"Initial formation aims at the human maturation and intellectual preparation of the young confrere together with the deepening of his consecrated life and the gradual insertion in pastoral educational work," states the Salesian Constitutions (n ° 102). The formation of young Salesians is not only the responsibility of the Provinces, but also of the Congregation, and the objective is to ensure "the confreres in formation the conditions for a valid experience and serious doctrinal reflection in a suitable environment", thanks to the efforts of formators "conscious of being mediators of the action of the Lord" and who "endeavor to constitute together with the director, guide of the community and teacher of spirit, a group convinced of the common responsibility" (Constitutions, n ° 104).
It is in this context that the seminar is taking place these days, from 5 to 8 February, at "Villa de Sales" in Copacabana, in the Department of Antioquia. A seminar involving 15 Salesians, led by Fr Ivo Coelho, General Councilor for Formation, and Fr Francisco Santos, a member of the same Dicastery.
The working days are divided into three thematic moments, in which the following themes are developed: the reality in which one lives, the formation one needs and the suggestions to be included in the formation plans.
"We are reflecting on the reality we are experiencing, because a couple of years ago we studied the redesign of the formation houses of the Congregation, which involved sending the post-novices to a new formation," explained Fr Santos. "So we are seeing how they are integrating, if there are difficulties, if the study programs are good and what kind of academic validation is being made, so that when these young people return to their country they can have an officially recognized title. Furthermore, we are also investigating other topics, such as the identity of Consecrated Life in the process of formation of the post-novitiate, community life, the apostolate and formation of formators."
Although, certainly, the whole formation process of Salesians is fundamental, the revision of the post-novitiate stages takes on a particular value because it prepares for active Salesian life and allows the deepening of Salesian consecrated identity, in the philosophical studies that prepare pastoral activity and in dialogue with culture, with the current world and with one's own vocation.