After completion of this first period of formation, the postulant may be accepted by the community into the next stage: the novitiate. After one year, a novice may profess simple vows as a Benedictine monk for three years. If at the end of these three years, the monk and the community feel that he is being called to life-long membership in the monastery, he may profess solemn final vows. Typically the postulancy at St. Bernard lasts six months and one is free to discontinue at any point.
During this time, postulants have the opportunity for a sort of extended live-in experience. The tradition at St. Bernard is for postulants to wear the monastic tunic, which is the first part of the Benedictine habit. Postulants have rooms inside the monastery and join the monks in their common life of prayer and work. Additionally, they receive instruction about monastic life through several classes and become oriented with the particular customs of St. Bernard Abbey.
Monastic Formation - St. Bernard Abbey
Like all the stages on the way to solemn profession, the postulancy is both a time for formation as well as continued discernment. If he so desires, a postulant may request to be admitted to the next step of formation: the novitiate. The novitiate is an intense, yearlong period of formation, which one may choose to leave at any time.
When a man enters the novitiate, he receives the monastic scapular, worn over the tunic he received as a postulant. Also upon entrance to the novitiate, one customarily receives a new name, signifying the beginning of a new life to which the Lord has called him. Like the postulancy, novices participate fully in the daily life of the community. In addition to the common schedule of the monastery, the day of a novice usually includes one or two classes; periods of manual work; common recreation; and time for private prayer, reading, and study.
We will be able to answer your questions and share with you what becoming a becoming a CB Sister has meant in our lives.
A Typical Day for a Postulant of the Sisters of St. Francis of Perpetual Adoration
We never know when God calls us. A candidate becomes a member of the Congregation by the profession of the vows. Through this membership she takes part in the life and mission of the Congregation with all its rights and duties in accordance with the Constitutions Const. A candidate who wants to become a member of the Congregation must be prepared to undergo the three stages of formation.
These stages are: initial formation during the postulancy and novitiate, proper apostolic formation during the period of temporary profession, and on-going formation which will last in the further stages of life. The Postulant or Candidate is not under vows but she has made a more formal commitment to enter into the mission and life of the congregation.
The application process to become a postulant consists of completing a written application, a written autobiography, background checks, complete psychological test and interview and medical checks.
A candidate is admitted to the postulancy if she:. During the postulancy the candidate and the Congregation should get acquainted with one another. The Congregation will evaluate the suitability and the vocation of the candidate, test and add to her knowledge of Christian life, animate and provide opportunities for her spiritual and psychological development Const.
Therefore, during the postulancy, you receive regular support and direction from the Formation Director and also classes in:.
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The postulants spend some time in various activities in our Formation House, such as service duties, programs, and recreational activities. They also spend some time in serving our health care, social pastoral and education apostolates. Allong with all these activities, their primary focus remains on their prayer life with our Sisters. The duration of postulancy can vary from six months to two years, according to the judgement of the directress, and in consulation with the postulant herself Dir.
When the period of postulancy has terminated, the postulant, at her own request and with the recommendation of the directress of postulants, will be admitted to the novitiate by the provincial superior with the consent of her board Cont.
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An important criterion for the consideration of admission of a postulant to the novitiate is the personal and affective maturity of the candidate. She must be willing and able to go through the process of formation.
It is the preparation for the first temporary profession takes place. During this period the novice will be introduced and guided toward religious life in this Congregation Const. During the period of preparation for the profession vows the religious sensibility and the talents of the novice should be guided, encouraged and geared towards the spirituality and charism of the Congregation Const. The criterion for admission is readiness as well as suitability for sharing the life and mission of this Congregation Const.
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