In order that you may be good, reliable announcers of Christ you ought very especially to prepare yourselves now by diligent study during the time of your training, so that you may acquire a thorough knowledge of Catholic teaching and may be able to proclaim it
Father Jordan (1/02/1901)
This is the final stage of initial formation. It runs from first profession until perpetual profession (in the case of brothers), or until ordination (in the case of seminarians).
The primary purpose of the period in temporary vows is to continue the work begun in the novitiate and to give the religious an opportunity of developing, deepening and consolidating the basic attitudes of religious and Salvatorian life.
The second fundamental purpose is to provide the member with an intellectual and practical formation which prepares him for his future life as Salvatorian in ecclesial service. The seminarian should manifest and improve his aptitude for our way of life. He should be introduced to the apostolate and to attain human, Christian and Salvatorian maturity.
The religious in temporary profession should examine his life and conduct in the light of prayer and personal reflection in order to be able to discern more clearly between the Salvatorian life with its demands and other kinds of life. To assist the seminarian to mature, which is indispensable if he is to make a correct choice, he will be given the opportunity of coming into contact with other environments, so that he can judge from personal knowledge what he is leaving behind and what he is choosing. Since every situation can have formative value which should be turned to profitable use, the seminarians will take advantage of vacation periods not simply to get a deserved rest and meet their family, but also for experiences of formative value, for example, apostolic and pastoral experience according to the tradition and possibilities of each province/mission. A genuinely fraternal life is a support to emotional maturity and prepares the way for a life of consecrated celibacy. Consequently, special attention is to be given to moments of brotherly encounter and fellowship.
In this stage of initial formation, personal integration becomes all the more necessary, because the passage to a more open style of life and more absorbing study and apostolic activities involves risk of disorientation. For this reason, it is crucial that the seminarian constantly learn to deepen his union with Christ, the Divine Savior, according to our charism. He will achieve the integration of hearing and contemplating on God’s Word by referring everything to Jesus Christ as the center of his own life. This will demand that he faithfully maintain the daily habit of personal prayer and reading the Word, as well as daily participation in the Eucharist and community prayer, and frequent celebration of the Sacrament of Reconciliation. Strengthened by these means, the seminarian will be able to illuminate the different situations of his life and to respond to the calls of God in daily reality.
Study is one of the most important activities at this stage of formation. The study of the human, theological and pastoral sciences is aimed at the following objectives:
- to provide a lively understanding of the world, of human beings, and of the mystery of Christ and of the Church,
- to judge situations of the world in the light of faith,
- to stir up students’ personal availability for our apostolic activities and to enable them to carry it out.