“An extended period of supervised apostolic ministry is highly encouraged for seminarians. Where it is feasible and seems suitable, this period can be sent profitably in another country or culture”. (Con. 516.4)
1.1 The Overseas Training Program in Taiwan introduces young SVDs to our missionary efforts.
1.2 It is expected that students who take part in the Taiwan OTP will be open to work with the Chinese in the future. This could be within the China Province itself or with Chinese communities overseas.
1.3 The usual time is after the first year of theology for clerics and after the second year of temporary vows for brothers. Students applying must have completed all required academic assignments before arriving for OTP.
1.4 The applicant should be firm in his religious and SVD commitment. The OTP should not be used as a test for a doubtful vocation.
1.5 Since language studies are conducted through the medium of English, a sufficient knowledge of this language is required.
1.6 The OTP is a two to three year program (including Regency). Candidates undergo two years of full-time language study. This is followed by six months to a year of full-time pastoral exposure, the duration of which depends on when the school year begins in their own countries.
1.7 During the second year the candidate is encouraged to stay outside of the OTP residence, preferably in a parish, to explore one’s interest in possible ministries.
1.8 Towards the end of their full-time exposure, candidates may apply for permission to complete their theology studies in the China Province; otherwise they are automatically transferred back to their home province.
2. OTP DIRECTOR
2.1 The person responsible for the OTP is the OTP director. The OTP director preferably is a former OTP student. He is responsible to organize, plan, and implement the guidelines, expectations for community members and community life.
2.2 The director will see his priority to animate the program by maintaining openness in communication within the OTP community, and with other SVD communities as well as the superiors. It is hoped that compassion be shown in this process of formation/on-going formation both for students and director, mutual respect and understanding.
2.3 The OTP director is accountable to the provincial and his council, and he cooperates with the Formation Committee.
3. GENERAL GOAL
3.1 The general goal of the OTP in Taiwan is to provide language and communication skills.
3.2 To provide cross-cultural and pastoral experiences leading to a realistic appreciation of what it means to be a missionary to the Chinese people.
To renew the temporary vows:
4.1 An Application Letter for Renewal of Vows, addressed to the Provincial.
4.2 A Copy of Self-evaluation
4.3 Summary of the Community and Peer evaluations compiled by the OTP director.
4.4 Prescribed Relatio Form completed by the OTP director (Ref. Handbook for Superiors, Form C7d, P. 255).
4.5 A secret collegial vote by local and provincial councils.
5 SUMMARY TABLE
|Specific Objectives||Means||Indicators for Evaluation|
|To acquire the language skills necessary for effective communication.||Two years of full-time language study. It is recommended that the OTP have an option to stay for one year in the Taishan residence and the second year in a parish.||Diligence in study, willingness and ability to communicate in Chinese and submit periodical reports from the language school to the OTP director|
|To acquire an initial understanding of Chinese ethos and culture.||Cultural / historical studies: reading of prescribed books, videos, seminars and workshops; inter-religious live-in experiences.||Active interest, participation, and an open attitude.|
|To situate oneself with the people through interaction with individuals and groups, and through our life-style.||Encounters, apostolic involvements and live-in exposures.||Initiative in reaching out to and involvement with the people.|
|To pass over from one’s own culture to this new culture.||Reflection, direction and open sharing.||Level of acceptance and integration into Chinese culture.|
|To adjust to life in a small international religious community.||Living, working, recreating and praying together.||Sensitivity and respect for confreres from different cultures and for community life.|
|To deal with responsibility and freedom in a mature way.||Participation in communal planning and providing space
for personal decisions and individual initiatives.
|Consistency in fulfilling commitments and obligations.|
|To develop a deeper motivation for one’s religious missionary life.||The process of integrating the missionary life through daily Eucharist, prayer and meditation; spiritual direction
and other spiritual exercises.
|Fidelity to the religious missionary life.|
|To have deeper understanding of JPIC issues.||Get involved in social, political and environmental issues.||Awareness and interest in these issues.|