To build something long-lasting requires time. The time for discovery and reflection, the time for experiment and commitment …
It is a time to experiment the community life and the mission of the Brothers, often lasting two years. By deepening his faith and his knowledge of the congregation, the aspirant prepares himself for a first choice. It is lived with other young people who aspiring to the same vocation, and sometimes with a community of Brothers if the applicant is alone.
“Young people are haunted by any sorts of harmful influences which, sometimes, lead them to a daily despair. I want to get involved to make increase in them a dynamic spirit which allows them to insure their future. I want to be a protagonist of hope for this terrorized youth. The joy of this choice is so great that I do not know where to begin. In fact, I have the joy to want myself devoted to God’s will, to deepen day after day my relation with God, to want to love him with an undivided heart…” Mark, Postulant, Haïti
This is the decisive moment to deepen one’s life as a baptised person, while preparing oneself to take a decision for an effective commitment in the Brothers’ Congregation by taking religious vows.
What is proposed :
- To live in a quiet place, at his own pace, accompanied by a Brother, “Master of Novices”, and in liaison with a community of Brothers.
- To know oneself better, through a more personal encounter with Christ, and to feel, the inner freedom and joy generated from the gift of self.
- To make the experience of God and of the following of Christ as the founders of the Congregation Jean- Marie de la Mennais and Gabriel Deshayes, and the first Brothers did.
- To deepen the Brother’s vocation, while getting some experience of community life and the educational mission for the youth.
- To live daily according to the Brothers’ Rule of Life, as a way of evangelising oneself, under the inspiration of the Spirit.
- To choose Christ and his mission, and to ask or to refuse to enter into the Congregation of the Brothers of Christian Instruction.
“My present experience at the Novitiate is wonderful. I immensely love my experience of life with God, with a greater knowledge of Father de la Mennais and with being with my Brothers.”
Bro. Israël, Philippines
The first years of Religious Life
After his commitment by temporary vows, the young religious continues his journey:
- A course of studies is proposed, the Scholasticate: theology and education sciences. This time is lived in an international community of young Brothers.
- Then he lives an insertion in a community of Brothers committed to an educational mission.
The first time … « I remember the first time when I met the Brothers. They were very nice and very welcoming. They were also very close to children and to young people. They dedicated a lot of time to the young people, sharing with them and listening to them. The second thing that attracted me was the simplicity of their life. They lived in brotherhood and led a life of prayer.
It is a path on which I commit myself to follow Jesus and to become his friend in the mission. My “yes” means answering Jesus’ call. I have believed that Jesus needs me to help him in his particular mission for the young people.
To say “Yes” also means to give, and that I am one of those who are chosen by God to bring love to the others. To bring happiness to the young people is one of the main missions. And the icon of the Brother is the one of Mary the educator. ”
Bro Frencky, Indonesia, Scholasticate,Manila, Philippines
One day, while going out of the high school. “One day, while going out of the high school, I heard two of my classmates speaking about a vocational group of reflection which existed at the Brother’s and of which they themselves were members. Seeing me interested, they invited me to join the group. The day before my entering the Postulate, I said to myself: “if God really calls me to the religious life, He will give me the means to follow his Son faithfully “.
Whenever I have an opportunity to pass to another stage in my initial formation, I renew the same expression of my trust in God. In response, I always feel deep within my being that little phrase: ” Do not fear, I am = ( God ) always with you “. During this short experience, I have never been disappointed by the faithfulness and the graces of God towards me. That is why, from day to day, I renew my “Yes” in the Brother’s life. ”
Bro. Vilson, Haïti
Towards the perpetual profession
At the end of a period of temporary commitment that can vary from five to nine years, the Brother commits himself definitely in the Congregation by taking his final vows. He prepares himself by following a proposed course of specific formation with other temporary-professed Brothers.
Young people in formation today
Today, more than 130 young people are in formation in communities of reception or Postulates, in 5 Novitiates and 3 Scholasticates of the Institute. Some fifty young Brothers with temporary vows are inserted in communities for the educational mission.
To become a Brother | Listening to the call | You have 8 new messages | Some stages | Youth Formative Centres and Houses of Formation for Brothers in the world | 10 questions | Contacts with the Brothers and communities