If you are interested in making a difference in the lives of young people and feel called to a spiritual life centered in a religious community of service and prayer…welcome! Read about our process that will help you develop your religious discernment:
The process of vocation is both internal and external. Before you apply to enter the Marist Brothers, it is important for you to get to know yourself and get to know our community. Therefore, the first steps of our Vocation Process, ACCOMPANIMENT and INITIAL DISCERNMENT, are designed to help you explore your own calling and determine if the MARIST Brothers are the right “fit” for you.
In this first phase of our Vocation Process, a man in college or a recent graduate – known as an Inquirer – is invited to examine the Marist Brothers by spending time with one of our members. Through regular Accompaniment with a Marist Brother, the young man learns to make the discernment process a part of his life. Accompaniment is a flexible period, which can last a few years – depending upon the needs and interest of the Inquirer. It can also include religious community and ministry visits, known as “Come and See Experiences*.” During this time, an Inquirer can request or be invited to move into INITIAL DISCERNMENT.
Initial Discernment (Discerners)
A man who continues to feel called by God to the Marist Brothers is then eligible to begin INITIAL DISCERNMENT. Vocational discernment is the process in which men or women in the Catholic Church discern, or determine, their vocation in the Church.
This phase of our Vocation Process is primarily for the college graduate who is ready to proceed toward his call. After meeting with the Vocation Director, he may be invited to be a Discerner. INITIAL DISCERNMENT lasts at least one year, during which the Discerner meets with the Vocation Director on a regular basis to establish a flexible yet focused plan of discernment. Once INITIAL DISCERNMENT has begun, the Discerner also begins a relationship with a Spiritual Director to receive more guidance in his discernment. The Discerner and the Vocation Director will mutually arrive at a decision regarding whether or not to apply to the Initial Formation Program of the Marist Brothers.
During INITIAL DISCERNMENT, the third Come & See experience (see below) is required before the Discerner can apply to the Initial Formation Program. This experience invites him to continue his reflection on our Marist charism and he is presented the Application for Initial Formation.
Requirements for Embarking on the Vocation Process
If you are thinking about entering the Marist Brothers, you must be:
- a practicing, baptized and confirmed Catholic
- between the ages of 21 and 40
- a college graduate or be in the process of obtaining a degree
In addition, you should possess:
- a desire to know and serve God
- an ability to get along with and live with others
- a willingness to develop a prayer life
- an enthusiasm to serve young people
To be accepted as a Marist Postulant in Initial Formation, one must be 21 years of age.
Come and See Experiences*
The Marist Brothers offer Come & See Experiences (C&S) to men who have shown an interest in our religious community and are looking to deepen their involvement with us. As far as possible, the C&S is tailored toward what the individual Inquirer is seeking. The experience can last a day, weekend or longer. Come & See experiences will be made available depending on both the individual’s and the community’s schedules.
These experiences generally fall into three categories:
- During the first C&S, an individual visits a community and ministry at a local site. As he gets more serious,
- A second C&S is available, which includes a discernment process and an introduction to our Initial Formation Program. This C&S is held at the Marist Novitiate in Esopus, NY.
- A third C&S invites those Inquirers who are ready to move forward into Initial Discernment to learn about our Application Process in an atmosphere of retreat. This third C&S also takes place at our Novitiate.
Initial Formation Program:
Postulancy, Novitiate and Temporary Profession
The Initial Formation Program of the Marist Brothers includes three different and progressive stages: Postulancy, Novitiate, and Temporary Profession, and last from 6-8 years.
Postulancy "A Gradual Immersion into Marist Life"
The first stage of the Initial Formation is called Postulancy. This six month program offers the Postulant an experience of: prayer, community living, study, a weekly ministry opportunity, with an on-going discussion about his discernment to become a Marist Brother.
Novitiate "Deepening Marist life"
The Novitiate is the second stage of the Initial Formation Program. The novice continues to discern his vocation to the Marist Brothers through this 18 month program. Continuing the experience of Postulancy, the novice seeks to deepen his commitment to the Brothers by his study of the vows of poverty, chastity and obedience; as well as the study of the life of the founder, St. Marcellin Champagnat. The Novitiate also includes: participation in the Intercommunity Novitiate Program (with other novices from men and women’s communities), and an international experience with Marist Novices from other parts of the world. At the end of the Novitiate, the novice may apply to take temporary vows of poverty, chastity and obedience for a period of one year.
Marist Novices are alive and well around the Marist world and are presently receiving formation in 16 different Marist Novitiates. They total 150 novices worldwide!
Temporary Profession "The Life of a Marist Brother"
The time of Temporary Profession is 4-6 years. As a Professed Member of the Marist Brothers, the Brother in Temporary (annual one year) Vows lives in one of the 30 (?) communities of Marist Brothers in the USA while serving in full-time ministry. He is supported in his brotherhood through regular mentoring and by programs for those in Initial Formation throughout the year. As the discernment continues, ultimately the Brother in Temporary Vows will make his decision – along with the Brothers – to apply for Final Vows as a Marist Brother.
FROM THE SPIRITUAL TESTATMENT
ST. MARCELLIN CHAMPAGNAT
FOUNDER OF THE
For more information please contact a Vocation Co-Director at email@example.com