Divine Word Missionaries

SVD Formation

SVD Formation

Back to

SVD Brother Formation

Members' Area

Site Map


Brother Formation Program
Australian Province (AUS)

Note: This is the program that AUS is following for Brother formation at present. It was prepared in 1992, adapted from the USA Brother Formation Program. This present program is provisory and is being revised.

Rome, 07 April 2005.
Br. Alfonso Berger, svd.


The Divine Word Missionary Brother is a person who has chosen to commit himself to Gospel values according to the charism and lifestyle of the Society of the Divine Word. This commitment is his faith response to a call to grow in his understanding and acceptance of himself, the Lord and others. This commitment is made visible in the sharing of his personal search with his fellow Brothers and priests, and his sharing in the Divine Word Missionary vision and apostolate.

Our total commitment to the Lord and to his work of salvation is expressed in following him along the way of the evangelical counsels. These are to make us forgetful of self, available and equipped for complete involvement in the missionary church.


Personal Maturity

The Brother entering the Brother Formation Program has already demonstrated his commitment to religious life in the Society of the Divine Word by professing first vows. It is assumed that he is pursuing goals which he has determined for himself and that, essential to this pursuit, are an openness to further growth and development.

This program offers a framework through which he can continue to grow in personal maturity, spiritual development and his SVD identity.

At the beginning of the program the individual and the Director of Brother Formation will assess previous evaluation. This assessment is to provide the individual with an increased awareness of his areas of strength and weakness which he can then use as a personal guide to overcoming his weaknesses by building on his strengths.

Growth toward human maturity implies the harmonious development of a person's physical, affective, intellectual, and moral endowments as well as his gradual attainment of a more mature sense of responsibility toward ennobling his own life through constant effort, and toward pursuing authentic freedom [GE1]. Freedom then acquires new strength when a person commits himself to the service of the human community [GS 31].

Because growth and development are tasks shared both by the individual and the community, individual growth and development takes place in the context of community. As the community grows, the individual in it grows; as the individual grows, his community grows also.

Community heightens the uniqueness of the person. Freedom, tolerance, pluriformity are marks of a mature community. Yet, the ways members communicate, interact, and relate to each other and to authority are deeply and pervasively formative of the individual. This is so because men become themselves through their life together. Community is an event that takes place on the level of shared values and shared concern, and it is on this level that a man becomes the person he is. [PPF, 523].

Our communities should provide us with a suitable environment in which we can grow in the missionary vision that has brought us together. [Const. 310.2]

In order to profit fully from his experience in community and to prepare himself to minister to the people of God, it is necessary for the Divine Word Missionary Brother to improve and increase his human relation skills. It is recommended that whenever possible the Brother participate in an ongoing group growth experience within his own community. Since human dignity demands acting according to a knowing and free choice [GS 17], our Brothers should receive prudent counseling to enable them to form their conscience rightly and to make free and responsible decisions.

In order to develop his ability to make decisions out of inner choice and to follow through responsibly, at the beginning of each vow year, the Brother will meet with his Director of Brother Formation to articulate his formational goals for that year. They will meet again quarterly to evaluate these goals.

Educational Experiences

The academic and professional training of our confreres should be in accord with the requirements of their respective countries; it should also bear in mind the missionary goal of our Society and its international character. [Const. 503]

The Brothers are to obtain the training that corresponds to their abilities and inclinations as well as to the missionary tasks of the Society.

The program of studies should deliberately emphasize the missionary dimension and provide a basic education in the humanities and social sciences. In so far as the necessary preliminary stages have been completed, the possibility is there for further professional training or academic study. [Const. 515.1]

For the Divine Word Missionary education is both a right and an obligation. The needs of the Society along with the individual interests and abilities of the Brother are to be taken into account when he and the Director of Brother Formation evaluate and propose a course of studies to the Provincial Superior and his council for approval.


Changes in the world and in the church, in the sciences and theology, as well as development in different phases of one's life, demand of each confrere and community continual study, development in one's field and lifelong maturity. [Const. 520]

Since education and growth are gradual processes, continuing evaluation of development is needed. [PPF, 250]

To review his commitment and growth as a Divine Word Missionary Brother as described in the Brother Formation Program, each Brother will participate in a program of evaluation on an annual basis.

