according to the evolution of the individuals and events-
The integral formation of a person has a physical. moral. intellectual. and
spiritual dimension- Its ends and e<igencies are 2no%n- The Second
"atican Council gives an account of them in the pastoral constitution
6audiu et spes,.89/ and in the declaration on Christian education
6ra!issiu educationis.8:/ The decree on the formation of priests
Optata totius gives criteria that ena(le one to Budge the level of human
maturity re3uired in candidates for priestly ministry-6>@+ These criteria can
(e easily applied to candidates for religious life. considering its nature and
the mission %hich a religious is called to fill %ithin the Church- The decree
Perfectae caritatis, on the appropriate rene%al of religious life. recalls the
(aptismal roots of religious consecrationF6>>+ and. from this fact. it
implicitly allo%s for admission into the novitiate only those candidates %ho
are already living all of their (aptismal promises in a manner consistent
%ith their age- Similarly. a good formation for religious life should confirm
oneEs profession of faith and (aptismal promises in all stages of life and
particularly in its most difficult periods %hen one is called to choose again
freely %hat once %as chosen forever-
8;- !hatever the insistence placed upon the cultural and intellectual
dimensions of formation (y this document. the spiritual dimension retains
its priority- ,The principal purpose of formation at its various stages. initial
and ongoing. is to immerse religious in the e<perience of )od and to help
them perfect it gradually in their lives-,65AA+
C) ASCETICISM
8=- ,Follo%ing in the footsteps of Christ leads to sharing ever more
consciously and concretely in the mystery of his passion. of his death. and
of his resurrection- The Paschal mystery should (e. as it %ere. the heart of
the programs of formation. insofar as it is a font of life and of maturity- It
is on this foundation that the ne% person is formed. the religious and the
apostle-,65A5+ This leads us to recall the indispensa(le need of asceticism
in formation and in the religious life- In a %orld of eroticism. of
consumerism. and all 2inds of a(use of po%er. there is a need for
%itnesses of the Paschal mystery of Christ. the first stage of %hich
necessarily passes through the cross- This passage re3uires insertion of a
daily. personal asceticism into an integral program of formationF this leads
candidates. novices. and professed to the e<ercise of the virtues of faith.
hope. charity. prudence. Bustice. temperance. and fortitude- Such a
program is perennial and cannot go out of style- It is al%ays contemporary
and al%ays necessary- 'ne cannot live out oneEs (aptism %ithout adopting
asceticism. much less (e faithful to a religious vocation- This %ay %ill (e
pursued all the more actively if. as %ith the entire Christian life. it is
motivated (y a love of 'ur Lord :esus Christ and (y the Boy of serving him-
In addition to this. Christians have need of coaches %ho can assist them in
running along the ,royal %ay of the Holy Cross-, They need %itnesses %ho
renounce %hat St- :ohn has called ,the %orld., and ,its lusts., and also
,this %orld., created and preserved (y the love of its Creator. and some of
its values- The Dingdom of )od. %hich is sho%n (y religious life ,to
surpass all things that are here (elo%.,65A7+ is not of this %orld- There is a
need of %itnesses to say so- uring the course of formation this naturally
assumes reflection upon the Christian meaning of asceticism. and sound
convictions a(out )od and his relationship %ith the %orld that has come
from his hands- This is (ecause a (lissful and naturalistic optimism must
(e avoided. on the one hand. and a pessimism o(livious to the mystery of
Christ. Creator and Redeemer of the %orld. on the other-
8?- Asceticism. moreover. %hich implies refusing to follo% oneEs
spontaneous and primary drives and instincts. is an anthropological
e<igency. (efore (eing specifically Christian- Psychologists have o(served
that the young. especially. have need of encountering opposition
6instructors. regulations. etc---+ in order to develop their personalities- /ut
this is not simply true for the young. since the development of a person is
never fully achieved- The pedagogy used in the formation of religious
should help them to (e enthusiastic for an enterprise that demands effort-
It is in this %ay that )od himself leads the human person %hom he has
created-
An asceticism inherent in the religious life. among other elements. calls for
an initiation into silence and solitudeF this is true also for institutes
dedicated to the apostolate- They must faithfully comply ,%ith the (asic
la% of all spiritual life. %hich consists in arranging a proper (alance of
periods set aside for solitude %ith )od and others. devoted to various
activities and to the human contacts %hich these involve-,65A8+ Solitude. if
it is freely assumed. leads to interior silence. and this invites material
silence- The regulation of every religious community. not only of houses of
formation. should a(solutely provide for times and places of solitude and
silenceF these foster hearing and assimilating the %ord of )od. and at the
same time. favor the spiritual maturation of the person and of a true
fraternal communion in Christ-
D) SE!UALITY AND FORMATION
8>- TodayEs generations have often gro%n up in such integrated situations
that (oys and girls are not helped to 2no% and appreciate their o%n
respective %ealth and limitations- Formation in this area is particularly
important due to apostolic contacts of all 2inds and the greater
colla(oration %hich has (egun (et%een religious men and religious %omen
as %ell as present cultural currents- &arly desegregation and close and
fre3uent cooperation do not necessarily guarantee maturity in the
relationships (et%een the t%o se<es- It %ill therefore (e necessary to ta2e
means to promote this maturity and to strengthen it %ith a vie% to%ard
formation for the o(servance of perfect chastity-
#oreover. men and %omen must (ecome a%are of their specific place in
the plan of )od. of the uni3ue contri(ution %hich respectively they should
ma2e to the %or2 of salvation- Future religious should thus (e offered the
possi(ility of reflecting on the role of se<uality in the divine plan of
creation and salvation-
In this conte<t reasons must (e given and understood to e<plain %hy
those %ho do not seem to (e a(le to overcome their homose<ual
tendencies. or %ho maintain that it is possi(le to adopt a third %ay. ,living
in an am(iguous state (et%een celi(acy and marriage,65A9+ must (e
dismissed from the religious life-
9A- )od did not create an undifferentiated %orld- Creating the human
person to his o%n image and li2eness 66en 7$7=-7?+. as a reasona(le and
free creature. capa(le of 2no%ing and of loving him. )od did not %ish man
to (e alone. (ut in relation %ith another human person. %oman 66en
7$5@+- /et%een the t%o is esta(lished a ,mutual relationship$ man to
%oman and %oman to man-,65A;+ ,The %oman is another EIE in a common
humanity-,65A=+ This is %hy ,man and %oman are called from the
(eginning not only to e<ist Eside (y sideE or Etogether.E (ut they are also
called to e<ist mutually Eone for the otherE-,65A?+ 'ne can easily see the
importance of these anthropological principles. since there is a 3uestion of
forming men and %omen %ho. through a special grace. have made a free
profession of perfect chastity for the sa2e of the Dingdom of Heaven-
95- A ,penetrating and accurate consideration of the anthropological
foundation for masculinity and femininity, %ill aim at ,clarifying %omanEs
personal identity in relation to man. that is. a diversity yet mutual
complementarity. not only as it concerns roles to (e held and functions to
(e performed. (ut also. and more deeply. as it concerns her nature and
meaning as a person-,65A@+ The history of religious life (ears %itness to
the fact that many %omen. %ithin the cloister or in the %orld. have found
there. an ideal place for the service of )od and others. conditions
favora(le to the e<pansion of their o%n femininity and. as a conse3uence.
to a fuller understanding of their o%n identity- This gro%th in depth is to (e
pursued %ith the help of theological reflection and ,the help that can come
from different human sciences and cultures-,65A>+
Finally. for a clearer perception of the specific character of the feminine
religious life. one should not forget that ,the figure of #ary of 0a1areth
sheds light on %omanhood as such (y the very fact that )od. in the
su(lime event of the incarnation of his Son. entrusted himself to the
ministry. the free and active ministry. of a %oman- It can thus (e said that
%omen. (y loo2ing to #ary. find in her the secret of living their femininity
%ith dignity and of achieving their o%n true advancement- In the light of
#ary. the Church sees in the face of %omen the reflection of a (eauty
%hich mirrors the loftiest sentiments of %hich the human heart is capa(le$
the self-offering totality of loveF the strength that is capa(le of (earing the
greatest sorro%sF limitless fidelity and tireless devotion to %or2F the a(ility
to com(ine penetrating intuition %ith %ords of support and
encouragement-,655A+
III
THE STAGES OF RELIGIOUS FORMATION
A) THE STAGE EFORE ENTRANCE INTO THE NOVITIATE
RATIONALE
97- In todayEs circumstances. generally spea2ing. it may (e said that the
analysis of -eno!ationis causa remains valid$ ,#ost of the difficulties
encountered today in the formation of novices are usually due to the fact
that %hen they %ere admitted they did not have the re3uired
maturity-,6555+ It certainly is not re3uired that a candidate for the
religious life (e a(le to assume all of the o(ligations of the religious life
immediately. (ut he or she should (e found capa(le of doing so
progressively- The possi(ility of ma2ing such a Budgment Bustifies the time
and means employed in reaching it- This is the purpose of the stage
preparatory to the novitiate. no matter %hat name may (e given to it$
postulancy. pre-novitiate. etc- It pertains e<clusively to the proper la% of
institutes to determine the manner in %hich it is carried out. (ut %hatever
these may (e. ,no one can (e admitted %ithout suita(le
preparation-,6557+
CONTENT
98- Ta2ing into account %hat %ill (e said 6nn- @= ff+. %ith respect to the
condition of youth in the modern %orld. this preparatory stage. %hich can
(e prolonged %ithout fear. should aim at verifying and clarifying certain
points %hich %ill permit superiors to determine the advisa(ility of and the
time for the candidateEs admission into the novitiate- Care should (e ta2en
not to hasten the time for this admission. nor to defer it unduly. provided
that it is possi(le to arrive at a certain Budgment on %hether the person is
a promising candidate-
Admission is (ased upon conditions determined (y the general la% of the
Church. though the instituteEs proper la% can add others-6558+ The
re3uirements of the la% are as follo%s$
a sufficient degree of human and Christian maturity6559+ for
underta2ing novitiate %ithout its (eing reduced to the level of a
course of general formation (ased on a simple catechumenate- It
can actually happen that some present themselves as candidates
%ho have not completed their Christian initiation 6sacramental.
doctrinal. and moral+. and lac2 some of the elements of an ordinary
Christian life-
a general cultural foundation %hich should correspond to %hat is
generally e<pected of young persons %ho have achieved the normal
education of their country- It is particularly necessary that future
novices attain a facility in the language used in the novitiate-
Since this is a matter of (asic culture. it %ill (e important to ta2e into
account the conditions of certain countries or social environments %here
the level of schooling is still relatively lo%. (ut %here the Lord is
nonetheless calling candidates to the religious life- Thus it %ill (e
necessary to promote the original culture carefully. and not assimilate it
into a foreign culture- It is %ithin their o%n culture that candidates.
%hether male or female. must recogni1e the call of the Lord and respond
to it in a personal %ay-
a (alanced affectivity. especially se<ual (alance. %hich presupposes
the acceptance of the other. man or %oman. respecting his or her
o%n difference- Recourse to a psychological e<amination can (e
useful. ta2ing into account the right of each individual to preserve
his or her o%n privacy-655;+
the a(ility to live in community under the authority of superiors in a
particular institute- This capacity certainly %ill (e verified further
during the course of the novitiate. (ut the 3uestion should (e posed
in advance- Candidates should (e %ell a%are of the fact that other
%ays e<ist (y %hich to give all of oneEs life to the Lord. apart from
entering a religious institute-
FORMS OF REALIZATION
99- These can (e diverse$ reception into a community of the institute.
%ithout sharing all its life -- %ith the e<ception of the novitiate community.
