Becoming a Monk
O B S E R V E R S H I P : a live-in experience of at least one month in which the candidate
participates in all aspects of the life in order to get a feel for the
spirit of the community. If, at the end of this period the candidate
desires and the community is willing, he is admitted to the
P O S T U L A N C Y : a more intense, prolonged period of discernment and testing to
determine whether the candidate has a degree of human and
spiritual maturity to enter the novitiate. The postulancy begins with
a brief ritual before the superior and community in which the
candidate asks to be admitted. He is given a short tunic to symbolize the severing of ties with his formal way of life and his
identification with the monastic community.
N O V I T I A T E : a time of special growth in one’s personal relationship with Christ
through a deeper immersion in monastic values, beliefs, and
practices. The ceremony has the superior in the presence of the
entire community wash the feet of the postulant followed by the clothing with the monastic garb of the tunic and
scapular worn by the rest of the community, and
receives a new name all three of which signify a new beginning in
the monastic life, embarking on a journey of developing a monastic
identity. Formation in the Rule of St. Benedict, the spirituality and
meaning of the vows along with a deepening love for the
Scriptures and liturgy are the focus of this year long period of
discernment and probation.
F I R S T P R O F E S S I O N : a three year (minimum) period of commitment through profession
of the monastic vows of obedience, stability, and conversion of
life. This time of temporary or simple profession allows the monk
to bind himself more and more to his monastic family and
interiorize the monastic values in preparation for the complete
offering of himself to God and the Church through solemn profession.
S O L E M N P R O F E S S I O N : the culmination of one’s initial formation and the beginning of a
life-long pursuit of allowing Christ to come to full maturity in the
new monk. This ceremony is done in the church in the presence of
the monks and congregation to signify that one is commiting one’s
life to the church in the monastic life. It consists of writing the
chart of commitment and later in the Eucharistic Liturgy signing it,
and is placed on the altar at the time of the Offertory to signify
one’s oblation (offering). The litany of the saints is sung while the
monk is prostrated in front of the altar, and then the superior
clothes him in the monastic gown known as the cuculla “the cowl”.
Then the monk sings three times what is known as the
Suscipe: “Receive me, O Lord, and I shall live, and let me not be
confounded in my hope.” The newly professed monk is now a
permanent member of the community.
P R I E S T H O O D: Should a monk feel a call to the priesthood he makes that known to his superior. If the community is in agreement, and the individual has made simple profession, arrangements for priestly studies and ordination can be made. Since Mount Saviour does not have external apostolates, priests are ordinarily needed only for the sacramental needs of the monastic community and its guests.
To contact the vocations brother: firstname.lastname@example.org
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