The evaluation portion of the Brother Formation Program consists of the following elements which are centered around the evaluation process for renewal of vows:

  1. A written self-evaluation to be discussed with the Director of Brother Formation. The self-evaluation should begin with the Brother candidly evaluating himself in terms of his personality, his professional and academic competence, his spirituality, the areas of needed growth, areas of strength and areas of weakness. [PPF 251].

  2. A letter addressed to the Provincial Superior expressly requesting permission to renew vows.

  3. A meeting with the Director of Brother Formation and the local formation supervisor.

  4. The votes of the local community and the provincial council, based on the outcome of the evaluation.

  5. A quarterly meeting with the Director of Brother Formation to assess progress.



Spiritual development is most important to the Divine Word Missionary Brother. His very identity, after all, is rooted in his faith, life and commitment to God through the three vows. A Brother must seek to better know the Lord, to become more and more a person of prayer and to witness to God's love for all people. Unless he continues to grow in his loving relationship to the Lord, his religious life will become merely a service to be performed, a job to be done.

It is by listening to the word of God and living it that we become co-workers of the Divine Word. The witness of a truly Christian life on the personal and community level is the first step in the realization of our missionary service. People must be able to recognize that we have experienced in our own lives the kingdom that we proclaim to others. [Const. 106]

Personal Prayer and Reflection

Prayer is the life-blood of the Divine Word Missionary Brother. Through prayer he learns what the Lord's will for him is, and receives the strength to carry it out. And so, it is essential that each Brother strives to develop his personal prayer life and become a living witness to its importance in his life of service and ministry.

We dedicate a certain amount of time every day to meditative prayer in which the Holy Spirit leads us to all truth and forms our lives more and more according to the image of Christ. [C.409]

Because both prayer and community are such important aspects of the Brother's vocation, it is essential that they be integrated in each Brother's life.

Where two or three are gathered together in my name, there I am in the midst of them. [Matt. 18, 20]

The Brother will participate in the daily community prayers and liturgical worship, so that the community will have a united voice in prayer. It is also important that he join in special prayer functions, particularly, days of recollection and an annual retreat.

Spiritual Direction

One who is searching for the Lord in his life will certainly find Him. As Scriptures says: "Everyone who asks will receive, and he who seeks will find and the door will be opened to him who knocks."[Matt. 7, 8] But, very often, like the first disciples, each of us needs help to recognize the Lord and the working of His Spirit in our lives. Hence, each of us has a need for spiritual guidance and direction.

A spiritual director is one with whom the Brother can share his experiences of prayer. A director should be a compassionate listener, and a person of prayer; someone worthy of trust and respect. Sharing his prayer life with a spiritual director can help the Brother find the Lord and better understand his relationship to himself, the Lord and the world around him. Each Brother will choose a spiritual director with whom he meets on a regular basis.

Theological Input

A Divine Word Brother is a missionary and a minister, sensitive to other's feelings and needs. As a representative of the Church, he gives living witness to the Good News. It is, therefore, necessary that each Brother deepen his understanding of the Christian message and develop his ability to verbalize it.

The Brothers are called to carry out the missionary task of the church, entrusted to every Christian in baptism and confirmation, in the decisive way called for by the religious life. Through their varied services and witness to the Gospel, the Brothers share in the mission of Christ to renew all things. [Const. 515]



Community Belonging

We show interest in the life and work of each confrere and help and encourage him to bring his life and talents to fuller development. We share each other's joys, sorrows, hopes and problems. Goodness and kindness should be characteristic of our Society. [Const. 303]

Community living is an integral part of the Brother's religious commitment. It is within community that he finds fraternal support. This fraternal support is essential to the formation of a Divine Word Missionary Brother.

Therefore, it is most important that the Brother experience in his formation years a general feeling of support form the local community into which he has been accepted. The Brother will live in an atmosphere where this formation is assured, preferably an S.V.D. community. He must be seen as a mature, dedicated member who contributes to the happiness and the effectiveness of the community. He must experience involvement in the goals and objectives of his community. His full participation in the life of the community is expressed through the Liturgy, prayer, work and mutual support.

Good relations should exist among the communities of a province and neighboring provinces. Visiting confreres should be made to feel at home. [Const. 309]

The Divine Word Missionary Brother will develop an awareness of and sensitivity to the wider interests and objectives of the Society. A Divine Word Missionary Brother will be responsible and mature, well-prepared for his vocation and the demands of the times, spiritually alive and willing to dedicate himself fully to the missionary life.

