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(ANS – Roma) – Recently in a letter to Provincials and Delegates for Formation, the General Councillor for Formation Fr Francesco Cereda appealed for better qualification of Salesians, as a priority for the life and vitality of the Provinces.
Already forming part of the ongoing Project of the Rector Major and the General Council the letter was written on the occasion of the recent Extraordinary Visitation by Fr Cereda to the Vice Province of the Salesian Pontifical University.
“I think that it is important that a systematic reflection is begun at least at Province level, since without the qualification of the confreres, the Provinces run the risk of spiritual mediocrity, a generic approach to ministry, little ability to reflect.”
The frame of reference for Fr Cereda’s remarks and the hoped for reflection in the Provinces is the letter of the Rector Major Fr Vecchi “For you I study” (ACG 361). “This sort of reflection should lead to a Province Plan for the qualification of the confreres covering at least a period of five or six years; in fact without long-term planning over a number of years, assessed annually and shared with the confreres, there would be a danger that qualification would become something improvised and some of the Province’s needs would be neglected.”
The qualitative consistency of the communities depends on the qualification of the confreres who need to have the opportunity and be encouraged to study and obtain a civil or ecclesiastical second degree as preparation for their tasks.
“Salesian qualification in academic studies helps to ensure the charismatic identity,” Fr Cereda says and points to Rome as offering a particular experience with the presence of the Pontifical Universities and in particular the UPS: with “the Salesian character of the studies, being close to the life of the Universal Church and to the centre of the Congregation, the intercultural environment, a knowledge of Italian and of the Salesian places of interest. All these are essential elements for a world-wide and missionary Congregation living in a context of globalisation, immigration and a multicultural dimension.”
Fr Cereda’s letter also gives some information about opportunities, the length of time required for obtaining the qualifications and also refers to the costs involved. The final part gives a presentation of the Faculties and the qualifications available at the UPS.
The full text of Fr Cereda’s letter is available on sdb.org.