%hich is not recommended for this. e<cept in the case of nunsF -- periods
of contacts %ith the institute or %ith one of its representativesF common
life in a house of reception for candidates. etc- Ho%ever. none of these
forms should give the impression that those %ho are interested have
already (ecome mem(ers of the institute- In every %ay. the persons
accompanying the candidates are more important than the modalities of
reception-
'ne or several religious endo%ed %ith the necessary 3ualifications %ill (e
designated (y superiors to guide the candidates and to help them %ith the
discernment of their vocation- These persons %ill actively colla(orate %ith
the directors of novices-
) THE NOVITIATE AND FIRST PROFESSION
END
9;- ,The novitiate. (y %hich life in the institute (egins. is ordered to this.
that the novices (etter recogni1e their divine vocation and one %hich is.
moreover. proper to the instituteF that they e<perience the instituteEs
manner of livingF that they (e formed in mind and heart (y its spiritF and
that their intention and suita(ility (e tested-,655=+
Ta2ing into account the diversity of charisms and institutes. the end of the
novitiate could (e defined. in other %ords. as a time of integral initiation
into the form of life %hich the Son of )od em(raced and %hich he
proposes to us in the )ospel655?+ under one or another aspect of his
service. or one or another of his mysteries-655@+
CONTENT
9=- ,The novices are to (e led to cultivate human and Christian virtuesF
they are to (e introduced to a fuller %ay of perfection (y prayer and self-
denialF they are to (e instructed to contemplate the mystery of salvation.
and to read and meditate on the Sacred ScripturesF they are to (e
prepared to cultivate the %orship of )od in the sacred liturgyF they are to
(e trained in a %ay of life consecrated (y the evangelical counsels to )od
and human2ind in ChristF they are to (e educated a(out the character and
spirit. purpose and discipline. history and life of their institute. and they
are to (e im(ued %ith a love for the Church and its sacred pastors-,655>+
9?- As a conse3uence of this general la%. the total initiation %hich
characteri1es the novitiate goes far (eyond that of simple instruction- It is$
an initiation into a profound and living 2no%ledge of Christ and of his
Father- This presupposes a meditative study of Scripture. the
cele(ration of the liturgy according to the spirit and character of the
institute. an initiation into personal prayer. so that its practice
(ecomes ha(itual. and a relish for the great authors of the ChurchEs
spiritual tradition. %ithout (eing limited to spiritual reading of a
modern castF
an initiation into the Paschal mystery of Christ through detachment
from self. especially in the practice of the evangelical counsels
according to the spirit of the institute. an evangelical asceticism
Boyfully underta2en. and a courageous acceptance of the mystery of
the cross-
an initiation into a fraternal. evangelical life- It is. in effect. %ithin a
community that faith is deepened and (ecomes communion. and
that charity finds its numerous manifestations in the concrete routine
of daily life-
an initiation into the history. particular mission. and spirituality of the
institute- Here. for institutes dedicated to the apostolate. there
enters the fact that$ ,to complete the formation of the novices. in
addition to the time mentioned in n- 5 6that is. the t%elve months to
(e passed %ithin the novitiate community itself+ the constitutions
can determine one or several periods of apostolic e<ercises to (e
spent outside the novitiate community-,657A+
These periods have the purpose of teaching the novices to ,reali1e in their
lives. in progressive stages. that cohesive unity %here(y contemplation
and apostolic activity are closely lin2ed together. a unity %hich is one of
the most fundamental and primary values of these same societies-,6575+
The arrangement of these periods should ta2e into account the t%elve
months to (e passed %ithin the novitiate community itself. during %hich
the novices %ill not (e occupied %ith studies and duties %hich do not
directly serve this formation-,6577+
The novitiate program of formation should (e defined (y the instituteEs
proper la%-6578+
It is not advisa(le that the novitiate (e conducted %ithin a milieu foreign
to the culture and native language of the novices- Small novitiates are
actually (etter. provided that they are rooted in this culture- The essential
reason for this is to avoid a multiplication of pro(lems during a period of
formation in %hich the fundamental e3uili(rium of a person should (e
esta(lished and %hen the relationship (et%een the novices and the
director of novices should (e comforta(le. ena(ling them to spea2 to each
other %ith all the nuances re3uired at the outset of an intensive spiritual
Bourney- Further. a transfer into another culture at this particular moment
involves the ris2 of accepting false vocations and of not perceiving %hat
may (e false motivations-
PROFESSIONAL WORK DURING THE COURSE OF THE NOVITIATE
9@- It is %orth mentioning here the 3uestion of professional %or2 during
the course of the novitiate- In a num(er of industriali1ed countries. for
motives %hich are at times Bustified (y an apostolic intention. and %hich
may also (e in 2eeping %ith the social legislation of these countries.
candidates %ho are receiving a salary only as2 their employer for a one-
year leave of a(sence ,for personal convenience., at the time of their
entrance into the novitiate- This ena(les them to regain their employment
if they should return to the %orld. and they do not. as a conse3uence. run
the ris2 of (ecoming unemployed- At times this also leads to the
resumption of their professional %or2 during the second year of the
novitiate under the guise of apostolic activities-
!e (elieve that the follo%ing principle should (e stated in this regard- In
institutes %hich have t%o years of novitiate. the novices can e<ercise their
profession full time only under the follo%ing conditions$
that this %or2 effectively corresponds to the apostolic finality of the
instituteF
that it is assumed in the second year of the novitiateF
that it corresponds to the e<igencies of can- =9@-7. namely. that it
contri(utes to perfecting the formation of the novices for life in the
institute. and that it is truly an apostolic activity-
SOME CONDITIONS TO BE OBSERVED
9>- The canonical conditions for licit and valid admission on the part of
(oth the candidate and the competent authority must (e rigorously
o(served- Conformity %ith these regulations can avoid many future
difficulties-6579+ !ith respect to candidates for the diaconate or
priesthood. special care should (e ta2en at this time so that no irregularity
later affects the reception of Holy 'rders -- it (eing understood that maBor
superiors of clerical institutes of pontifical right can dispense from
irregularities not reserved to the Holy See-657;+
It should also (e remem(ered that superiors must consult the proper
ordinary and as2 for testimony from him (efore admitting a secular cleric
into the novitiate 6can- =99 and =9;-7+-
;A- The circumstances of time and place necessary for the fulfillment of
the novitiate are indicated (y la%- Its fle<i(ility should also (e 2ept in
mind. al%ays remem(ering. ho%ever. that prudence can advise %hat the
la% does not impose-657=+ #aBor superiors. and those responsi(le for
formation. should 2no% that current circumstances. no% more than ever.
re3uire conditions of sta(ility sufficient to ena(le the novices to gro% and
advance in spirit in a profound and peaceful %ay- This is all the more
important (ecause of the fact that many candidates have already had
e<perience of life in the %orld- 0ovices actually have a need of (eing
trained in the practice of prolonged prayer. of solitude. and of silence- For
all this. the element of time plays a determining role- They can have a
greater need ,to %ithdra%, from the %orld than ,to go, to the %orld. and
this need is not merely su(Bective- This is %hy the time and place of the
novitiate %ill (e organi1ed so that the novices can find an atmosphere that
is favora(le to (ecoming deeply rooted in a life %ith Christ- /ut this is only
achieved (y (ecoming detached from oneself. from all that %hich opposes
)od in the %orld. and even from those goods of the %orld ,that
undou(tedly deserve to (e highly valued-,657?+ As a conse3uence. ma2ing
the novitiate in an inserted community is completely discouraged- As %as
stated a(ove 6n- 7@+. the demands of formation must ta2e precedence
over certain apostolic advantages of insertion in a poor milieu-
P&A)')4
;5- 0ot all the novices enter the novitiate at the same level of human and
Christian culture- It %ill therefore (e necessary to pay very close attention
to each individual so that each advances at his or her o%n pace. and so
that the content of formation and the %ay it is communicated. are suita(le
to the one receiving it-
THE DIRECTORS OF NOVICES AND THEIR COLLABORATORS
;7- The care of the novices is reserved solely to the director of novices
under the authority of the maBor superiors- He or she must (e free from all
other o(ligations that %ould impede the complete fulfillment of the role as
educator- If he or she has colla(orators. these depend upon the director in
%hat concerns the program of formation and the conduct of the novitiate-
Together %ith the director. they have an important role in discernment and
decision-657@+
!hen secular priests or other religious from outside the novitiate. and
even laymen or lay%omen. are (rought into the novitiate. either for
teaching or for the sacrament of reconciliation. they %or2 in close
colla(oration %ith the director of novices. each 2eeping complete
discretion-
The director of novices is the spiritual guide appointed for this purpose for
each and all of the novices- The novitiate is the place of the directorEs
ministry. and he or she should thus (e permanently availa(le to the
novices- The director %ill (e a(le to fulfill this tas2 readily only if the
novices are entirely free and open in his or her regard- 0evertheless. in
clerical institutes. neither the director nor his assistant may hear the
sacramental confessions of the novices unless. in particular instances. they
spontaneously as2 him to do so-657>+
Finally. directors of novices should remem(er that psycho-pedagogical
means (y themselves cannot su(stitute for an authentic spiritual direction-
;8- ,Conscious of their o%n responsi(ility. the novices are to colla(orate
actively %ith their director so that they may faithfully respond to the grace
of a divine vocation-,658A+ And. ,mem(ers of the institute are to ta2e care
that on their part they cooperate in the %or2 of training novices (y the
e<ample of their life and (y prayer-,6585+
RELIGIOUS PROFESSION
;9- uring the course of a liturgical cele(ration. the Church. through the
competent superiors. receives the vo%s of those %ho ma2e their
profession. and associates their offering %ith the &ucharistic Sacrifice-
6587+ The Ordo professionis.5##/ gives the outline of this cele(ration. (ut
it also leaves room for the legitimate traditions of the respective institutes-
This liturgical action manifests the ecclesial roots of profession- /eginning
from the mystery cele(rated in this %ay. it %ill (e possi(le to develop a
more vital and profound appreciation of consecration-
uring the novitiate. (oth the e<cellence and the possi(ility of a perpetual
commitment in the service of the Lord %ill (e (rought out- ,The 3uality of
a person can (e Budged (y the nature of his (onds- Conse3uently. one can
Boyfully say that your freedom is freely attached to )od (y a voluntary
service. a loving servitude- And. as a conse3uence of this your humanity
attains its maturity- E&<tended humanity.E as I have %ritten in the
encyclical -edeptor hoinis, means the full use of the gift of freedom
%hich %e have received from the Creator %hen he called man. made to his
o%n image and li2eness. into e<istence- This gift finds its full reali1ation in
the unreserved donation of the human person. %hole and entire. in a spirit
of nuptial love to%ards Christ. and. %ith Christ. to%ards all those to %hom
he sends men and %omen %ho are totally consecrated to him according to
the evangelical counsels-,6589+ 'ne does not give oneEs life to Christ on a
,trial, (asis- #oreover it is he %ho ta2es the initiative in as2ing this of us-
Religious (ear %itness to the fact that this is possi(le. than2s first of all to
)odEs fidelity. and to the fact that this renders them free and happy. if
their gift is rene%ed each day-
;=- Perpetual profession presumes a prolonged preparation and a
persevering apprenticeship- This Bustifies the ChurchEs re3uirement that it
(e preceded (y a period of temporary profession- ,!hile still retaining its
pro(ationary character (y the fact that it is temporary. the profession of
first vo%s ma2es the young religious share in the consecration proper to
the religious state-,658;+ Conse3uently. this time of temporary profession
has as its end the strengthening of the fidelity of the young professed.