The principle of solidarity requires each confrere and community to be co-responsible for and contribute to the well-being of the individual and the whole Society. [Const. 303]

The Brother will acquaint himself with the administration and policy-making institutions of the SVD. In order to accomplish this objective, he shall participate in house or district meetings, assemblies and chapters. It is also important that he remain current with activities of the provincial and generalate levels. As an expression of his concern for continuing effective ministry, the Brother should be willing to participate in new models for future apostolates and formation. He is encouraged to make use of SVD publications to communicate his ideas and opinions and to benefit from feedback of his confreres.

Apostolic Experience/Involvement

As St. Paul, the apostle of the gentiles, identified himself with those he served, so we meet with friendliness and goodwill those among whom we announce the gospel, growing into their historical situation, customs and mentality. We will be one with them in respect and love, sharing their joys, sorrows and aspirations. [Const. 120]

In order that the Brother will develop the qualities of an effective minister, he should see himself as a person of God, who makes manifest God's love in the world. He should strive to be of service, having sensitivity toward others. He has dedicated his life to spread the gospel and to the betterment of humanity.

The Divine Word Missionary Brother will also be a professional in his field of ministry, giving of himself totally in service. Each Brother, in his desire to live a life of evangelical poverty, consecrated celibacy, and apostolic obedience, becomes a source of life to the people of God.

The special gift that each Divine Word Missionary Brother contributes is that of his personal charism. The professional side of a Brother's vocation has its root in his personal charism. If a man is aspiring to the Brotherhood, he must find and realize his personal charism, for this will help to determine, in the context of SVD charism, the direction of his ministry as a Brother. His personal charism may find its expression in teaching, parish ministry, social justice work, etc.

At every stage of formation Brothers dedicate part of their time to supervised social and apostolic ministry. The possibility of cross-cultural experiences and temporary mission assignments is highly encouraged during their formation. (See Overseas Training Program and Const. 515.3).

The SVD is intimately linked with humanity and its history; its focus is on the world of all people, the entire human family. The Brother must be aware of the worldwide character of the SVD. In order to accomplish this, he must not only have knowledge of the Constitutions and directives of the Society, but must internalize them in his day-to-day ministry. Another important consideration for the Brother in formation is that of the Founder's charism. He must realize that this is not just an intellectual matter, but it is in fact a means of expressing the action of the Spirit. It is important that the Brother identify this action in himself and in the Society. This can be expressed by his openness to involvement in SVD cross-cultural apostolates.

The charism of the Society of the Divine Word in the Church may be expressed in this manner:

Being an intermediary agent between all local churches in their effort to be in communion with each other and so live consciously out of a universal brotherhood.

Bringing the effort of this universal church to the task of creating a Christian presence among non-Christian cultures and peoples in order that the entire Church may give a greater and richer expression if its very nature as sign of the eschatological consummation of this world in man's intimate union with God and with all people in Christ.

This missionary activity of the Church is the very reason for our existence as a Society and should provide the formal element that characterizes our way of life and our activities.

The Brother in formation must manifest in his attitude an awareness of and sensitivity to the values of cultural or racial groups other than his own.

To further understand his role as a Divine Word Missionary Brother in the life of the Church, the Brother in formation will participate in courses, workshops, or seminars in missiology and theology. He must also keep current on new developments in religious life.

Our efforts to win more widespread recognition and appreciation of the dignity and inner worth of the human person are more important than any material help we can give. [Const. 112.1]

By making use of available workshops, organizations, etc. on social justice, the Brother will raise his level of consciousness in social justice concerns.



In the community the confreres have a variety of services and tasks to perform for the building of the Body of Christ. [Rom. 12, 4-5]

Yet each at his own post contributes to the common missionary goal of the Society.

Each confrere should be eager to work in harmony with others in the activities entrusted to the Society, making his contribution towards building up the Body of Christ (See Eph. 4, 11-12) When the occasion demands it, he is willing to renounce personal preferences for the sake of the common good. [Const. 304]

During the time of formation it is essential that the Brother increases his understanding and acceptance of the mutual responsibility and accountability that exists between him and the SVD organization. This relationship may be described in the following manner:

The Society provides:

  • Financial support

  • Opportunity for vacations and home visits

  • Counseling for profession choice and educational planning in line with Society’s charism and needs

  • Spiritual direction

  • Community days of recollection and an annual retreat

  • A program of formation and directors to implement it

  • Opportunities for regular evaluation

  • Education and training for service and ministry

  • A community conducive to formation

Likewise the Brother:

  • Contributes to the apostolate of the Society through his work and by sharing his talents

  • Commits himself to the common good of the Society

  • Is obedient to the will of God as expressed in the SVD

  • Is faithful to the constitutions of the Society

  • Participates in the activities of the Brother Formation Program

  • Is responsible for annual self-evaluation

  • Is responsible for meeting regularly with the Director of the Brother Formation Program

  • Shares in the life of the local community



Although this Handbook is primarily concerned with the formation of Brothers in temporary vows, it also includes a listing of the requirements for entrance into the novitiate.

