The Priests of the Sacred Heart of Jesus or Dehonian congregation, in its Ratio Formationis Generalis, stresses the vital importance of forming its religious men through the charism of the founder, the charism inspired by the pierced side of Jesus (cf. Jn 19:34). The congregation sees religious life as a gift from God..It grew out in the sacrament of initiation and lived in the charism of Fr. Dehon for the sake of its mission in a spirit of continuous conversion. Thus, the Dehonian style of forming its religious is guided by the following principle: called by God, consecrated, and expressed according to its charism or spirituality. The Dehonian formation is called towards faithfulness to its charism. It also highly stresses the need to cultivate a deeper awareness of its present time and context to form the Dehonian religious to be genuinely prophetic witnesses and servant-leaders to its particular Church.
This study aims to articulate a proposed aspirancy formation program of the congregation in the Philippine region. This program is designed to integrate the Dehonian spirituality, rooted in the faith experience of the founder, into the different areas of formation of the aspirants. Furthermore, for the Dehonian spirituality to be more fruitful in the formation of the aspirants, it is necessary to contextualize the spirituality to the aspirants’ specific needs and also, the self-understanding of the Church in the Philippines and its religious, as articulated in PCP-II. The aspirancy formation program contains contextualized spirituality and operates a formation not in the abstract but concretely. It appropriately responds to the concrete situation of the aspirants. It will effectively form the aspirants to be “workers of renewal” hoped for the Philippine Church to its religious men. Thus, the proposed aspirancy formation program seeks faithfulness to the spirituality of the institute. And it communicates it to the reality of the aspirants, for them to grow as “prophets of love and servants of reconciliation” to the Church they belong.