FORMATION OF PRIESTS AND RELIGIOUS
The Congregation, right from its inception, has considered formation as integral part of its commitment to mission. Without competence, human and spiritual solidity , and desired transformation into a disciple of Jesus , it is not possible to be His Missionary. Hence the priority the Congregation has given to the apostolate of formation of its members. From the “mobile seminary on wheels “of our early missionaries to daring efforts to establish major seminaries in Gopalpur (Orissa) and later in Kamptee and Seminary Hills , Nagpur ( Maharashtra ) speaks volumes of the commitment of the Congregation to the apostolate of formation.
The Congregation has evolved its own Formation Programme consisting of the following stages of formation for those who join the Congregation after school education. Adjustments are made for those who join later in life ensuring the core programme of formation for MSFS religious and priests:
Minor Seminary and Aspirancy
Postulancy of at least six months
Novitiate of one year and First Religious Profession
Philosophy of three Years
Regency of one year
Theology of four years at the end of which Perpetual Religious Profession
Diaconate Ministry of at least six months
The formation curriculum emphasises the human, spiritual, apostolic, salesian and missionary Formation through graded , accompanied and evaluated exposure programmes at all stages Formation for Mission and in Mission aimed at the transformation of the candidate into another Christ in the likeness of St Francis de Sales and Fr Mermier, is the constant motivation for the formators and the formees.
The Congregation has given much attention to foster inter-province formation houses , two of which are outstanding : Suvidya College , Bangalore, India .It caters to about 150 students belonging to 6 Indian provinces and to candidates of 4 other religious congregations and offers academic courses, BA and residential formation for the MSFS candidates. Lumen Christi Philosophy Department, Arusha, Tanzania. It caters to 26 students of the missions in Africa and offers three year philosophical course.