Divine Word Missionaries

SVD Formation

SVD Formation

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Presentation: The current program of formation for SVD Brothers was originally prepared in 1991 and it is part of the larger program of formation for all SVD candidates in the Chinese Province (Mainland, Hong Kong and Taiwan). Since then the formation program for Brothers has not been updated. As soon as it is done, and an e-copy of it sent to the Generalate, the present program will be substituted by the new one.

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


"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. Insofar as the necessary preliminary stages have been completed, the possibility is there for further professional training or academic study" (Const 515.1)


The brother formation program is for those confreres who join our Society for a life of service and witness as religious brothers. It covers the time between the novitiate and perpetual vows. The person responsible for this stage of formation is the prefect of brothers in temporary vows.


The prefect of brothers in temporary vows should be a confrere in final vows, preferably a brother, who is mature, firm in his vocation and integrated in Chinese culture. It is highly recommended that he receive a formal training for this task. "...He sets up and implements a suitable formation program; in this he is responsible to the provincial superior and his council" (Con. 522. 3). He cooperates with the Formation Committee.


The goal of this program is to foster the spiritual, personal and professional growth of the SVD Brother. During this time, the confrere grows in his identity as a Brother and learns to deal with the practical challenges of religious life and work.

For renewal of vows the brother has to submit an application letter, be evaluated by the confreres of his community and be recommended by his prefect. His application has to be accepted by the local and provincial council.


Specific Objectives Means Indicators for Evaluation
To grow as a Christian: to deepen and broaden one’s faith; to learn how to speak about one’s faith; to learn how to develop and foster one’s own spirituality. Basis theological and missiological education (c 515.2) of at least two years, daily mass and community prayers, time allotted for daily spiritual and scripture reading, meditation, personal prayer and study. Basic theological knowledge and the ability to share one’s faith and to lead prayer services, perseverance in personal and community prayers.
To grow as a religious and learn how to deal with the tensions between religious and professional life (e.g. responsibility, time, money, employees…). To pursue the goal of a life commitment. Spiritual direction; guidance in his profession; strong community support; apostolic exposure programs. Maturity, responsibility, and reliability; commitment and fidelity to religious life; readiness to accept tasks given by the Society.
To grow as a missionary to deepen one’s interest in missionary work; to foster teamwork; to develop and deepen one’s missionary vision. Possibility of OTP or language studies (e.g. conversational English); missionary outreach to non-Christians. Openness to people; sense of evangelization vision of the Society; readiness to go where the Society sends him.
To identify and develop one’s talents and interests; to choose a profession in line with the needs of the Society; to grow in professional competence. Career guidance; a program of professional training and studies. Certificate/Degree.