What Should I Do If God Is Calling Me to the Religious Life?



Discernment


Why do you want to become a religious?

This question is really important. It is a question you should frequently reflect on, over and over, until you can comfortably articulate to other people your answer to it. These are some important questions, among others, that you should ask yourself, and reflect on, as you discern a possible vocation.

Inquiry


You have discerned that God has called you to try your vocation in the convent. Now you will need to discern whether The Brothers of the Annunciation of Mary, part of the Traditional Roman Catholic Church, is where God is calling you to be.

What Can I Do At Home?



Apply


There is a formal application form available from the Novice Master. After requesting it and obtaining it, fill it out and write out the required brief essays. Before mailing it to the Novice Master, be sure to attach current copies of the following required documents:

The Process of Formation Postulancy and Novitiate


A candidate who has considerable theological, liturgical or pastoral education may spend only two to six months as a postulant. He will learn about the religious life and the Franciscan Rule of life which we live. He will develop a relationship with the community. A candidates with no past training may spend six months to a year in the postulancy.

The postulancy is a time to familiarize yourself with our daily routine and rules. After this initial time the novitiate begins with an eight day retreat and reception of the habit. This is a time to strengthen your spiritual life, and deepen your relationship with God and the church as well as form your attitudes toward the community.


The Postulancy


(Constitutions) The right to admit a candidate to the postulate belongs to Father General, who has the right also to dismiss him if he is judged unfit for the life of the Congregation. The time of probation for postulants shall be at least six months. For good reasons it may be extended but not beyond another six month period, after which the postulant must be received into the novitiate or be dismissed. The postulant shall wear a blue tunic and cord without knots.

Upon admission, the postulant will prepare an itemized statement of all he has brought with him, which will be signed in the presence of two witnesses. The postulant shall also sign before two witnesses a release of any claim to remuneration for services he will have rendered during his association with the Congregation.

Every quarter the Novice Master shall give an evaluation to Father General of the postulant's virtues and defects and of his general aptitude for the religious life. A retreat of eight full days shall precede the reception of the religious habit. A postulant or novice found to be suffering from some serious disease which is chronic or an incurable illness shall be dismissed immediately. (That is something which has not been disclosed from the first point of contact with us.)


The Novitiate


(Constitutions) The novitiate begins with the reception of the habit, conducted according to the traditional Franciscan Ritual which takes place at the Holy Mass.  If he should leave the Congregation he may take no part of the habit with him; during the novitiate the novice shall be under the exclusive care and direction of the Novice Master. The novitiate is for the duration of one year. It may only be prolonged for six months. The year of novitiate shall be devoted to the study of the Constitutions and to the spirituality as well as the breeding of a true religious spirit.

Spiritual Formation


(Constitutions) Within the Mystery of the Annunciation of Mary, it stands to reason that God's grace is given us in proportion to the demands that will be made of us. Mary's grace was proportionate to the work that she was called, and being the Mother of God, and Queen of Angels and men, is the highest function in the Universe after that of the Redemption of our race, which began in a very hidden way at the Annunciation. She was full of grace and, in her, sin had no part, so, it could not impede, in her, the full flowering of her spiritual life. Like Mary at the Annunciation, we, with faith, hope and love in God, will strive to someday reach an abundance of fullness, and the gifts of the Holy Ghost will be in constant operation, directing our souls to higher places of holiness.

"WHO ARE MY MOTHERS AND BROTHERS AND SISTERS, BUT THOSE WHO DO THE WILL OF GOD ... " We, like Mary, will Incarnate Christ to others where He is not present. We will strive to announce to all men the Good News of Jesus. We will model ourselves and our lives, within the Gospel counsels of poverty, chastity and obedience, as Mary gave example. Mary was a free agent, free to co-operate with or resist the plans of God. Just as Mary freely said 'YES' at the Annunciation, so, too, do the Brothers of the Annunciation of Mary freely say 'YES' to God, freely renouncing their own will to the will of the Father.

Any Roman Catholic man can be admitted to the Congregation provided he is free from all legal impediments, is motivated by the right intention, and is capable of fulfilling the duties of the religious life. He must be of good character and have a genuine love for the religious life and a fitness for the work of the Congregation.

In our Congregation, contemplative life is intimately linked to apostolic activity. For the common good of the Lord's flock the entire Franciscan family and each Brother is immediately subject to our Bishop.

The Congregation's foundation is religious profession by which we commit ourselves to the gospel life of perfect charity, not simply in using the ordinary means of sanctification, but, by the vows of obedience, poverty and chastity by which they are consecrated to God though the ministry of the Church; and by the observance of common life and the Rule and Constitutions according to the spirit of the Congregation.

The following especially reflects the spirit of the Brothers of the Annunciation of Mary:


a) loving God, the supreme good whose loving plan is to restore all things in Christ, with undivided heart;  Our Mission is bringing unity to those faithful to Holy Tradition, as well as bringing about the restoration of Christ's Church.

b) conforming oneself to the same Christ the Lord from whom every grace flows as from its source and head, by realizing His mysteries in one's own life, in union with Mary, the Immaculate Mother of God, and with the whole Church.

c) likewise, loving all people by proclaiming and promoting peace, brotherly love, and the kingdom of Christ among them;

d) and finally, while living in the world, serving the Lord in poverty, humility, simplicity, and gladness of heart.


The Profession of Vows


(Constitutions) By their profession of the vows of obedience, poverty and chastity, the Brothers:

a) dedicate themselves directly and entirely to God in a special manner;

b) are conformed more exactly to the type of life Christ the Lord chose for Himself and are united in a special way to the Church and her saving mission.

c) stimulate the fervor of their charity through a fuller expression of their Baptismal consecration, progress in the life of pilgrims and penitents, and voluntarily deny themselves goods otherwise highly esteemed.

Each Brother, therefore, called to the profession of the Evangelical Counsels, should live according to his vocation and strengthen it by persevering effort and prudent vigilance. By their very nature the three vows bind under pain of mortal sin.


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