14 November 2017
14 Nov 2017

Iter Formativo for the Dehonian Family

by  Ricardo Freire de Oliviera, scj

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Increasingly, it is recognized that the gift of the Spirit given to Fr. Dehon is a gift to the whole Church to animate her spiritual life and mission. It is with this awareness that his children, the “sons” of Fr. Dehon, wish to share his charism with other realities in the Church, including consecrated persons and lay people.

The Iter Formativo for Dehonian laity stems from the need to offer a formative guide for lay people who feel called to the Dehonian charism. It is not a theology handbook or a history of the charism. This is a formative guide with a mystagogical style, where we offer historical, theological and spiritual materials interspersed with prayer and meditation as well as group sharing so that lay Dehonians can assimilate the contents and use them as a foundation for their own spiritual life, animating their mission just as was the case in Fr. Dehon’s own life.


The Iter Formativo is presented as an on-going effort. Over time, split over four years of formation, the contents are used in various ways by those who follow the program. It allows for a lengthy journey through the spiritual life and social apostolate of Fr. Dehon. Each section is done in the style of those who prepared it (Spain and Portugal for the first section, Latin America for the second, Italy for the third, and the English-speaking entities for the fourth).

To reach as many people as possible the materials are available in several languages. Some translations are already done; some are in process. All four volumes are now available in Italian, English, French, Spanish and Portuguese.

Fact sheets have been prepared as a support to animators and formators of lay people; they are available for use on an experimental basis. Those who use them are asked to give feedback about them to the International Dehonian Family Coordinating Group: both positive and negative elements of the sheets, as well as suggested changes. With such contributions the cards can be improved for better use.

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