The Post-Novitiate Year

>> Saturday, March 1, 2008


Based upon the recommendations of the Novice Director and after the consideration of the Provincial Council, the novice receives permission to make temporary profession of vows. The vows of poverty, chastity and obedience, which the novice has prayed about and studied over the course of the novitiate, are taken for a three-year period. However, initial formation does not conclude with the profession of temporary vows, but rather continues throughout the period in which the friar remains in temporary vows.

After the profession of temporary vows the newly professed friar begins the post-novitiate year. This year of integration allows the friar the opportunity to internalize the Capuchin values learned during the course of postulancy and especially during novitiate.

Under the guidance of a formation director, the newly professed will select a ministry in which he will spend about fifteen hours a week. In addition to ministry, the friar will attend in-house classes in a variety of subject ranging from Theological Reflection to Social Justice and, because of the local ministries of our Capuchin province, he may also be asked to take some classes in Spanish at a local college or university.

While one goal of the post-novitiate is integration and internalization of the Capuchin charism, the other is discernment. During postulancy the individual sought to discern whether he was being called to pursue a Capuchin vocation and in the course of the novitiate the goal of discernment was whether or not God was calling the novice to profess vows of poverty, chastity and obedience in the Capuchin Franciscan Order. That stage of discernment has concluded by the time time the friar enters the post-novitiate year, but discernment never really concludes. It is a life-long process. The goal of discernment during the post-novitiate year is ministerial. The newly professed seeks to discern whether God is calling him to serve in the Capuchin Franciscan Order as a priest brother or as a lay brother. This process of discernment will determine what course of studies will follow the post-novitiate year.

By the conclusion of the post-novitiate year, the friar will have discerned as nearly as possible that God is calling him to either the priesthood or to lay ministry. He will then proceed to a friary where he can pursue that particular course of study. After the three year period in temporary vows has expired, the friar may petition the Provincial for permission to make Perpetual Vows with the Capuchin Franciscans. With the profession of Perpetual vows the process labeled Initial Formation reaches its culmination. But formation, in general, will continue throughout his religious life - as long as he continues to be attentive to the stirrings of the Spirit within his heart.

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