Permanent Formation in ‘Dominican Rome’


A meeting about permanent formation was held at the Angelicum from 17 to 23 September 2018. It was arranged by the Rector of the Angelicum working with the Socius for Fraternal Life and Formation. The general chapter of Bologna asked the Angelicum, working with the other institutions under the jurisdiction of the Master of the Order, to take a lead in developing proposals about permanent formation.


This first event had three goals: to give participants a taste of what the faculties and institutions of the Angelicum can offer in the different areas of formation (human, religious, intellectual and apostolic); to allow the Angelicum to consult a representative group of regents and promoters of permanent formation about the actual needs of the provinces; and to provide an experience of permanent formation that was spiritual and cultural as well as intellectual with visits to the various Roman communities of the friars, to learn about the artistic and historical riches of each place as well the ministry and life of each community.


Each day was given to one of the main aspects of formation and to one of the faculties of the Angelicum. Members of the general council animated the group discussions that followed the presentations by the faculties. The aim was to identify the needs of the Order in relation to each aspect of permanent formation and to develop concrete proposals to be offered to the general chapter.


The language of the meeting was English because the Angelicum at present teaches only in English and Italian. Clearly, any longer term proposal about permanent formation will need to take account of the other languages in use by the Order. One proposal is for an annual Dominican Renewal Programme to be offered by the Angelicum but another was that of ‘taking the water to the horse’, the professors of the Angelicum visiting the provinces and their institutions to offer permanent formation there. All agreed that stronger bonds and collaborations need to be established between Dominican universities and other institutions of initial and permanent formation across the world.


Fifteen brothers came to Rome to participate in this meeting which was attended also by brothers and sisters teaching at the Angelicum and by members of the general council. Fourteen provinces were represented and most regions of the Order had at least one brother attending. Participants expressed great satisfaction, not least at the recognition given to the promoter of permanent formation. It seems it was the first time the Order arranged a meeting for brothers asked to fill that role in the provinces.



Vivian Boland OP

Socius for Fraternal Life and Formation