%hatever may (e the human satisfaction %hich they receive from their
daily life ,in the follo%ing of Christ-,
The liturgical cele(ration should carefully distinguish the perpetual
profession from the temporal profession. %hich should (e cele(rated
,%ithout any particular solemnity-,658=+ 'n the other hand. the perpetual
profession is made ,%ith the desired solemnity. and in the presence of the
religious and others.,658?+ since ,it is the sign of the indissolu(le union of
Christ %ith the Church. his Spouse 6cf- L) 99+-,658@+
;?- All the legal dispositions %ith respect to the conditions for validity and
for the time of temporary and perpetual profession must (e o(served-
658>+
C) FORMATION OF THE TEMPORARILY PROFESSED
WHAT IS PRESCRIBED BY THE CHURCH
;@- !ith respect to the formation of those %ho are temporarily professed.
the Church prescri(es that ,in individual institutes after first profession the
formation of all mem(ers is to (e continued so that they may lead more
fully the proper life of the institute and carry out its mission more suita(ly-
Therefore. proper la% must define the program of this formation and its
duration. 2eeping in mind the needs of the Church and the circumstances
of human persons and times to the e<tent this is re3uired (y the purpose
and character of the institute-,659A+
,The formation is to (e systematic. adapted to the capacity of the
mem(ers. spiritual. and apostolic. doctrinal and at the same time practical.
and %hen it seems opportune. leading to appropriate degrees (oth
ecclesiastical and civil- uring the time of this formation. duties and Bo(s
%hich %ould impede the formation are not to (e assigned to
mem(ers-,6595+
SIGNIFICANCE AND REQUIREMENTS OF THIS STAGE
;>- First profession inaugurates a ne% phase of formation. %hich (enefits
from the dynamism and sta(ility derived from profession- For the religious.
it is a matter of reaping the fruits of the preceding stages. and of pursuing
their o%n human and spiritual gro%th through the courageous e<ecution of
their responsi(ilities- Retaining the spiritual enthusiasm given (y the
preceding stage is all the more necessary. since. in institutes dedicated to
the apostolate. the move to a more open life style and to very demanding
activities often runs the ris2 of disorientation and aridity- In institutes
dedicated to contemplation. the ris2 is more apt to (e a matter of routine.
of %eariness. and of spiritual la1iness- :esus taught his disciples through
the crises to %hich they %ere su(Bected- Through his repeated prophecies
of his Passion. he prepared them to (ecome more authentic disciples-6597+
The pedagogy of this stage %ill therefore aim at permitting young religious
to ma2e real progress (y means of their e<periences according to a unity
of perspective and of life -- that of their o%n vocation. at this time in their
e<istence. %ith a vie% to%ard perpetual profession-
THE CONTENT AND MEANS OF FORMATION
=A- The institute has the grave responsi(ility of providing for the
organi1ation and duration of this period of formation. and of furnishing the
young religious %ith favora(le conditions for a real increase in their
donation to the Lord- In the first place. it %ill provide them a vigorous
formational community and the presence of competent instructors-
Actually. at this level of formation. in contrast to %hat %as said regarding
the novitiate 6cf- n- 9?+. a larger community. %ell provided %ith means of
formation and good guidance. is (etter than a small community %ithout
e<perts in formation- As in the %hole course of religious life. religious must
ma2e efforts$ to (etter understand the practical importance of community
life in 2eeping %ith the vocation proper to their instituteF to accept the
reality of this life and to discover %ithin it the conditions for their personal
progressF to respect others in their differencesF and to feel personal
responsi(ility %ithin this same community- Superiors %ill specifically
designate one to (e responsi(le for the formation of the temporarily
professed. e<tending in a specific manner to this level. the %or2 of the
director of novices- This formation should last for at least three years-
=5- The follo%ing suggestions for programs are only indicative. and they
do not hesitate to propose a high ideal. considering the need there is for
forming religious to meet the re3uirements and e<pectations of the
contemporary %orld- It %ill (e up to the institutes and to the formators to
ma2e the necessary adaptations to individuals. places. and times-
In the program of studies. special attention should (e given to (i(lical.
dogmatic. spiritual. and pastoral theology. and in particular. to deepening a
doctrinal understanding of consecrated life and of the charism of the
institute- The esta(lishment of this program and its functioning should
respect the internal unity of teaching and the harmoni1ation of different
disciplines- There are not many sciences. (ut only one %hich a religious
should (e a%are of learning$ the science of faith and of the )ospel- In this
regard. a cumulative diversification of courses and disciplines should (e
avoided- Further. out of respect for individuals. religious should not (e
introduced prematurely into highly controversial 3uestions if they have not
as yet completed the courses needed to approach them peacefully-
The program %ill aim at suita(ly providing a (asic philosophical formation
that %ill permit religious to ac3uire a 2no%ledge of )od and a Christian
vision of the %orld. in close connection %ith the de(ated 3uestions of our
time- This %ill sho% the harmony %hich e<ists (et%een the 2no%ledge of
reason and that of faith in the search for truth %hich is one- In such
conditions. religious %ill (e protected from the ever threatening
temptations of a critical rationalism on the one hand. and of a pietism and
fundamentalism on the other-
The program of theological studies should (e Budiciously conceived. and its
different parts should (e %ell defined so that the ,hierarchy, of the truths
of Catholic doctrine is (rought out. since they vary in their relationship
%ith the foundations of the Christian faith-6598+ The esta(lishment of this
program can dra% inspiration from an adaptation of the suggestions made
(y the Congregation for Catholic &ducation on the formation of candidates
for the priestly ministry.6599+ ta2ing care not to omit anything that could
assist in ac3uiring a good 2no%ledge of the faith and a Christian life %ithin
the Church$ history. liturgy. canon la%. etc-
=7- Finally. the maturation of a religious at this stage %ill re3uire an
apostolic commitment and a progressive participation in ecclesial and
social e<periences in 2eeping %ith the charism of their institute. and ta2ing
into account the aptitudes and aspirations of individuals- In the process of
these e<periences. religious should remem(er that they are not primarily
pastoral ministers. (ut that they are in a period of initial formation. rather
than one that is more advanced. and that their commitment to an
ecclesial. and especially a social service. is necessarily su(Bect to the
criteria of discernment 6cf- n- 5@+-
=8- &ven though superiors are rightly descri(ed as ,spiritual directors in
relation to the evangelical purpose of their institute.,659;+ religious should
have a person availa(le to them. %ho may (e called a spiritual director or
spiritual counselor. for the internal. even non-sacramental. forum-
,Follo%ing the tradition of the early fathers of the desert and of all the
great religious founders in the matter of provision for spiritual guidance.
religious institutes each have mem(ers %ho are particularly 3ualified and
appointed to help their sisters and (rothers in this matter- Their role varies
according to the stage reached (y the religious (ut their main
responsi(ilities are$ discernment of )odEs actionF the accompaniment of
the religious in the %ays of )odF the nourishing of life %ith solid doctrine
and the practice of prayerF and. particularly in the first stage. the
evaluation of the Bourney thus far made-659=+
This spiritual direction. %hich ,cannot in any %ay (e replaced (y
psychological methods.,659?+ and for %hich the Council claims a ,due
li(erty.,659@+ should therefore (e ,fostered (y the availa(ility of
competent and 3ualified persons-,659>+
These provisions primarily intended for this stage in the formation of
religious. should continue for the rest of their lives- In religious
communities. a(ove all those %hich are large and especially %here the
temporarily professed are living. there must (e at least one officially
designated religious to assist their (rothers and sisters %ith guidance of
spiritual advice-
=9- Some institutes have provisions for a more intense period of
preparation prior to perpetual profession. %hich includes a %ithdra%al from
oneEs usual occupations- This practice merits encouragement and
e<tension-
=;- If. as is provided for in the la%. young professed are sent to study (y
their superior.65;A+ ,such studies should not (e programmed %ith a vie%
to achieving personal goals. as if they %ere a means of %rongly
understood self-fulfillment. (ut %ith a vie% to responding to the
re3uirements of the apostolic commitments of the religious family itself. in
harmony %ith the needs of the Church-,65;5+ The course of these studies
and the pursuit of degrees %ill (e suita(ly harmoni1ed %ith the rest of the
program for this stage of formation. according to the Budgment of maBor
superiors and those responsi(le for formation-
D) THE ON"GOING FORMATION OF THE PERPETUALLY PROFESSED
==- ,Throughout their entire life religious are to continue carefully their
o%n spiritual. doctrinal. and practical formation. and superiors are to
provide them %ith the resources and time to do this-,65;7+ ,&ach religious
institute therefore has the tas2 of planning and reali1ing a program of
permanent formation suita(le for all its mem(ers- It should (e a program
%hich is not simply directed to the formation of the intellect. (ut also to
that of the %hole person. primarily in its spiritual mission. so that every
religious can live his or her o%n consecration to )od in all its fullness. and
in 2eeping %ith the specific mission %hich the Church has confided to
them-,65;8+
REASONS FOR ON-GOING FORMATION
=?- 'n-going formation is motivated first of all- (y the initiative of )od.
%ho calls each one. at every moment and in ne% circumstances- The
charism of religious life in a determined institute is a living grace %hich
must (e received and lived in conditions %hich often are ne%- ,The very
charism of the founders 6&T 55+ appears as Ean e<perience of the Spirit.E
transmitted to their disciples to (e lived. safeguarded. deepened and
constantly developed (y them. in harmony %ith the /ody of Christ
continually in the process of gro%th---- The specific charismatic note of any
institute demands. (oth of the founder and of his disciples. a continual
e<amination regarding fidelity to the LordF docility to His SpiritF intelligent
attention to circumstances and an outloo2 cautiously directed to the signs
of the timesF the %ill to (e part of the ChurchF the a%areness of
su(ordination to the sacred hierarchyF (oldness of initiativesF constancy in
the giving of selfF humility in (earing %ith adversities- &specially in our
times that same charismatic genuineness. vivacious and ingenious in its
inventiveness. is e<pected of religious. as stood out so eminently in their
founders-,65;9+ Permanent formation demands that one pay close
attention to the signs of the Spirit in our times and that religious allo%
themselves to (e sensitive to them in order to (e a(le to respond to them
appropriately-
#oreover. continued formation is a sociological factor %hich in our days
affects all areas of professional activity- It very fre3uently determines
%hether one %ill remain in a profession or (e o(liged to ta2e up another-
!hereas initial formation is ordered to%ards a personEs ac3uisition of an
autonomy sufficient for faithfully living a religious commitment. on-going
formation assists a religious in integrating creativity %ithin fidelity- This is
(ecause a Christian and religious vocation demands a dynamic gro%th and
fidelity in the concrete circumstances of e<istence- This in turn demands a
spiritual formation %hich produces inner unity. (ut %hich is also fle<i(le
and attentive to the daily events in oneEs personal life and in the life of the
%orld-
,To follo% Christ, means that one is al%ays on the road. that one is on
oneEs guard against sclerosis and ossification. in order to (e a(le to give a
living and true %itness to the Dingdom of )od in this %orld-
In other %ords. there are three (asic motivations for permanent
formation$
the first arises from the very function of the religious life %ithin the
Church- There it plays a very significant charismatic and
eschatological role that presumes on the part of religious men and
%omen a special attention to the life of the Spirit. (oth in the
personal history of each one and in the hopes and an<ieties of
othersF
the second comes from the challenges %hich arise from the future of
the Christian faith in a %orld that is changing %ith increased rapidityF
65;;+
the third concerns the very life of religious institutes. and especially
their future. %hich depends in part upon the permanent formation of
their mem(ers-
ITS CONTENT
=@- Continued formation is a glo(al process of rene%al %hich e<tends to all
aspects of the religious person and to the %hole institute itself- It should
(e carried out. ta2ing into account the fact that its different aspects are
insepara(le from. and mutually influential in. the life of each religious and
every community- The follo%ing aspects should (e 2ept in mind$
life according to the Spirit. or spirituality$ this must have primacy.