In most respects the requirements for admission to novitiate are the same for seminarians and Brother candidates. However, while the academic requirements are clear for a man who intends to be a cleric in the Society, they are sometimes not as clear for one who wants to be a Brother.

Academic Requirements:

(To be completed within the first three years in temporary vows.)

Theology: Old Testament
  New Testament
Social Sciences: Sociology/Anthropology
  Group Dynamics/Interpersonal Communication

Professional/Technical Requirements:

A candidate should have completed an initial level of training in a field. For example:

Carpentry: apprentice program
Nursing: registered nurse, B.S. Nursing
Teaching: bachelor's degree with certification
Social Work: B.S. Social Work
Business: Bachelor's or diploma or certificate.

Rationale for Requirements

The above requirements are established so that after vows the Brother can make a contribution to that SVD apostolate while he is also growing as a young religious. At the same time, he will be gaining experience in his professional/technical field.

With the above program the Brother should be ready both professionally and as a religious for his first permanent assignment after perpetual vows.



The Director of Brother Formation may choose from a number of evaluation forms which are presently in use. Much will depend upon the nature of the community in which the Brother in temporary vows is living. (Refer to the USA/North American formation program evaluations.)



Evaluation of Brother _______________

The six areas for evaluation:

  • Community Life

  • Physical and Intellectual Development

  • The Apostolate

  • Religious Life

  • Personal/Emotional Maturity

  • Spiritual Life

This evaluation form incorporates some of these concerns and asks you to indicate how well the Brother in temporary vows is dealing with these key issues of formation.

Under each of the six major categories there are a number of statements. Below each of the statements are phrases which are intended to help focus your comments. Please use the space below the statements to write your comments. It is probable that you may have no comments for some categories.


1.1 He identifies with the Society.

  • involved in life and work of the Society

  • participates in SVD activities

  • demonstrates loyalty to the Society

1.2 He lives in community without excess dependency.

  • functions well in community

  • demonstrates independence

  • demonstrates a good level of self-esteem

1.3 He is a contributing member of the community.

  • shares and listens in a group

  • shows appreciation for the group process

  • deals appropriately with conflict and confrontation


2.1 He has an appropriate level of education and skills.

  • has an accurate image of his abilities

  • continues to develop his skills

  • offers his skills and talents freely

  • expresses himself clearly in written and spoken word

2.2 He looks after himself physically.

  • exercises moderation in food and drink

  • takes care of himself


3.1 He identifies with the poor.

  • has ministry contact with the poor.

  • is content in ministry.

  • can relate to rich or poor.

3.2 He shows enthusiasm for our SVD charism.

  • engages in the SVD apostolate.

  • participates in SVD activities

  • works as a team member

3.3 He explores his own biases.

  • displays an openness to challenge.

  • listens and "explores"

  • refuses simple answers.


4.1 He lives a celibate life.

  • shows happiness in community.

  • demonstrates ability to love and to share

4.2 He demonstrates a healthy attitude toward obedience.

  • communicates with superiors.

  • dialogues with community

  • deals appropriately with anger

4.3 He lives a simple life.

  • lives simply

  • has few "toys"

  • shows concern for the poor

  • shares his belongings and time.

4.4 He is free from clericalism.

  • views himself as a lay person

  • can work with SVD priests without feeling dominated or limited.


5.1 He has a healthy relationship with his family.

  • keeps in touch with his family

  • does not fall back on family as first line of support

  • exercises freedom of choice in dealing with family.

5.2 He demonstrates a healthy sexual identity.

  • Is not overly "macho" or effeminate

  • relates well with men and women

5.3 He demonstrates a healthy individual identity.

  • demonstrates poise and confidence

  • is able to relax

  • can handle stress and conflict in a healthy way


6.1 He has a personal relationship with God.

  • has a sense of the sacred

  • is aware of his creaturehood

  • speaks of faith in his life

  • integrates Christian values

6.2 He participates in spiritual direction

  • takes major decisions to discernment

6.3 He has a post Vatican II orientation

  • has a sense of fraternity with all

  • is open to dialogue

  • understands that mission is not geographical

  • appreciates his role as a lay person.

