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Term:   formation
1. The act of forming.
2. The process of forming.
3. The manner in which something is formed.
4. (Theol): Considered in its essence it is the spiritual extent the human being can reach by perfecting his or her God-given gifts, and by developing the spiritual heritage, both past and present in which he/she finds himself.

POS (part of speech). Can be more than one:
     POS 1: N/phrase     
     POS 2: ---


Term type ('EntryTerm' if no other applies):
     Type 1: EntryTerm     
     Type 2: ---


Term status:
     for POS 1: General     
     for POS 2: ---
(General=also found outside Salesian usage; Salesian=possibly not well understood beyond Salesian circles; Neologism, Archaic, Deprecated refer to the term's status in Salesian discourse)


Recommended equivalent (it): formazione


(In most cases the Italian term will be the official source term. In other cases below, if the term has its source in another language, this will be indicated by an [S] following the term.)


Recommended equivalent (es): formación


Recommended equivalent (fr): formation


Recommended equivalent (pt): formação


Suggested equivalent (other):


Other language:
Language code chosen from IANA registry]




Geographical/Regional usage:


Each of the definitions above becomes important for understanding Salesian formation, since it is active (involving agents), a process, a method and clearly has a theological principle involved.


That said, and because it is such a broad topic, it may best be understood by looking at the several particular aspects under which it is treated in this Termbase (initial formation, ongoing formation, personal life plan, amongst others).


If we consider formation from an institutional and ecclesial perspective, we need to include the widest sense of integral formation of the human being (human promotion, education to the faith), then catechism, education more broadly speaking, the catechumenate, for those beginning a life of faith in the catholic Church, the formation of committed lay people for ministries open to them to exercise. Then there is the question of formation for religious and Apostolic Life, or for Societies of Apostolic Life, Religious formation in general, formation of candidates for diaconate and priesthood....


Salesian formation takes its starting points from both the individual human being involved, and the project which is the Salesian mission as passed on to us by Don Bosco. Seen this way Salesian formation continues the work of the founder, and his spiritual fatherhood, fosters fidelity to the unity of the charism and commitment to its further development, and places the gifts of nature and grace in a balanced perspective. Don Bosco is the model (SDB Constitution 97 makes it clear that Don Bosco is a 'sure guide') but we also remind ourselves (C. 96) that Jesus too 'called his Apostles individually to be with him'). The chief agent of formation is always the individual being formed, and his life experience which he learns from. The method of formation is living and working for the common mission. A valid plan of life is essential for all this to  happen.


'To form' someone (seeing formation from the point of view of the helping agent) means to accompany that person until he reaches his full development, putting him in active relationship with the mission which he, along with every other Salesian, is entrusted with.  This perspective responds to the question 'formed for what?'.


Context (examples of use):
The religious and apostolic nature of the Salesian calling dictates the specific direction our formation must take, a direction necessary for the life and unity of the Congregation.


Other notes:




This section is intended for authorised users to add new information or alter existing information

POS (part of speech). A term may be more than one POS
(1) (2)



Term type ('EntryTerm' if no other applies)
(1) (2)   
[Initialisms like AGC are regarded as acronyms; a term like 'Bro.' is an abbreviation; an example of short form instead would be the main part of a very long book title (most of DB's book titles! 'Giovane Provveduto' is a short form). A loan term is not translated whereas a calque is. A blend is where two (or more) morphemes or 'word' parts have been combined to form a single term, as in the case of 'austraLasia'. Choose variant when there exists at least one other common form of the term. ]


Term status (General=also found outside Salesian usage; Salesian=possibly not well understood beyond Salesian circles; Neologism, Archaic, Deprecated refer to the term's status in Salesian discourse)
(1) (2)   
[Archaic refers to terms that have fallen out of regular use. Deprecated indicates official disapproval or if not disapproval, official abandonment at least. A neologism is a term that has come into play relatively recently - say, since Vatican II, but the time frame can be flexible.]


Recommended equivalent (it). In most cases the Italian term will be the official source term




Recommended equivalent (es)




Recommended equivalent (fr)




Recommended equivalent (pt)




Suggested equivalent (other) (Where it is the source term indicated with [S] and appropriate language code [chosen from IANA registry])






[The definition should not be imagined! It is assumed that it exists either in a reputable dictionary (or at least in similar words) or in some authoritative Salesian reference (e.g. the Constitutions, AGC or similar public document, Lenti's 7 volume series, and so on]




Geographical/Regional usage
[Certain terms are common in restricted parts of the Congregation. We have one 'prior' but only in INB; in some parts of Asia the Salesian community is called a 'convent', but not elsewhere]



[Etymological information, mostly]


Context (examples of use)

[English usage, obviously]  


Other notes
[Room here for more personal observations, private opinion if felt to be useful]


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