Formation Process to Become a Salesian


During this phase, the candidates live in a Salesian formation community and discern the option to be a Salesian priest or brother. The program consists of prayer, an apostolate (pastoral work), and college work or pastoral experience as needed.


This year focuses on the integration of the human dimension of understanding self to aid the pre-novice to follow Christ in religious life. Pre-novices follow a specific program of study within the Salesian Formation House. In addition, apostolic works and travel to Salesian sites prepare pre-novices for the novitiate.


This is a formal year of following Christ in the Salesian religious experience. Novices come to understand the Salesian identity of their vocation by making the Salesian constitutions their own and by living fraternal life in the community. This phase, characterized by discernment and prayer, prepares the novice for their first profession (taking the vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience), a lived response to give themselves totally as signs and bearers of God’s love for the young.


Post-novices, called religious brothers, complete or expand university education, continue fraternal life in community, and are assigned to an apostolic work. This program prepares them to be sent out to a Salesian site.

Practical Training

The religious brothers are assigned to a two-year placement in a Salesian school, parish, or youth center. They are given ample responsibilities to carry out Salesian education and evangelization while continuing the formative process of integrating prayer, work, and fraternal living in the community.

Advanced Education and Theological Training

The religious brothers that have opted for “Coadjutor” status continue additional education or are assigned to a Salesian site. Those religious brothers who opt for priesthood study theology for a four-year period. The final profession for both options occurs six years after the first profession.

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