6.4 He has a personal prayer life.

  • sets aside time for prayer

  • participates in community prayer and liturgy

  • attends retreats and recollections

6.5 He has an appreciation for quiet.

  • is at peace in quiet time

  • "goes apart"



PP = highly recommended
P = recommended
PQ = recommended with qualifications because.....
? = vocation is questioned because....
D = dismissal recommended because...
I = I do not know him well enough to vote on his renewal of vows.

Your vote is: __________

Your name _________________________ Date __________

  • [  ] You may pass this evaluation on with my name.

  • [  ] You may pass the evaluation on without my name.

  • [  ] Please do not pass this evaluation on.



Process for Inter-Province Transfers

  1. The process can be initiated by the Brother in temporary vows, the Directors of Brother Formation the Provincial Superior.

  2. The person initiating the request should prepare a written statement indicating the reasons for a change.

  3. The reasons for a change are discussed by the above parties.

  4. The Provincial Superior, if he has not already been involved, is brought into the discussion.

  5. The Director of Brother Formation and the Brother in temporary vows explore together possible placement sites.

  6. The choice for new placement is discussed with the local superior and the local supervisor.

  7. The Director of Brother Formation prepares a concrete proposal and offers it to the Provincial Superior.

  8. If a change is made, the Director of Brother Formation then meets with the involved parties at the new placement site to develop a placement agreement.

This agreement should include:

  • 8.1 The name of the local director.

  • 8.2 The relationship with the local superior and the community.

  • 8.3 A job description.

  • 8.4 A statement of financial responsibility, for example, how the costs of insurance, studies and loan repayments will be handled



Brother in Temporary Vows to Seminarian:

  1. The Brother writes to the Director of Brother Formation stating his desire to prepare for priesthood and his reasons for it. Copies are given to the local formation director, the local superior and the Provincial Superior.

  2. The Director of Brother Formation and the local formation director send their recommendations to the Provincial Superior with copies to the local superior of Dorish Maru college.

  3. The Brother has an interview with the local superior and formation director at the Dorish Maru College.

  4. If it is deemed advisable or necessary, psychological testing may be requested. The results are to be available only to the formation directors involved.

  5. Recommendations are sent by the local superior and formation director of Dorish Maru College to the Provincial Superior with copies to the Director of Brother Formation.

  6. The Provincial Council decides if the Brother will be accepted into the Dorish Maru College formation program.

  7. Confidentiality during the above process is accorded to the individual discerning his vocation.

Seminarian to Brother: (Suggested Procedure)

  1. The seminarian writes a letter to his formation director at Dorish Maru College stating his desire to become a Brother and his reasons for it. Copies are sent to the Director of Brother Formation and the Provincial Superior.

  2. The Dorish Maru College formation director sends his recommendation to the Provincial Superior with a copy to the Director of Brother Formation.

  3. The seminarian is interviewed by the Director of Brother Formation.

  4. If it is deemed advisable or necessary, psychological testing may be requested. The results are to be made available to the formation director.

  5. A recommendation is sent by the Director of Brother Formation to the Provincial Superior, with a copy to the Dorish Maru College formation director.

  6. The Provincial Council decides if the seminarian will be accepted into the Brother Formation Program.

  7. Confidentiality during the above process is accorded to the individual discerning his vocation.



Nature of the Program:

  1. The OTP is voluntary in nature, but fully endorsed by the Director of Brother Formation.

  2. The ordinary length of the program will vary from a minimum of 18 months to a maximum of three years. Two year, however, is average.

  3. The first stage of the program involves language and cultural studies. Such studies will normally not take more than half of the total time in the country. It should be as complete as the preparation given to a new missionary to that country. The language learned will be the one used in the apostolate in that country, or area, where the Brother will undertake his supervised mission experience.

  4. The second stage consists of an in-depth supervised mission experience. As such it is something lived and not only learned about. OTP is not simply an exposure program. The Brother will participate in some aspect of the regular apostolate of the host province. To become an effective learning situation the experience must be supervised. This involves a personal learning relationship with an experienced missionary. The activity must be such that it involves the Brother with the people of the area. To have any depth, the supervised mission experience should consist of one long placement (at least 12 months) rather than many shorter ones. In this way the Brother will realize the impact and consequences of his ministry and have adequate time to develop a wholesome and fruitful relationship with his supervisor, confreres and those with whom he works.