since it includes a deepening of faith and of the meaning of religious
profession- The annual spiritual e<ercises and other forms of spiritual
rene%al are thus to (e given priorityF
participation in the life of the Church according to the charism of the
pastoral activities in colla(oration %ith others involved in that activity
locally$
doctrinal and professional updating. %hich includes a deepening of
the (i(lical and theological perspectives of the religious. a study of
the documents of the universal and local magisterium. a (etter
2no%ledge of the local cultures %here one is living and %or2ing. ne%
professional and technical training. %hen appropriateF
fidelity to the charism of oneEs institute. through an ever increasing
2no%ledge of its founder. its history. its spirit. its mission. and a
correlative effort to live this charism personally and in community-
=>- Sometimes a significant amount of permanent religious formation
ta2es place in an inter-institutional conte<t- In such cases. it should (e
remem(ered that an institute cannot delegate to e<ternal organi1ations
the %hole tas2 of continued formation for its mem(ers. since in many
respects that formation is too closely tied to values proper to its o%n
charism- &ach institute. according to its needs and potentialities. should
therefore create and organi1e various programs and structures for the
formation of its o%n mem(ers-
SPECIAL TIMES FOR ON-GOING FORMATION
?A- The follo%ing stages are to (e understood in a very fle<i(le manner- It
%ill (e useful to com(ine them concretely %ith those %hich may arise as a
result of the unforeseea(le initiatives of the Holy Spirit- The follo%ing are
regarded as particularly significant stages$
the passage from initial formation to the first e<perience of a more
independent life. in %hich a religious must discover a ne% %ay of
(eing faithful to )odF
the completion of a(out ten years of perpetual profession. %hen the
ris2 of lifeEs (ecoming ,a ha(it, occurs %ith the conse3uent loss of all
enthusiasm- At this time it seems imperative that there (e a
prolonged period during %hich one %ithdra%s from ordinary life in
order to ,reread, it in the light of the )ospel and the mind of oneEs
founder- "arious institutes offer their mem(ers such a period of
intensifying their religious life. in %hat is 2no%n as the ,third year.,
,second novitiate., ,second pro(ation., etc- It is desira(le that this
time (e passed %ithin a community of the institute-
full maturity. %hich often involves the danger of the development of
individualism. especially among those of an active and vigorous
temperamentF
a time of severe crisis. %hich can occur at any age as a result of
e<ternal factors 6change of place of %or2. failure. incomprehension.
feelings of alienation. etc-+. or more directly personal factors
6physical or psychic illness. spiritual aridity. strong temptations.
crises of faith or feelings. or (oth at the same time. etc-+- In such
circumstances. a religious should (e helped so that he or she
successfully overcomes the crisis. in faithF
a time of progressive %ithdra%al from activity. %hen religious feel
more profoundly %ithin themselves the e<perience %hich Paul
descri(ed in the conte<t of moving to%ard the resurrection$ ,!e are
not discouragedF and even if. in us. the out%ard man is (eing
corrupted. the inner man is (eing rene%ed day (y day-,65;=+ Peter
himself. after he had received the immense tas2 of feeding the floc2
of Christ. heard him say$ ,!hen you are old. you %ill stretch forth
your hands. and another %ill gird you. and lead you %here you %ould
not %ish to go-,65;?+ Religious can live these moments as a uni3ue
opportunity for allo%ing themselves to (e penetrated (y the Paschal
e<perience of the Lord :esus. to the point of %ishing to die ,to (e
%ith Christ., in 2eeping %ith their initial choice$ ,that I may 2no%
Christ. the po%er of his resurrection and the fello%ship of his
sufferings. (eing made conforma(le to his death. in order to come. if
possi(le. to the resurrection from the dead-,65;@+ Religious life
follo%s no other %ay-
?5- Superiors should designate someone as responsi(le for permanent
formation in the institute- /ut it is also desira(le that religious. all during
their lives. have access to spiritual guides or counselors in accord %ith
their course of initial formation and in %ays adapted to their greater
maturity and their actual circumstances-
IV
FORMATION IN INSTITUTES ENTIRELY ORDERED TOWARDS
CONTEMPLATION# ESPECIALLY THOSE OF NUNS (PC 7)
?7- !hat has (een said in the preceding chapter is also applica(le to the
institutes %hich %ill (e considered here. ta2ing into account their particular
charism. tradition. and legislation-
THE PLACE OF THESE INSTITUTES IN THE CHURCH
?8- ,There are institutes %hich are entirely ordered to%ard contemplation.
in such %ise that their mem(ers give themselves over to )od alone in
solitude and silence. in constant prayer and %illing penance- These %ill
al%ays have an honored place in the mystical /ody of Christ. in %hich Eall
the mem(ers do not have the same functionE .-o 57$9+. no matter ho%
pressing may (e the needs of the active ministry- For they offer to )od an
e<ceptional sacrifice of praise. they lend luster to )odEs people %ith
a(undant fruits of holiness. they s%ay them (y their e<ample. and they
enlarge the Church (y their hidden apostolic fruitfulness-,65;>+
In the midst of a particular Church. ,their contemplative life--- is their
primary and fundamental apostolate. (ecause it is their typical and
characteristic %ay in )odEs special design to (e Church. to live in the
Church. to achieve communion %ith the Church. and to carry out a mission
in the Church-,65=A+
From the point of vie% of the formation of their mem(ers. and for the
reasons %hich have (een given. these institutes deserve a very special
attention. %ith respect to (oth initial and on-going formation-
THE IMPORTANCE OF FORMATION IN THESE INSTITUTES
?9- The study of the %ord of )od. of the tradition of the Fathers. of the
documents of the ChurchEs magisterium. and systematic theological
reflection cannot (e held in lo% esteem %here individuals have chosen to
direct their %hole life to%ard the primary. if not e<clusive. search for )od-
These religious. %ho are totally dedicated to contemplation. learn from
Scripture that )od does not cease to search for his creatures in order to
(ecome united %ith them. and that in return. the %hole life of a person
cannot (e anything (ut an unceasing search for )od- They patiently
underta2e this search- At the same time )od renders his creatures a(le to
(ecome enamored %ith him. despite the (urden of their limitations and
their gropings- There is conse3uently the tas2 of helping these religious
approach the mystery of )od %ithout neglecting the critical e<igencies of
the human mind- The certainties given (y revelation on the mystery of
)od the Father. Son. and Holy Spirit must also (e (rought out. %hile ever
remaining hum(le (efore the 3uest that %ill never (e completed until %e
shall see )od face to face for %hat he is- The main concern of these
contemplatives is not. and cannot (e. the ac3uisition of e<tensive
2no%ledge. nor the gaining of academic degrees- It is. and must (e. that
of strengthening their faith. ,the su(stance of things to (e hoped for. the
evidence of things that are not seen-,65=5+ In faith are to (e found the
roots and premises of an authentic contemplation- It is occupied %ith
certainties on paths that are un2no%n$ ,A(raham left. not 2no%ing %here
he %as to goF,65=7+ faith ena(les one to remain steadfast during the time
of trial. as if one sa% him %ho is unseen-65=8+ Faith heals. deepens. and
e<pands the efforts of a mind %hich see2s and contemplates %hat no% is
attained only ,through a mirror. in a dar2 manner-,65=9+
SOME POINTS TO BE STRESSED
?;- The program of formation in these institutes. after it has ta2en into
account their specific character and the means suggested for remaining
faithful to it. %ill insist upon certain elements as it gradually ta2es up the
successive stages of formation- It should (e noted from the outset that the
course of formation among contemplatives %ill (e less intensive and more
informal (ecause of the sta(ility of their mem(ers and the a(sence of
activities outside the monastery- It must also (e noted that. in the conte<t
of todayEs %orld. one should e<pect in the mem(ers of these institutes a
level of human and religious culture in 2eeping %ith the needs of our day-
LECTIO DIVINA
?=- #ore than their (rothers and sisters dedicated to the apostolate. the
mem(ers of institutes totally directed to%ard contemplation spend a good
part of each day in a study of the %ord of )od and in lectio di!ina, under
its four aspects of reading. meditation. prayer. and contemplation-
!hatever may (e the terms employed in the different spiritual traditions.
and the precise meaning that is given to them. each one of these steps
preserves its uni3ueness and necessity- Lectio di!ina is nourished (y the
%ord of )od. %here it finds its point of departure. and to %hich it returns-
The seriousness of (i(lical study. for its part. guarantees the richness of
the lectio" !hether this latter has for its o(Bect the te<t of the /i(le itself.
a liturgical te<t. or a great spiritual page of Catholic tradition. there is a
faithful echo of the %ord of )od. %hich must (e heard and. perhaps. in the
manner of the ancients. even murmured- This initiation re3uires
courageous practice during the times of formation and all the further
stages depend upon it-
LITURGY
??- The liturgy. especially the cele(ration of the &ucharist and the ivine
'ffice. has a privileged place in these institutes- If the ancients readily
compared the monastic life %ith that of the angels. it %as. among other
reasons. (ecause the angels are the ,liturgists, of )od-65=;+ The liturgy.
%here earth is united %ith heaven. and %hich therefore provides a 2ind of
foretaste of the celestial liturgy. is the summit to %hich the entire Church
is tending. and the font from %hich it receives all its strength- It does not
ta2e the place of all the activity of the Church. (ut for those %ho ,have
time solely for the things of )od., it is the place and privileged means for
cele(rating. in the name of the Church. in adoration. Boy. and than2sgiving.
the %or2 of salvation %rought (y Christ. a memory of %hich is periodically
offered to us in the unfolding of the liturgical year-65==+ Therefore. it
should not only (e carefully cele(rated according to the rites and traditions
proper to the different institutes. (ut it should also (e studied %ith regard
to its history. the variety of its forms. and its theological significance-
?@- In the tradition of some of these institutes. religious receive the
priestly ministry and cele(rate the daily &ucharist. even though they are
not destined to e<ercise an apostolate- This practice finds its Bustification
not only in that %hich concerns the priestly ministry. (ut also in that %hich
pertains to the sacrament of the &ucharist-
'n the one hand there is actually an inner harmony (et%een a religious
consecration and a consecration to the ministry. and it is legitimate that
these religious should (e ordained priests. even if they do not e<ercise a
ministry %ithin. or outside of. the monastery- ,The union in the same
person of the religious consecration. %hich ma2es of one an offering to
)od. and the priestly character. configures the individual in a special
manner to Christ. %ho is at once (oth Priest and "ictim-,65=?+
'n the other hand. the &ucharist ,is an act of Christ and the Church even
if it is impossi(le for the faithful to (e present-,65=@+ And it conse3uently
deserves to (e cele(rated as such. (ecause ,the reasons for offering the
sacrifice are not to (e understood solely in vie% of the faithful to %hom it
is necessary to administer the sacraments. (ut primarily in vie% of )od. to
%hom a sacrifice is offered in the consecration of this sacrament-,65=>+
Finally. it is necessary to retain the affinity that e<ists (et%een a
contemplative vocation and the mystery of the &ucharist- Actually. ,among
the %or2s of the contemplative life. the most important consist in the
cele(ration of the divine mysteries-,65?A+
WORK
?>- !or2 is a common la% (y %hich religious 2no% they are (ound. and it
is fitting that during the period of formation they develop an appreciation
of this. since. %ith respect to those %ith %hom %e are no% concerned.
formation is carried on %ithin the interior of the monastery- !or2. in order
to live. is not an o(stacle to the providence of )od. %ho is concerned %ith
the least details of our livesF rather it enters into his plans- It can (e
considered as a service to the community. a means of e<ercising a certain
responsi(ility %ithin it. and of colla(orating %ith others- It permits the
development of a certain personal discipline and gives a 2ind of (alance to
the more interior activities that ma2e up the daily routine- In systems of
social analysis. %hich are (ecoming progressively more developed in
different countries. %or2 also allo%s religious to share in the national
solidarity. from %hich no citi1en has the right to %ithdra%- #ore commonly.
it is an element of solidarity %ith all the %or2ers of the %orld-
!or2 thus responds not only to an economic and social need. (ut also to
an evangelical demand- 0o one in a community can identify his or her self
%ith a precise %or2 that ris2s (ecoming his or her o%n property- Instead.
all should (e ready for any %or2 that can (e as2ed of them-
uring the time of initial formation. especially during the novitiate. the
time reserved for %or2 should not encroach upon that %hich is normally
reserved for studies or other activities in direct connection %ith formation-
ASCETICISM
@A- Asceticism has a special place in institutes e<clusively dedicated to
contemplationF religious in such institutes should (e fully a%are of the fact
that. despite the e<igencies of a %ithdra%al from the %orld %hich is proper
to them. their religious consecration ma2es them present to humanity and
to the %orld ,in a deeper %ay--- in the heart of Christ-,65?5+ ,The mon2 is
he %ho is separated from all and united to all$,65?7+ united %ith all.
