ON THE FORMATION OF THE BRETHREN
ON COMMON PRINCIPLES
154. Following the requirements of our legislation and of our Ratio Formationis Generalis,
formation should aim at this, that beginners are led gradually to the fullness of the life and
apostolate which are proper to the Order.
155. To engage in formation profitably, on the part of the candidate the following qualifications
are required: physical health, psychological maturity proportionate to his age, suitability for
social life, a consistently sound Christian life, aptitude, the right intention, and the free will
of consecrating himself to God and the Church in the Dominican way of life.
156. Primary responsibility for his own formation lies with the candidate himself, in free
cooperation with the grace of a divine vocation, and under the guidance of masters and of
157. The brethren who are suitably chosen and carefully prepared are to be placed in charge of
formation. Several can collaborate in this work of formation, but one should be in charge
of coordinating the whole process of formation.
* 158. Where it seems opportune to a provincial chapter, a formation council, distinct from the
conventual council, can be established to work on matters pertaining to the whole process
of formation and, in this way, to help the master in his duty. The provincial chapter or the
prior provincial with his council shall determine the composition and duties of this council.
159. The master has responsibility for both the spiritual life and for discipline in so far as both
are required for the full instruction of those to be formed, leaving to them, moreover, the
freedom of approaching other priests for more personal spiritual direction.
160. The convent of formation shall be organized in such a way that, while maintaining the
requirements for training, the conditions of the actual life they will eventually be expected
to lead will be presented to the candidates in a suitable progression.
* 161. Truly fraternal common life should flourish in the convents of formation so that, while
retaining appropriate group distinctions, those to be formed can actively and gradually
participate in the life of the community to acquire a more sound and complete training.
Therefore, all the brethren should be conscious of their own responsibility in the formation
of the younger brethren.
162. Every province shall arrange suitable practical experiences in accord with the age and
background of its candidates to develop their personal and religious maturity as well as their
preparation for the apostolate.
* 163. There shall be a Ratio Formationis for the whole Order, approved by a general chapter or
by the Master of the Order, to be revised from time to time, which will set forth the spiritual
principles and the fundamental educational norms for the training of the brethren, leaving
to the provinces the responsibility of developing regulations appropriate to the
circumstances of times and places.
164. Although the formation of the brethren lasts for many years with interruptions of studies to
gain experience and is spread out over various stages, nevertheless it ought to be conceived
and carried out in practice as a continuous and progressive process whose integration arises
from a unity of purpose. Therefore, the different periods of formation detailed below must
be understood in the light of this unity.