Goals of the Program

The goals of the OTP, an in-depth supervised ministry experience are:

  1. To broaden the Brother's understanding of Church and its missionary mandate.

  2. To solidify and mature the Brother's vocation in the Society of the Divine Word.

  3. To clarify the Brother's interests, aptitudes and knowledge of the way in which he can contribute to the missionary work of the SVD.

  4. To heighten the sense of international mission awareness.

  5. To develop awareness of the impact of another culture on the individual Brother.

  6. To facilitate early initiation into language and cultural studies.

Prerequisites of the OTP

The Brother:

  1. will be in temporary vows for at least two years.

  2. will exhibit personal stability in his vocational choice.

  3. will have an appropriate level of emotional and spiritual maturity.

  4. will be in good physical health.

  5. will have satisfactorily completed a preparation program at Dorish Maru College, Heart of life or I.N.S.T.E.P.

  6. will have sufficient professional skills or knowledge to contribute to the missionary efforts of the host province.

Application Procedures:

  1. The Brother who wishes to participate in the OTP will confer with the Director of Brother Formation to determine if the applicable prerequisites have been met.

  2. Each Brother requesting admittance to the OTP will draw up goal statements for each of the following areas:
    2.1 personal growth
    2.2 spiritual growth
    2.3 vocational development
    2.4 professional contribution.

  3. The Director of Brother Formation will meet with the Brother to discuss placement possibilities and to assist in the preparation of goals statements.

  4. The Director of Brother Formation will present the application and a statement of approval from the host province to the Brother’s home Provincial Superior.

  5. When the application is approved by the Provincial Superior, the Director of Brother Formation will coordinate the preparation program and other specifics with the Brother and the Provincial Superior.

  6. Should an application be denied, it is referred back to the Brother, along the same lines of communication.

National Director of the Host Province

In provinces where there are many OTP participants, the province may have a National Director of OTP. His responsibilities are to:

  1. formulate local policy for OTP.

  2. clarify lines of authority and accountability for the supervisors and participants in the program.

  3. assure the availability of spiritual directors of OTP participants and the time for them to attend to this dimension of the formation program.

  4. coordinate the OTP for the Province.

  5. maintain contact with the Director of Brother Formation in Australia.

  6. participate in those sessions when evaluations and contracts are prepared between the Brother and on-site supervisor.

Qualities of the On-Site Supervisor

In those provinces where the OTP has been established, the local Provincial Superior appoints the "on-site supervisor" for the Brother. Ideally, some of the qualities that the provincial should look for in the selection process are:

  1. A person who can provide the Brother with a welcoming atmosphere of acceptance and freedom to exercise ministry so that the Brother can come to a deeper awareness and understanding of himself as an SVD missionary Brother.

  2. A role model for the religious missionary life.

  3. An ability to live and interact with young confreres.

  4. An adequate mission experience.

  5. An ability to direct in-service training, along the lines of the missionary activity, reflection and evaluation.

  6. A willingness to work with the Brother in the ongoing evaluation that the program requires.

  7. A theological background that has kept up with recent developments.

  8. A contemporary understanding of, and appreciation for, the Brothers' role in the Church and our Society.

Responsibilities of the On-Site Supervisor

The on-site supervisor is to accept responsibility in three broad areas:


Set goals and determine the OTP schedule with the Brother; establish the responsibilities of the Brother; provide in-service training and supervision.


Set a weekly or monthly meeting time with the Brother to reflect on the OTP experience as a learning/formation experience.


Facilitate the five required evaluations.

Although the evaluations are to be prepared by the Brother himself, the supervisor will go over the material with him and offer his observations. In light of the supervisor's comments, the evaluation is to be put in final form.

At any time in the program, the supervisor may offer a personal evaluation of the Brother to the National Director of OTP in the host country and the Director of Brother Formation in Australia. It is highly recommended that a final evaluation of the Brother should be prepared by the supervisor and submitted to the two persons named above.

Evaluations during OTP

Evaluations are an important part of the OTP. Without such instruments, supervision would remain only an ideal with little implementation and no practical means of accountability. Without supervision and accountability there would be little if any formal training.

Language School Evaluation:

The purpose of this evaluation is to determine how the Brother is doing in language studies, his adjustment to his new environment and a reflection on his achievement of goal statements.