(ecause he is united %ith ChristF united %ith all. (ecause he hears in his
heart the %orship. than2sgiving. praise. anguish. and sufferings of all
humanityF united to all. (ecause )od calls him to a place %here he reveals
his secrets to humanity- Religious %ho are %holly dedicated to
contemplation are thus not only present to the %orld. (ut also to the heart
of the Church- The liturgy %hich they cele(rate fulfills an essential function
of the ecclesial community- The charity %hich animates them. and %hich
they strive to perfect. at the same time 3uic2ens the %hole mystical (ody
of Christ- In this love. they arrive at the first source of all that e<ists. the
aor fontalis; and (ecause of this. they are at the heart of the %orld and
of the Church- ,!ithin the heart of the Church. my #other. I shall (e
love-,65?8+ This is their vocation and their mission-
MEASURES TO BE TAKEN
@5- The general norm is that the %hole cycle of formation. (oth initial and
permanent. is carried on %ithin the interior of the monastery- For these
religious. it is the most suita(le place in %hich they can complete the path
of conversion. of purification. and of asceticism %ith the intent of
conforming their life to Christ- This re3uirement also has the advantage of
favoring the harmony of the community- It is. in effect. the %hole
community. and not simply some more initiated individuals or groups.
%hich should (enefit from the advantages of a %ell-ordered formation-
@7- !hen a monastery cannot provide this formation itself (ecause of a
lac2 of teachers or of a sufficient num(er of candidates. it %ill (e useful to
organi1e teaching programs 6courses. meetings. etc-+ in common %ith
several other monasteries or convents of the same federation. of the same
order. or of (asically common vocation. in one of these monasteries or
convents according to a schedule that %ill (e suita(le to the contemplative
nature of the monasteries concerned-
In every instance %here the demands of formation conflict %ith the rule of
enclosure. the current legislation should (e maintained-65?9+ For the sa2e
of formation. assistance can also (e sought from e<terns to the monastery
and even to the order. provided that they enter into the specific
perspective of the religious %hom they %ill instruct-
@8- The association of convents of nuns %ith institutes of men. according
to can- =59. can also (e of advantage in the formation of nuns- It
guarantees fidelity to the charism. to the spirit. and to the traditions of a
common spiritual family-
@9- &very monastery %ill ta2e care to create conditions that are favora(le
to personal study and reading (y providing the religious %ith a good li(rary
that is 2ept up to date and. in certain cases. through correspondence
courses-
@;- 'rders and congregations of mon2s. federations of nuns. and
monasteries and convents that are not federated or associated %ith others
are re3uested to dra% up a program .ratio/ of formation %hich %ill (e
included in their o%n la% and %ill contain concrete norms for its e<ecution
in 2eeping %ith can- =;A-5. =;>-==5-
V
ACTUAL QUESTIONS CONCERNING RELIGIOUS FORMATION
The follo%ing contains actual 3uestions. or positions. some of %hich are
the result of a (rief analysis and %hich. as a conse3uence. pro(a(ly
deserve to (e further discussed. refined. and e<panded- The directions and
principles of other matters are e<pressed here. (ut their concrete
application can only (e made on the level of particular Churches-
A) YOUNG CANDIDATES TO RELIGIOUS LIFE AND VOCATION
PROMOTION
@=- 4oung people are ,the hope of the Church-,65?;+ She has ,so much to
tal2 a(out %ith youth. and youth have so much to share %ith the
Church-,65?=+ Although there are adult candidates to the religious life. the
maBority of candidates today are (et%een eighteen and t%enty-five years
old- To the degree that they have (een influenced (y %hat is conveniently
called ,modernity., it seems that some of their common traits can (e
identified %ith sufficient accuracy- The portrait reflects a northern and
%estern model. (ut this model is tending to (ecome universal in its
strengths and %ea2nesses. and each culture %ill add touches to it that are
re3uired (y its o%n uni3ueness-
@?- ,The sensitivity of young people profoundly affects their perception of
the values of Bustice. non-violence. and peace- Their hearts are disposed to
fello%ship. friendship. and solidarity- They are greatly moved (y causes
that relate to the 3uality of life and the conservation of nature-,65??+
Li2e%ise. they have a thirst for freedom and authenticity- )enerally. and at
times ardently. they aspire to%ard a (etter %orldF there is no lac2 of those
%ho are engaged in political. social. cultural. and charita(le associations in
order to contri(ute to the (etterment of humanity- If they have not (een
corrupted (y totalitarian ideologies. they are for the most part 2eenly
interested in the li(eration of humanity from racism. underdevelopment.
%ar. and inBustices- This attitude is not al%ays -- at times is far from (eing
-- motivated (y religious. philosophical. or political principles. (ut the
sincerity of these youth and the depth of their generosity cannot (e
denied- Among youth may (e found some %ho are mar2ed (y profound
religious sentiment. (ut this sentiment itself needs to (e evangeli1ed-
Finally. there are some. and these are not necessarily in the minority. %ho
lead a sufficiently e<emplary Christian life and are courageously engaged
in the apostolate. already e<periencing %hat it means to ,follo% :esus
Christ more closely-,
@@- Though this is so. their doctrinal and ethical frames of reference tend
to (e relative. and to such an e<tent that they do not al%ays 2no% very
%ell if there are solid points of reference for attaining the truth a(out
humanity. the %orld. and things- The lac2 of the teaching of philosophy in
schools is fre3uently a reason for this- 4oung people hesitate to say %ho
they are and %hat they are called to (ecome- If they have some conviction
a(out the e<istence of good and evil. the meaning of these %ords seems to
(e at odds %ith respect to %hat it %as for preceding generations- There is
fre3uently a gap (et%een the level of their secular 2no%ledge. %hich can
(e highly speciali1ed at times. and that of their psychological gro%th and
their Christian life- 0ot all have had a happy e<perience %ithin their family.
considering the crises %hich have afflicted this institution. either %here the
culture has not (een deeply influenced (y Christianity. %here the culture is
of a post-Christian type %here there is an urgent need of a ne%
evangeli1ation. or even %here the culture has long (een evangeli1ed- They
learn much through images. and the present system of education
encourages this at times. (ut they read less- It thus happens that their
culture is characteri1ed (y a nearly total a(sence of an historical
dimension. as if our %orld (egan today- They have not (een spared (y
consumerism. %ith the deceptions %hich it (egets- Succeeding. at times
%ith difficulty. in finding their place in the %orld. some let themselves (e
seduced (y violence. drugs. and eroticism- It is (ecoming less and less
rare to find young people among the candidates for religious life %ho have
had unhappy e<periences in this last domain-
@>- 'ne thus has an indication of the pro(lems %hich the variety and
comple<ity of this human (ac2ground poses for vocation promotion and
also for formation- It is the discernment of vocations that is the concern
here- A(ove all. in certain countries. some candidates for the religious life
present themselves (ecause of a more or less conscious search for social
gain and future securityF others loo2 upon the religious life as an ideal
place for an ideological struggle for Bustice- Finally. there are others of a
more conservative nature %ho loo2 upon the religious life as if it %ere a
place for saving their faith in a %orld %hich they regard as (eing hostile
and corrupt- These motives represent the reverse side of a num(er of
values. (ut they need to (e corrected and purified-
In the so-called developed countries. there is perhaps a(ove all a need of
promoting a human and spiritual (alance (ased on renunciation. lasting
fidelity. calm and enduring generosity. authentic Boy and love- Here. then.
is a demanding (ut necessary program for those religious %ho are charged
%ith vocation promotion and %ith formation-
) RELIGIOUS FORMATION AND CULTURE
>A- The %ord ,culture, in its general sense. according to the pastoral
constitution 6audiu et spes, can indicate ,all those factors (y %hich man
refines and unfolds the manifold spiritual and physical 3ualities that ena(le
him to master his condition and his destiny, 6)S II. ch- II. nn- ;8-=7+-
65?@+ This is %hy culture may (e said to (e ,that (y means of %hich the
human person (ecomes more human., and that ,it is al%ays situated in an
essential and necessary relationship %ith %hat the human person is-,65?>+
'n the other hand ,%hile the profession of the evangelical counsels
involves the renunciation of goods that undou(tedly deserve to (e highly
valued. it does not constitute an o(stacle to the true development of the
human person. (ut (y its nature is supremely (eneficial to that
development-,65@A+ There conse3uently e<ists an affinity (et%een the
religious life and culture-
>5- Concretely. this affinity calls our attention to certain points- :esus
Christ and his )ospel transcend all cultures. even if they are entirely
penetrated (y the presence of the risen Christ and of his Spirit-65@5+ 'n
the other hand. every culture should (e evangeli1ed. that is to say. purified
and healed of the %ounds of sin- At the same time the %isdom %hich it
contains has (een surpassed. enriched. and perfected (y the %isdom of
the Cross-65@7+ It %ill therefore (e good. in every region$
to (e attentive to the level of general culture of the candidates.
