Formation Process

A Christian Vocation is a call from God to each baptized person to live life as a faithful disciple of Jesus Christ.




Bear in mind that formation is our collaboration with God who calls each of us by name and forms us. Remember how Jesus called His apostles and formed them and then sent them out into the world.


The Aspirantate serves as the seed bed of Salesian vocations for young men in college and young professionals. During this phase, the candidates lives in a formation community and discerns the option to be a Salesian priest or brother. The programme consists of prayer, an apostolate (pastoral work), and college studies or pastoral experience as needed. The aspirantate then acts as an immersion into the Salesian community life.


The first stage of Salesian formation is the Prenovitiate. It is the phase of formation in which each one, as a candidate for Salesian life, deepens his vocational choice, maturing especially in its human and Christian aspects so as to be ready to begin the Novitiate. As part of that deeper understanding of this vocational choice, therefore, one will try to know oneself better and in doing so will learn what Salesian consecrated life is; one will try to acquire the attitudes that are needed to live it (simplicity of life, freedom from compromises in the area of affectivity, fidelity to commitments ...); one will develop a personal relationship with the Lord Jesus, and establish a solid basis for one’s Christian life.

In this phase of formation one will also study the two forms of Salesian consecrated life – that of the Salesian brother and the Salesian priest - trying to reach not just a theoretical understanding but also a practical knowledge derived from one’s contact with both of them.


This one year marks the beginning of one’s experience of Salesian religious life in the following of Jesus. As a novice one begins to live and interiorize the values of Salesian consecrated life. It is during this year that the novice master will help the novice to go through a discernment process and arrive at a decision on his personal call to be a Salesian brother or a Salesian priest. The year of novitiate ends with one’s consecration in one’s Salesian religious profession.


Post-novices, who opt for the Priesthood, complete their studies in Philosophy while they continue living fraternal life in community, and are assigned apostolic work. Those who opt to be a Salesian Brother have a specific formative programme. One deepens one’s experience of consecrated life and of the spirit of Don Bosco. He will in the process, receive an adequate philosophical, pedagogical and catechetical preparation.


The phase of Practical training comes next. This lasts two years and is a time of a vital and intense challenge of Salesian activity in an educative and pastoral experience. The period of practical training will help one to mature in his Salesian vocation and to verify his readiness for perpetual profession.


At the end of the practical training - and in some cases, during the second year of specific formation which follows - Preparation for perpetual profession takes place.


If one is a brother, he will begin his specific formation for two years in an inter-provincial community where he will complete his basic Salesian religious formation with the help of a particular programme, probably at a nearby study centre.


However, one will never really complete one’s formation, either as a Salesian brother or priest. One will see the need to continue one’s growth throughout life. The vocation to follow Christ more closely will demand continuous formation, and the new challenges one meets in life and work will require constant updating and new skills. And so, ongoing formation will become a permanent feature of one’s life, rooted in the demands of the Salesian life and vocation.

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