Evaluations will take place after the third month (or midway through the course) and at the completion of language school.

An initial report is to be drafted by the Brother himself, and where possible, presented to the language school director or major teacher for additional comments.

Copies of this evaluation are distributed to the National Director of OTP in the host country, the Director of Brother Formation in Australia and the on-site supervisor.

Evaluation of Missionary Work

The purpose of this evaluation is to critically review the Brother's mission involvement. Determination of strengths and weaknesses would be appropriate. These are all put within the broad framework of the goals already established: personal, spiritual, vocational and professional.

Three written evaluations need to be prepared by the Brother during the course of this second stage of the OTP:

  • After the third month,

  • After the six month, and

  • One month prior to the completion of this stage of the program.


(Suggested format)

Brother ____________________

Name of Person Evaluating: ____________________


  1. To what extent does he participate in community prayer and liturgy?

  2. Is his personal prayer life evident?

  3. How well has he adapted to the new culture?

  4. How does he relate with confreres and co-workers?

  5. What is the quality of his contribution to the apostolate of the province?

  6. Does he seem well-suited personally to his chosen profession or work?

  7. Does he seem happy as an SVD Brother?

  8. Is he able to fit himself into the Society's pattern of life and apostolic activities?


  1. Have the supervisory sessions been regularly used?

  2. Have they been fruitful? How could they be improved?

  3. What is the date for the completion of the next evaluation?



The purpose of the OTP contract is to clarify and specify the expectations of the Brother and his supervisor which are to be fulfilled during the course of the mission experience. The contract serves as a job description or program for implementation of the goals of the OTP.

Upon arrival in the host country, the National Director of OTP, the on-site supervisor and the Brother will meet to formulate the contract. (This initial formulation might need to be adjusted at a later date, for example, after the completion of the language school, so as to reflect the actual situation and the real scope of the Brother's missionary involvement.)

The OTP contract should include the following information:

  1. Place and timetable for language studies.

  2. A description of the site of the Brother's assignment.

  3. A description of the Brother's role in that site.

  4. A specific statement of responsibilities for each area of the Brother's involvement, including goals and objectives for each area.

  5. A clear statement of the lines of authority and accountability.

  6. A statement of the responsibilities of the supervisor.

Copies of the signed contract should be kept by the Brother and supervisor. Copies should be distributed to the National OTP Director in the host country and the Director of Brother Formation in Australia.


(Suggested form)

1. Profile of mission experience setting:

  • 1.1. Name of location

  • 1.2. Number of staff

  • 1.3. Description of site

  • 1.4. Socioeconomic description of the situation

  • 1.5. Language, educational and racial background

  • 1.6. Religious affiliations of the people

  • 1.7. History of the mission

2. General description of the type of mission work which the OTP Brother is involved in.

3. Types of opportunities that the mission offers the OTP Brother.

4. Specific tasks for which the Brother will be responsible. It is well to indicate the approximate time planned for allocation to each task. Ideally, a weekly program ought to be outlined for the Brother.

5. Supervision:

  • 5.1. Name of the supervisor and his responsibilities.

  • 5.2. Lines of authority of those to whom the Brother is responsible.

  • 5.3. Provisions for formal supervisory sessions with the supervisor: time, frequency and length of sessions.

6. Provisions for continued language studies, if necessary.

7. Aids to help the Brother integrate theology and mission experience for example, resources, such as local seminary, district house, suggested readings, etc.

The contract should be signed and dated by the Brother and the supervisor.



The purpose of the OTP schedule is to provide all concerned (Brother, supervisor, National OTP Directors in the host country and the Director of Brother formation in Australia) with a timetable for the OTP experience.

At the initial meeting in the host country, the Brother, the National OTP Director and the supervisor should draw up a calendar to indicate the timetable for the various OTP stages and other events involved in the mission experience. Like the contract, this timetable might need to be adjusted during the course of the program.

The contents of the schedule should include the following information:

  1. The dates for language studies (Stage One)

  2. The time of involvement in the apostolate (Stage Two: Mission Experience).

  3. The time of the annual retreat.

  4. The times of quarterly recollections.

  5. The time of the annual vacation.

  6. Time of any local workshops that the Brother might benefit from.

  7. Weekly day(s) off.

  8. The schedule of the two language school evaluations.

  9. The schedule of the three mission work evaluations

  10. The schedule for the weekly or monthly meetings with the supervisor.

Copies of this signed schedule are retained by the Brother and his supervisor. Copies are sent to the National OTP Director in the host country and the Director of the Brother Formation in Australia.