%ithout forgetting that oneEs culture is not limited to the intellectual
dimension of a man or %omanF
to see ho% religious succeed in inculturating their o%n faith %ithin
the culture of their origins and to assist them to do so- This should
not aim at transforming a house of formation for the religious life
into a 2ind of la(oratory of inculturation- 0evertheless. those
responsi(le for formation cannot neglect (eing concerned %ith this in
their guidance of those %ho have (een entrusted them- Since it is a
3uestion of personal education in their faith and of its ta2ing root in
the life of the %hole person. they cannot forget that the )ospel frees
the ultimate truth of the values contained in a culture. and that the
culture itself e<presses the )ospel in an original manner and reveals
ne% aspects of itF65@8+
to initiate religious %ho are living and %or2ing in a culture that is
foreign to their o%n native culture into a 2no%ledge and esteem for
this culture. in 2eeping %ith the recommendations of the conciliar
decree Ad gentes n- 5@-
C) RELIGIOUS LIFE AND ECCLESIAL MOVEMENTS
>7- ,In Church communion the states of life. (y (eing ordered one to the
other. are thus (ound together among themselves- They all share in a
deeply (asic meaning$ that of (eing the manner of living out the
commonly shared Christian dignity and the universal call to holiness in the
perfection of love- They are different yet complementary. in the sense that
each of them has a (asic and unmista2a(le character %hich sets each
apart. %hile at the same time each of them is seen in relation to the other
and placed at each otherEs service-,65@9+ This is confirmed (y the many
actual e<periences of sharing. not only of %or2. (ut also at times in prayer
and at meals. among religious and mem(ers of the laity- It is not our
intent here to underta2e a general study of this ne% development. (ut
solely to consider the relations (et%een religious and the laity under the
aspect of ecclesial movements. due for the most part to the initiative of lay
men and %omen-
&cclesial movements. inspired (y a desire to live the )ospel more
intensively and to announce it to others. have al%ays (een manifest in the
midst of the people of )od- Some of these have (een 3uite closely
connected %ith religious institutes. and share their specific spiritualities- In
our day. and particularly during recent decades. ne% movements have
appeared that are more independent of the structures and style of the
religious life than in the pastF their (eneficial influence on the Church %as
fre3uently recalled during the synod of (ishops on the vocation and
mission of the laity 65>@?+. provided that they o(serve a certain num(er of
criteria of ecclesiality-65@;+
>8- In order to retain a positive relationship (et%een these movements
and religious institutes. and all the moreso (ecause numerous religious
vocations have come from these movements. it is important to reflect
upon the follo%ing re3uirements and the concrete conse3uences %hich
these involve for mem(ers of these institutes-
An institute. as it %as intended (y its founder and as it has (een
approved (y the Church. has an internal cohesiveness %hich it
receives from its nature. its end. its spirit. its character. and its
traditions- This %hole patrimony is the a<is around %hich (oth the
identity and unity of the institute itself65@=+ and the unity of life of
each of its mem(ers are maintained- This is a gift of the Spirit to the
Church %hich does not admit any interference or any admi<ture- A
dialogue and sharing %ithin the Church presumes that each institute
is %ell a%are of %hat it is-
candidates for the religious life %ho have come from one or other of
these ecclesial movements place themselves freely under the
authority of the superiors and formators legitimately commissioned
for their formation %hen they enter the novitiate- Therefore they
cannot simultaneously (e dependent upon someone apart from the
institute to %hich they no% pertain. even though they (elonged to
this movement (efore their entrance- This is a matter of the unity of
the religious institute and the unity of life of its novices-
These e<igencies remain after the religious profession. so as to avoid
appearance of divided loyalties. either on the level of the personal
spiritual life of the religious or on the level of their mission- If these
re3uirements are not respected. the necessary communion (et%een
religious and the laity ris2s degenerating into a confusion on the t%o
levels mentioned a(ove-
D) EPISCOPAL MINISTRY AND THE RELIGIOUS LIFE
>9- This matter has ta2en on more current interest since the pu(lication of
the document ,#utuae Relationes, and the emphasis %hich :ohn Paul II
has. on several occasions. placed on the impact of the (ishopsE pastoral
care for religious life-
The ministry of the (ishop and that of a religious superior are not in
competition- Certainly. there e<ists an internal order of institutes %hich
has its o%n sphere of competence for the upholding and gro%th of
religious life- This internal order enBoys a true autonomy. (ut it is
necessarily e<ercised %ithin the frame%or2 of organic ecclesial
communion-65@?+
Actually. ,there is ac2no%ledged a rightful autonomy of life. especially of
governance. (y %hich they enBoy their o%n discipline in the Church and
have the po%er to preserve their o%n patrimony intact---- It (elongs to
local ordinaries to safeguard and protect this autonomy-,65@@+
!ithin the conte<t of this autonomy. ,the proper la% 6of these institutes+
must define the program of this formation and its duration. 2eeping in
mind the needs of the Church and the circumstances of human persons
and times to the e<tent this is re3uired (y the purpose and character of
the institute-,65@>+
,Regarding the office of teaching. religious superiors have the competency
and authority of spiritual director in relation to the evangelical purpose of
their institute- In this conte<t. therefore. they must carry on a verita(le
spiritual direction of the entire Congregation and of its individual
communities- They should accomplish this in sincere harmony %ith the
authentic magisterium of the hierarchy-,65>A+
>=- 'n the other hand. (ishops. as ,authentic teachers, and ,%itnesses of
divine and Catholic truth.,65>5+ have a ,responsi(ility for the doctrinal
teaching of faith (oth in the centers %here its study is promoted and in the
use of means to transmit it-,65>7+
,It is the duty of (ishops as authentic teachers and guides of perfection for
all the mem(ers of the diocese 6cf- C. 57F 5;F 8;$7F L) 7;. 9;+ to (e the
guardians li2e%ise of fidelity to the religious vocation in the spirit of each
institute.,65>8+ according to the norms of the la% 6cf- can- 8@=. 8@?. ;>5.
;>8. =?@+-
>?- The a(ove is in no %ay opposed to the autonomy of life. and
particularly of government. recogni1ed in religious institutes- If. in the
e<ercise of this Burisdiction. the (ishop is limited (y the respect %hich he
must have for this autonomy. he is not on this account dispensed from
%atching over the progress that religious are ma2ing to%ards holiness- It
is. in effect. the duty of a successor of the Apostles. in so far as he is a
minister of the %ord of )od. to call all Christians in general to the follo%ing
of Christ. and especially those %ho have received the grace of follo%ing
him ,more closely, 6can- ;?8-5+- The institute to %hich these latter (elong
already represents a school of perfection and a %ay to%ard holiness in
itself. and for the religious. (ut religious life (elongs to the Church. and. as
such. pertains to the responsi(ility of the (ishop- The relationship (et%een
a (ishop and religious men and %omen. %hich is perceived generally at the
level of the apostolate. is more deeply rooted in his office as a minister of
the )ospel. a promoter of holiness %ithin the Church. and as a guardian of
the integrity of the faith-
In this spirit. and on the (asis of these principles. it is fitting that the
(ishops of particular Churches should at least (e informed (y maBor
superiors regarding current programs of formation in centers or regarding
services for religious formation %hich are located %ithin their pastoral
territories- &very difficulty pertaining to episcopal responsi(ility or
concerning the activities of these services or centers should (e e<amined
(et%een (ishops and maBor superiors. in 2eeping %ith the directives given
in ,#utuae relationes, 6nn- 79-8;+ and in certain cases. %ith the help of
the organs of coordination indicated in the same document 6#R ;7-=?+-
E) INTER"INSTITUTIONAL COLLAORATION ON THE LEVEL OF
FORMATION
>@- The first responsi(ility for the formation of religious (elongs (y la% to
each instituteF it is the maBor superiors of the institutes. %ith the help of
3ualified assistants. %ho must attend to this important mission- &ach
institute. moreover. should. according to the la%. esta(lish its o%n
program .ratio/ of formation-65>9+ Still. necessity has led some institutes
on every continent. to place their means of formation 6personnel and
institutions+ in common. in order to colla(orate in such an important %or2.
%hich they could no longer accomplish (y themselves-
>>- This colla(oration is effected through permanent centers or periodic
services- An inter-institutional center is a center of study for religious
%hich has (een placed under the collective responsi(ility of the maBor
superiors of the institutes %hose mem(ers participate in it- Its purpose is
to assure the doctrinal and practical formation re3uired (y the specific
mission of the respective institutes in accordance %ith their nature- It is
distinct from the formation community proper to each institute and %ithin
%hich a novice and a religious are introduced into the communitarian.
spiritual. and pastoral life of the institute- !hen an institute participates in
an inter-institutional center. a complementarity should e<ist (et%een the
formation community and the center so that an integral and harmonious
formation is provided-
Centers of formation for a federation should o(serve the norms %ritten in
the statutes of the federationF ho%ever. these are not the present concern-
The same holds true for centers or study programs placed under the
responsi(ility of a single institute. (ut %hich. as hosts. receive religious of
other institutes-
5AA- Inter-institutional colla(oration for the formation of young professed.
for on-going formation. and for the formation of formators. can (e effected
%ithin the frame%or2 of a center- The formation of novices. on the other
hand. can only (e given under the form of periodic services. since the
novitiate community properly so-called must (e a homogenous community
proper to each institute-
'ur dicastery intends to pu(lish a special normative document later.
dealing %ith the esta(lishment of inter-institutional colla(oration in the
area of formation-
VI
RELIGIOUS CANDIDATES FOR PRIESTLY AND DIACONAL
MINISTRIES
5A5- The 3uestions raised (y this type of religious deserve to (e e<amined
separately (ecause of their particular character- They are of three 2inds-
The first is regarding the formation of ministers as suchF the second. the
specific religious character of religious priests and deaconsF the third. the
insertion of the religious priest into the diocesan pres(yterate-
FORMATION
5A7- In some institutes. defined (y their proper la% as ,clerical., it is
proposed at times that the same formation (e given to lay (rothers and to
candidates for the ordained ministries- 'n the level of the novitiate. a
common formation for (oth even seems to (e demanded at times. (y the
specific charism of the institute- This has advantages (oth %ith respect to
the 3uality and the completeness of the doctrinal formation of the lay
(rothers. and %ith their integration %ithin the community- /ut. in all such
cases. norms regarding the length and content of the preparatory studies
for priestly ministry must (e rigorously o(served and follo%ed-
5A8- ,The formation of mem(ers %ho are preparing to receive holy orders
is regulated (y universal la% and (y the program of studies proper to the
institute-,65>;+ Religious candidates for the priestly ministry %ill thus
comply %ith the norms of the -atio fundaentalis institutionis
sacerdotalis,.589/ and candidates for the permanent diaconate %ith the
dispositions provided for this in the proper la% of their institutes- The
totality of this -atio, the maBor points of %hich are found in canon la%.
65>?+ %ill not (e repeated here- It %ill (e enough to recall some of the
stages of the course of formation so that they may (e o(served (y maBor
superiors-
5A9- Philosophical and theological studies. %hether ta2en successively or
conBointly. should comprise at least si< complete years so that t%o %hole
years are given to philosophical. and four %hole years to theological
disciplines- #aBor superiors must (e attentive to the o(servance of these
norms. especially %hen they entrust their young religious to inter-
institutional centers or to universities-
5A;- &ven though the entire formation of candidates to the priesthood has
a pastoral goal. they should have a pastoral formation. properly so called.
