Formation Guide – 1993

English: Reprinting 2006 – PDF – 65 kb
1993 – Word – 1 MB | PDF – 412 kb | RTF – 1.1 MB
Spanish: Reprinting 2006 – PDF – 633 kb
1993 – Word – 703 kb | PDF – 330 kb | RTF – 1.2 MB
French: Reprinting 2006 – PDF – 666 kb
1993 – Word – 673 kb | PDF – 303 kb | RTF – 483 kb
Portuguese: 1993 – Word – 264 kb | PDF – 228 kb | RTF – 521 kb



Dear Brothers,

In presenting our Formation Guide to you, my thoughts go first of all to the many Brothers who have contributed directly to this work. My sincere thanks to them in the name of the Institute for this service they have rendered us.

What a great distance has been covered since the General Council, in 1982, nominated a commission to prepare a Formation Guide to submit to the 18th General Chapter. The General Council, in June 1986, published a text «ad experimen¬tum». Brother Charles Howard in introducing this commented: «It is now incumbent on all of us to give it life by implement¬ing its directives in all our Provinces and Districts and in each of our personal lives.»

The text, finalized during the 19th General Chapter, received the approval of that Chapter on 23rd October 1993. With this approbation the Formation Guide became, from that moment, part of our «Proper Law» (cf. Proper Law and the Formation Guide, in the Acts of the 19th General Chapter).

Our Guide aims at providing the basic ideas and necessary resources, for our aspirants, enabling them to become «men capable of vowing their entire lives to God in an apostolic Marist communi¬ty» (C 95), and for the Brothers, that they may «grow towards adulthood in Christ» (C 110). It is ad¬dressed, there¬fore, not only to formation personnel and those in formation, but to all the Brothers. As I said in the closing address of the 19th General Chapter: «The Guide … is a precious aid to the aspirant and the Brother in this journey of growth. It gives our formation unity, progression, continuity, soundness and reliability.» If our Constitutions guide us along the path opened to us by Marcellin Champagnat «TO FOLLOW CHRIST AS MARY DID» (C 3), the Formation Guide provides us with a chart for this journey.

Formation remains a priority for the Institute. If we want to continue to be faithful to the Lord who gave us our Marist charism, to our mission in the Church, to the signs of the times, as well as to the aspirants and Brothers called to growth and to maturity, our formation, initial and ongoing, must be appropri¬ate, sound, complete, personalized and coherent.

The Chapter Commission on Formation in the document presented to the 19th General Chapter showed clearly its conviction that «The Formation Guide is a way of growth for the Marist Brother, whatever his age». This is the document I invite you to read, to ponder and to put into practice. In these times which are difficult but full of hope, let us know how to commit ourselves to live the ideal of our Constitutions and to accept the challenge of the unceasing task of conversion to which the Formation Guide urges us.

It would be remiss of me not to recall article 94 of our Consti¬tutions in all its force concerning the vocations ministry. A good part of our Guide only makes sense if we have candi¬dates. And these are the fruit of a solid vocations ministry in which all our Brothers are involved. This refers, first of all, to the quality of the witness of our lives, our commu¬nity living, simple and joyful, commit¬ted to the poor; it also implies a pres¬ence among young people, giving an important place to evangeli¬zation in our undertak¬ings, and the revitalization, or the creation, of the necessary structures for vocations ministry.

I hope that the attentive reading of the Formation Guide will encourage Provinces and Districts to decisively formulate a plan for vocations ministry and for formation, which are both solid and coherent and which will in turn lead them to make creative and bold use of their resources, in order to provide the means necessary for matters of urgency and priority. In certain regions there may well be a need to form inter-Province projects, in order to guarantee the quality of the formation and and to make better use of common resources.

My dear Brothers, I place the Formation Guide in your hands and in your hearts, asking Mary, our good Mother, to inspire our vocations ministry and to teach us how to accompany the people in formation with love, perseverance and discretion for the maintenance and growth of this work which is hers.

With warmest fraternal regards,

Br Benito Arbués,
Superior General