(Sample form)

To be completed at the initial meeting of the Brother, National OTP Director and the on-site supervisor.

Brother _________________________

Supervisor _________________________

Site: _______________

Language Studies (Stage One)

1. The first evaluation: Date:_______________

(This is to be prepared after the third month or midway through the Brother’s language program)

2. The second evaluation: Date:_______________

(This is prepared at the completion of language studies.)

Mission Experience

1. The third evaluation: Date:_______________

(This is to be prepared after the third month of mission experience. It is the time to inquire whether the contract is in need of re-negotiation.)

2. The fourth evaluation: Date:_______________

(This is to be prepared six months of mission experience. It offers the opportunity to determine how to use the remaining six months to the best advantage.)

3. The fifth evaluation: Date:_______________

(This is to be prepared one month before the completion of the mission experience stage.)

Supervisory Evaluation Schedule (weekly or monthly)










1. Expenses covered by the sending province are:

  • 1.1. Preparation program

  • 1.2. Travel to and from OTP

  • 1.3. Educational expenses, such as tuition, books, room and board for language studies and cultural studies.

  • 1.4. All medical expenses

  • 1.5. Extraordinary expenses are normally taken care of by the sending province, but discussion between the host and sending provinces should ordinarily take place before these expenses are incurred.

2. Expenses covered by the host province are:

  • 2.1. Monthly allowance. (This should be in line with what local SVD students or others on OTP receive.)

  • 2.2. Room and board during the ministry stage of OTP.

Money received by the Brother is to be disposed of according to SVD Constitutions.

The National OTP Director in the host country and the Director of Brother Formation in the Australia are to establish an acceptable procedure for billing and payment of all OTP expenses.




When a Brother is approved for OTP he is transferred from his current province to the one in which he will be working on OTP. This transfer is made by the Provincial Superiors concerned for the purpose of this formation program. Through this transfer he has all of the rights and privileges, as well as all of the responsibilities, of any member in temporary vows within a province of the Society.

Renewal of Vows

Vows are to be renewed for two to three years before departure.

Evaluations take place in the host country according to the Constitutions. The Director of Brother Formation in Australia should be notified each time evaluations are made on the Brother.

Copies of the Brother's records are forwarded to the Provincial Superior in the host country upon the transfer of the Brother. These are returned to the Provincial Superior of the sending province when the Brother returns to his home province.



In General

Constitution 522.3 states: “A director is to be appointed in each province or for several provinces, responsible for the recruitment, education and formation of Brothers. He sets up and implements a suitable formation program; in this he is responsible to the provincial superior and his council.”

In the Temporary Vow Program

  1. To meet with the individual Brother at the beginning of the program to assess previous evaluations.

  2. To meet with the Brother at the beginning of each vow year in a goal-setting interview.

  3. To meet quarterly with the Brother.

  4. To facilitate participation in training experiences.

  5. To assist the individual Brother in discerning a professional choice.

  6. To conduct the annual evaluation of individuals in the temporary vow program.

  7. To discuss with the individual Brother the annual retreat opportunities.

  8. To assist the Brother in developing a program of theological study.

  9. To plan and implement "cluster" activities. This will include two meetings during the course of the year in the Province "cluster".

  10. To provide guidance and evaluation, at least annually, of apostolic activities.

  11. To assist in the planning and evaluation for the preparation for perpetual vows.

  12. To assure that an adequate program of spiritual training and preparation is provided and effected.

  13. To provide funds from an approved budget for education expenses and special activities. Ordinary expenses are provided by the local community.

  14. To assist in the selection of local formation supervisors.

In the Province

The role of the Director of Brother Formation will be:

  1. To apply or see that the Brother Formation Program is applied in the Provinces.

  2. To evaluate and oversee the programs dealing with Brother Formation Programs already established as well as to propose new ones.

  3. To have some authority to intervene when the program for the Brothers in formation is not followed, or when development is not taking place in a Brother candidate or a Brother in temporary vows.

  4. To determine if an institution/parish is ready for valid formation to take place, and also to determine if there are role models present in that formation institution/parish.

  5. To help the individual Brothers who are in the formation program to choose their vocation in the SVD, and to help determine their overall readiness for mission work.

  6. To coordinate proposals with the Provincial Superior for intra-provincial assignments during formation years.

  7. To coordinate the annual gathering.