%hich is adapted to the end of the institute- The program for this formation
%ill (e animated (y the decree Optata totius and. for religious called to
%or2 in cultures foreign to their o%n. (y the decree Ad gentes".581/
5A=- Religious priests dedicated to contemplation. %hether mon2s or
others. %ho are called (y their superiors to serve their guests in the
ministry of reconciliation or spiritual advice should (e provided %ith a
pastoral formation appropriate to these ministries- They must also comply
%ith the pastoral directives of the particular Church in %hich they live-
5A?- All the canonical conditions re3uired of ordinands and all that pertains
to them must (e o(served. ta2ing into account the nature and o(ligations
proper to the religious state-65>>+
THE SPECIFIC RELIGIOUS CHARACTER OF RELIGIOUS PRIESTS
AND DEACONS
5A@- ,A religious priest involved in pastoral activity alongside diocesan
priests should clearly sho% (y his attitudes that he is a religious-,67AA+ So
that ,%hat characteri1es religious life and the religious. and gives them a
particular aspect.67A5+ may al%ays (e manifest in a religious priest or
deacon. it seems that several conditions must (e fulfilledF it %ill (e useful
for religious %ho are candidates for priestly and diaconal ministries to
e<amine themselves on these during the time of their initial formation and
in the course of their permanent formation$
that they have a clear perception of. and a firm conviction a(out. the
respective natures of the priestly and diaconal ministries. %hich
pertain to the structure of the Church. and of religious life. %hich
pertains to the sanctity and life of the ChurchF67A7+ at the same
time there remains the principle that pastoral ministry is a part of
the nature of their religious lifeF67A8+
that. for their spiritual life. they dra% upon the sources of the
institute of %hich they are a mem(er and receive %ithin themselves
the gift %hich this institute is for the ChurchF
that they (ear %itness to a personal spiritual e<perience %hich is
inspired (y the %itness and teaching of their founderF
that they lead a life in conformity %ith the rule of life %hich they
have (ound themselves to o(serveF
that they live in community according to the la%F
that they are mo(ile and availa(le for the service of the universal
Church if the superiors of their institute call them to it-
If these conditions are respected. a religious priest or deacon %ill succeed
in smoothly integrating these t%o dimensions of his uni3ue vocation-
THE PLACE OF THE RELIGIOUS PRIEST WITHIN THE DIOCESAN
PRESBYTERATE
5A>- The formation of a religious priest should ta2e into account his future
insertion into the pres(yterate of a particular Church. a(ove all if he must
e<ercise a ministry there. ta2ing into account ho%ever. ,the spirit of their
o%n institute-,67A9+ In effect. ,the particular Church is the historical space
in %hich a vocation is e<ercised in the concrete and reali1es its apostolic
commitment-,67A;+ A religious priest can rightly deem it to (e ,the
fatherland of his o%n vocation-,67A=+
The (asic principles %hich govern this insertion have (een given (y the
conciliar decree Christus (oinus 6nn- 89-8;+- Religious priests are
,cooperators %ith the episcopal order., and ,in a certain sense 6they+
(elong to the diocesan clergy inasmuch as they share in the care of souls
and in the practice of apostolic %or2s under the authority of the
(ishops-,67A?+ Regarding this insertion. ,#utuae relationes, 6nn- 5;-78+
indicates the reciprocal influence (et%een universal and particular values-
Although religious are as2ed ,even if they (elong to an institute of
pontifical right. to feel themselves truly a part of the Ediocesan
familyE.,67A@+ canon la% recogni1es the rightful autonomy67A>+ (y %hich
they maintain their universal and missionary character-675A+
0ormally the position of a religious priest. or of an institute. to %hich the
(ishop has entrusted a mission or pastoral %or2 %ithin the particular
Church must (e regulated (y a %ritten agreement6755+ (et%een the
diocesan (ishop and the competent superior of the institute or the religious
concerned- The same %ould hold for a religious deacon in the same
situation-
CONCLUSION
55A- This document has aimed at ta2ing into account the e<periments that
have already (een made since the Council and. at the same time. at
reflecting the 3uestions that have (een raised (y maBor superiors- It
reminds all of certain re3uirements of the la% %ith respect to present
needs and circumstances- In the end. it hopes to (e of use to religious
institutes so that all may advance in ecclesial communion under the
guidance of the pope and the (ishops. to %hom (elongs ,the ministry of
discernment and harmony 6cf- L) 75+ %hich involves an a(undance of
special gifts of the Holy Spirit and the distinctive charism of ordering the
various roles in intimate docility of mind to the one and only vivifying
Spirit-,6757+ In the first place. it has (een indicated that the formation of
religious has for its primary end to initiate candidates into religious life and
help them (ecome a%are of their identity as persons consecrated through
their profession of the evangelical counsels of chastity. poverty. and
o(edience in a religious institute- Among the agents of formation. primacy
is given to the Holy Spirit. (ecause religious formation in its origins and in
its o(Bectives. is essentially a theological %or2- Insistence has (een placed
upon the need of forming 3ualified formators. %ithout %aiting until those
%ho are presently in charge of this have completed their mandate- The
primary role %hich the religious themselves and their communities play
ma2es this tas2 a privileged e<ercise of personal and communitarian
responsi(ility- Several current 3uestions have (een raised- Though they
have not all received a definitive response. the ans%ers %ill at least
provo2e reflection- A special place has also (een given to institutes %hich
are %holly ordered to%ard contemplation (ecause of their position at the
heart of the Church and the special character of their vocation-
It no% remains to as2 for all. superiors. instructors. formators. and
religious. the grace of fidelity to their vocation. follo%ing the e<ample. and
under the protection. of the "irgin #ary- In its progress through the course
of time. the Church ,proceeds along the path already trodden (y the "irgin
#ary. %ho Eadvanced in her pilgrimage of faith and loyally persevered in
her union %ith her Son unto the crossE-,6758+ The time of formation helps
a religious to ma2e this Bourney in light of the mystery of Christ. %hich
,shines in its fullness,6759+ in the mystery of #ary. %hile at the same time
the mystery of #ary ,is for the Church li2e a seal upon the dogma of the
incarnation.,675;+ as (ecame clear at the Council of &phesus- #ary is
present at the (irth and at the formation of a religious vocation- She is
intimately involved in its %hole process of gro%th in the Holy Spirit- The
mission %hich she fulfilled in the service of :esus. she fulfills for the (enefit
of his /ody. %hich is the Church. and in every Christian. especially those
%ho strive to follo% :esus Christ ,more closely-,675=+ This is %hy a #arian
orientation. sustained (y a sound theology. %ill give the formation of
religious the authenticity. the solidity. and the Boy %ithout %hich their
mission in the %orld cannot (e fully accomplished-
In an audience granted to the undersigned Cardinal Prefect on 5A
0ovem(er 5>@>. the Holy Father approved the present document of the
Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic
Life and authori1ed its pu(lication under the title ,irectives on Formation
in Religious Institutes-,
-oe, Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of
Apostolic Life, 'east of the Presentation of Our Lord, 4 'ebruar% 588<"
Fr$ %EROME CARD$ HAMER
Prefect
& VINCEN'O FAGIOLO
Archbisbop *eritus of Chieti
Secretar%
ENDNOTES
65+ L) 98-
67+ Cf- PC 5@. third paragraph-
68+ /y chronological order$ Sacred Congregation for Religious. decree =uo
efficacius, 79 :an- 5>99$ AAS 8= 65>99+ 758F circular letter =uantu
conferat, 5A :une 5>99$ *nchiridion de statibus perfectionis, Romae. 5>9>.
n- 8@7. pp- ;=5-;=9F Apostolic constitution Sedes Sapientiae, 85 #ay
5>;=$ AAS 9@ 65>;=+. 8;9-8=;. and the general statutes anne<ed to the
constitution-
69+ &T 87F cf- 4 Cor 9-5=F -o ?-77F *ph 9-79F &" >>= ff-
6;+ :ohn Paul II in Porto Alegre. ; :uly 5>@A$ I)P III-7. 57@F in /ergamo.
7= April 5>@5$ I)P I"-5. 5A8;F in #anila. 5? Fe(- 5>@5$ I)P. I"-I. 87>F
to the :esuits in Rome. 7? Fe( 5>@7$ I)P. "-5. ?A9F to the Capuchin
masters of novices in Rome. 7@ Sep 5>@9$ I)P "II-7. =@>F in Lima. 5 Fe(
5>@;$ I)P "III-5. 88>F to the *IS) in Rome. ? #ay 5>@;$ I)P "III-5.
5757F in /om(ay. 5A Fe( 5>@=$ I)P. IH-5. 97AF to the *IS). 77 #ay
5>@=$ I)P IH-5. 5=;=F to the Conference of Religious of /ra1il. 7 :ul
5>@=$ I)P IH-7. 78?-
6=+ Cf- CIC =95-==5-
6?+ Instruction -eno!ationis Causa, Introduction AAS =5 65>=>+ 5A8 ff-
6@+ CRIS and the Congregation for /ishops. AAS ?A 65>?@+ 9?8 ff-
6>+ CRIS. &" >-5@5 ff-
65A+ CRIS. &" ?-959 ff-
655+ Cm 9-
657+ :ohn Paul II to CRIS. ? #arch 5>@A$ I)P III-5. ;7?-
658+ Cf- CIC =;>-7-8-
659+ RI 5-7 AAS =7 65>?A+ 875 ff-
65;+ Cf- CIC =A=-
65=+ Cf- :ohn Paul II to *IS). ? #ay 5>@;F see Introduction. note ;.
a(ove-
65?+ CIC =A?. ;?8-5F cf- L) 99 and PC 5-;-=-
65@+ CIC ;?8-7-
65>+ Cf- 5 Cor =$5>-
67A+ L) 98-
675+PC 7a- 'n the divine vocation. see also L) 8>F 98(. 99a. 9?F PC 5cF
RC preface. 7dF 'PR I ;? =7 =? @; 59A 597F II =; ?7F appendi<F 'C" 5?
7AF &T 8 = @ 57 5> 85 ;;F #R @aF CIC ;?9-7. ;?;F && 7 ; = ? 57 59 78 99
;8F R 8c =( ?d 5Ac 5=a- PC 7a-
677+ R 8-
678+ R @-
679+'n the personal response. see also L) 99a. 9=(. 9?F PC 5cF RC 7a cF
58 5F 'PR I ? @AF &T 5 9 ? @ 85F can- ;?8-5F && 9 ; 8A 99 >F R ?a @(
>(-
67;+ CIC =;9-
67=+ Cf- && 58-5?-
67?+ CIC =A?-7-
67@+ L) 98a- 'n the ministry of the Church in the religious consecration.
see also L) 99a 9;cF PC 5(c. ;(. 55aF 'PR appendi< Missa in die
professionis perpetuae 5; -itus proissionis 3; 'C" 5=F &T ?. 9?F #R @aF
CIC ;?8-7. ;?=. ;>@. =AA-=A7F && ? @ 55 58 9A 97F R ?a( 59c-
67>+ R >F AAS ?= 65>@9+ ;58 ff-
68A+ R @F ibid"
685+ L) 85-
687+ L) 99-
688+ Cf- 5 7n 7$5;-5?-
689+ Cf- L) 9=-
68;+ Cf- L) 8>. 97. 98-
68=+ Can- ;>>-
68?+ PC 57-
68@+ Can- =AA-
68>+ Cf- L0 9$=-75-
69A+ Cf- L0 ?$5@-78-
695+ Pue(la (ocuents ?88-?8;-
.$4/ Sollicitudo rei socialis 95F see also L) 85-
698+ Cf- )S 87-
699+ Congregation for the octrine of the Faith. 77 #arch 5>@=-
69;+ Can- =A5-
69=+ Can- ;>A-5. ;>A-7-
69?+ PC 59-
69@+ PC 59-
69>+ Cf- 7n 59$5=-
6;A+ L) 98-
6;5+ L) 9=-
6;7+ &T 55F cf- Introduction. note 9. a(ove-
6;8+ #R 55F cf- Introduction. note @-
6;9+ CIC ;>@-5-
6;;+ Cf- CIC ;>@-7-
6;=+ PC =-
6;?+ Cf- PC ;-
6;@+ PC @-
6;>+ St- Thomas. Sua Theologica IIa IIae. 3- 5@@. aa- 5 and 7-
6=A+ Can- =?8-
6=5+ Cf- PC @-
6=7+ Cf- RHP 58-75F cf- Introduction- note > a(ove-
6=8+ 5 Thes ;$78-79F 4 Thes 8$8-
6=9+ 7n 5=$58-
6=;+ Cf- 7n 59$7=. 5=$57-
6==+ Cf- 5 7n 7$7A-7?-
6=?+ Cf- -o @$5;-7=-
6=@+ R 5?$ AAS ?= 65>@9+ ;58f-
6=>+ && II ;8F cf- Introduction. note 5A. a(oveF L) ;8 and can- ==8-9-
6?A+ Cf- L) 99-
6?5+ #R 5A. cf- Introduction. note @-
6?7+ #R 5A cf- Introduction. note @F cf- L) 99 and CIC =?@-
6?8+ L) 9;F cf- #R @ and Introduction. note @. a(ove-
6?9+ Cf- St- Athanasius. >ita S" Antonii, P) 7=$ @95-@9;
6?;+ Cf- " 7;-
6?=+ Cf- L) 9;-
6??+ Cf- L) 55-
6?@+ P) 57$ 57=;-
6?>+ Cf- " 5A-
6@A+ Cf- #R ;F cf- Introduction. note @. a(ove-
6@5+ L) 5@-
6@7+ *+ercitia Spiritualia 8;5-8;7-
6@8+ L) 9-
6@9+ RHP 79- Cf- Introduction note >. a(ove-
6@;+ Ide. cf- also Puebla (ocuents 755-75>-
6@=+ RHP 88c. Introduction note >. a(oveF also CIC =A7-
6@?+ Cf- Acts 7-97F PC 5;F CIC =A7 ffF && 5@-77-
6@@+ Cf- CIC =A5 =5@-=5>. PC 59-
6@>+ Cf- 7n 57$79F 6al ;$77-
6>A+ &T 87-89F cf- Introduction. note 9. a(oveF && 5@-77-
6>5+ L0 79$7;-
6>7+ Cf- L0 79$87-
6>8+ Cf- Tob ;$5A. 5?. 77-
6>9+ Cm 7AF cf- Introduction. note >. a(ove-
6>;+ 'T ;(-
6>=+ Cf- )S 57-77. =5-
6>?+ Cf- )& 5 and 7-
6>@+ Cf- 'T 55-
6>>+ Cf- PC ;-
65AA+ Cm 5?F cf- Introduction. note >. a(ove-
65A5+ :ohn Paul II to the religious of /ra1il. 55 :uly 5>@=. no- ;F cf-
Introduction. note ;-
65A7+ L) 99-
65A8+ RC ;F cf- Introduction ?. a(ove-
65A9+ ,Final ocument of the Special Synod of /ishops of the Lo%
Countries., L?Osser!atore -oano, 7 Fe(ruary 5>@A. proposition 87-
65A;+ # ?-
65A=+ # =-
65A?+ # ?-
65A@+ ChL ;A-
65A>+ ChL ;A-
655A+ R# 9=-
6555+ Cf- RC 9F Introduction. note ?. a(ove-
6557+ Cf- CIC ;>?-7
6558+ Cf- CIC =95-=9;-
6559+ See a(ove nn- 7=-8A-
655;+ Cf- CIC =7A-
655=+ CIC =9=-
655?+ L) 99-
655@+ L) 9=-
655>+ CIC =;7-5-
657A+ CIC =9@-7-
6575+ RC ;F cf- Introduction. note ?. a(ove-
6577+ CIC =;7-;-
6578+ CIC =;A-5-
6579+ Cf- CIC ;>?-5-7. =95-=9;-
657;+ Cf- CIC 589-5. 5A9?-9-
657=+ Cf- CIC =9?-=9>. =;8-7-
657?+ L) 9=(-
657@+ Cf- CIC =;A-=;7-5-
657>+ Cf- CIC >@;-
658A+ CIC =;7-8-
6585+ CIC =;7-9-
6587+ Cf- L) 9;-
6588+ ated 7 Fe(ruary 5>?AF a corrected edition %as pu(lished in l>?;-
&" 8. 578? ff-
6589+ :ohn Paul II in #adrid. 7 0ovem(er 5>@7$ AAS ?; 65>@8+ 7?5-
658;+ RC ?F cf- Introduction note ?. a(ove-
658=+ 'PR ;F cf- note 79-
658?+ 'PR =F ide"
658@+ 'PR =F ide"
658>+ Cf- CIC =;;-=;@-
659A+ CIC =;>-5-7-
6595+ CIC ==A-5-7-
6597+ Cf- M0 @$85-8?F >$85-87F 5A$87-89-
6598+ *R 55-
6599+ RI nn- ?A-@5 and note 59@F >A->8- &" 8. 55A8-
659;+ #R 58aF cf- Introduction. note @. a(ove-
659=+ && II. 9?F cf- introduction. note 5A a(ove-
659?+ Cm II. 55F cf- Introduction. note >. a(ove-
659@+ PC 59F see also CIC =8A-
659>+ Cm II. 55. cf- Introduction. note >-
65;A+ Cf- CIC ==A-5-
65;5+ #R 7=F cf- Introduction. note @-
65;7+ CIC ==5-
65;8+ :ohn Paul II to the religious of /ra1il. 5>@=. no- =F cf- Introduction.
note ;. a(ove-
65;9+ #R 55(. 57(. 78f-. cf- Introduction. note @-
65;;+ PC 7d-
65;=+ 5 Cor 9$5=F see also ;$5-5A-
65;?+ 7n 75$5;-5>-
65;@+ Phil 8$5AF cf- 5$7A-7= and L) 9@-
65;>+ PC ?-
65=A+ Cm 7=-7?F cf- Introduction. note >. a(ove-
65=5+ &eb 55$5-
65=7+ &eb 55$7-
65=8+ Cf- &eb 55$7?-
65=9+ 5 Cor 58$57-
65=;+ 'rigen. Peri Archon 5-@-5-
65==+ Cf- L) 9>. ;AF SC ;. @. >. 5A-
65=?+ Paul "I to the maBor superiors of ItalyF AAS ;@ 65>==+ 55@A- See
also his ,Letter to the Carthusians. 5@ April 5>?5$ AAS =8 65>?5+ 99@-99>-
65=@+ P' 58F cf- Paul "I. encyclical M%steriu fidei2 AAS ;? 65>=;+ ?=5-
?=7-
65=>+ St- Thomas. Sua theologica IIIa. 3- @7. a- 5A-
65?A+ Ibid" IIa IIae. 3- 5@>. a- @. ad 7am-
65?5+ L) 9=-
65?7+ "S III Introduction and note 7?- &" 8. @=;-
65?8+ Ste- ThIrJse de lE &nfant :Isus. Manuscrits autobiographi@ues, 5>;?.
p- 77>-
65?9+ Cf- CIC =9?-
65?;+ )& 7-
65?=+ ChL 9=F cf- Prop- ;5-;7 of the Seventh Synod of /ishops 65>@?+-
65??+ ChL 9=-
65?@+ CIT of @ 'cto(er 5>@;. n- 9-I-
65?>+ :ohn Paul II to *0&SC'. 5>@A. nn- =-?- I)P 5>@A I 5=8=-
65@A+ L) 9=-
65@5+ CIT ,Faith and Inculturation, @-77$ cf- La Ci!iltA Cattolica 59A-5
65>@>+ 5;>-5??-
65@7+ IdeF see also ChL 99-
65@8+ CIT. n- 9-7F see note 9 of this chapter-
65@9+ ChL ;;-
65@;+ ChL 8A-
65@=+ Cf- CIC ;?@-
65@?+ Cf- Ch 8;.8 and 9F #R 58c-
65@@+ CIC ;@=-
65@>+ CIC =;>-7F see also =;A-5 for %hat concerns the novitiate in
particular-
65>A+ #R 58a- Cf- Introduction. note @. a(ove-
65>5+ L) 7;-
65>7+ #R 88- Cf- Introduction. note @. a(ove. and also CIC ?;8 and 757-5-
65>8+ #R 7@- Cf- Introduction. note @- For the BperfectorB (ishop. see
Sua Theologica IIa-IIae. 3- 5@9-
65>9+ CIC =;A-5. =;>-7 See also :ohn Paul II to the religious of /ra1il. 7
:uly 5>@=. no- ;- Cf- Introduction. note ;. a(ove-
65>;+ CIC =;>-8-
65>=+ First edition. = :anuary 5>?AF second edition. 5> #arch 5>@;-
65>?+ Cf- CIC 797-7;=-
65>@+ See 'T 7. 5>-75F A) 7;-7=-
65>>+ Cf- CIC 5A5A-5A;9-
67AA+ :ohn Paul II to the religious of /ra1il on 8 :uly 5>@AF cf-
Introduction. note ; a(ove-
67A5+ Ibid"
67A7+ Cf- L) 99-
67A8+ Cf- PC @-
67A9+ Ch 8;-7-
67A;+ #R 78d-
67A=+ #R 8?-
67A?+ Ch 89- According to Ch 8;. ,ut *piscopis au+iliatores adsint et
subsint"B
67A@+ #R 5@(-
67A>+ Cf- can- ;@=-5-7-
675A+ Cf- can- ;>5 and #R 78-
6755+ #R ;?-;@F cf- CIC ;7A-7-
6757+ #R =F cf- Introduction. note @. a(ove-
6758+ R# 7$ AAS ?> 65>@?+ 8=5 ff-
6759+ R# 9F ide"
675;+ Ide"
675=+ L) 97-
AREVIATIONS
DOCUMENTS OF VATICAN II
A) ecree Ad 6entes, 5>=;
Ch ecree Christus (oinus, 5>=;
" ogmatic Constitution (ei !erbu, 5>=;
)& eclaration 6ra!issiu educationis, 5>=;
)S Pastoral Constitution 6audiu et spes, 5>=;
L) ogmatic Constitution Luen gentiu, 5>=9
'T ecree Optata totius, 5>=;
PC ecree Perfectae caritatis, 5>=;
P' ecree Presb%teroru ordinis, 5>=;
*R ecree Unitatis redintegratio, 5>=9
SC Constitution Sacrosanctu conciliu, 5>=8
PAPAL DOCUMENTS
ChL Apostolic &<hortation Christifideles laici, :ohn Paul II. 5>@>
&T Apostolic &<hortation *!angelica testificatio, Paul "I. 5>?5
# Apostolic Letter Mulieris dignitate, :ohn Paul II. 5>@@
R Apostolic &<hortation -edeptionis donu, :ohn Paul II. 5>@9
R# &ncyclical -edeptoris ater, :ohn Paul II. 5>@?
OTHER DOCUMENTS OF THE HOLY SEE
can- canon or canons of the Code of Canon La%
Cm The Conteplati!e (iension of -eligious Life, Congregation for
Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life. 5>@A 65+
CIC Code+ Iuris Canonici
&& *ssential *leents in the Church?s Teaching on -eligious Life as Applied
to Institutes (edicated to Cor0s of the Apostolate, 5>@8
#R ocument Mutuae relationes, Congregation for /ishops and
Congregation for Religious and for Secular Institutes. 5>?@
'C" Ordo consecrationis !irginu, Congregation for ivine !orship. 5>?A
'PR Ordo professionis religiosae, ide, 5>?A
RC Instruction -eno!ationis causa. Congregation for Religious and for
Secular Institutes. 5>=>
RI -atio institutionis ."""/, Congregation for Catholic &ducation. 5>?A. 5>@;
RHP -eligious and &uan Prootion, Congregation for Religious and for
Secular Institutes. 5>@A 67+
SF Circular Letter Concerning Soe of the More Urgent Aspects of Spiritual
'oration in Seinaries, Congregation for Catholic &ducation. 5>@A 68+
"S Instruction >enite seorsu, Congregation for Religious and for Secular
Institutes. 5>=>
OTHER ABBREVIATIONS
AAS Acta apostolicae sedis
CIT International Theological Commission
&" *nchiridion !aticanu, edi1ioni dehoniane. /ologna
I)P Insegnaenti di 6io!anni Paolo II, li(reria editrice vaticana
'R L?Osser!atore -oano
P) Patrologie grec3ue
*IS) International *nion of Superiors )eneral
65+ Since this document did not have an official translation in Latin. %e
have used the &nglish a((reviation employed for it in the official edition of
*ssential *leents"
67+ Cf- note 5-
68+ Ide" The &nglish a((reviation is from the &nglish title of the te<t in
*nchiridion >aticanu, vol- ?. nn- 9; ff-