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Esopus novitiate reopens!

30/05/2008: United States

The word “Novitiate” will bring many varied images and feelings to the minds and hearts of the Brothers. The stories of large groups, loved and not so loved Masters of Novices, rigorous programs; and then the variety of locales, styles and visions, with groups of one, two or three novices illustrate how much the world and church has influenced our formation programs. Whatever our Novitiate Program, no doubt each of us has been impacted by that “year and a day,” or two year experience.

On Monday September 8, 2008 the Marist Brothers of the Province of the United States of America will reopen their Novitiate. The formation community of Brothers Robert Clark (Novice Director), Joseph Matthews and Donald Nugent has been having weekly meetings since February in order to prepare for this important occasion.

Our present two year Initial Formation Program was approved by the Provincial Council in 2004. Those who have been accepted into the Program will begin their formation at the Novitiate in Esopus. These men will be called Pre-Novices for the first six months of the program. The Pre-Novitiate is a time of transition and therefore it is meant to be a gradual immersion into Marist life. The five components of formation: prayer, community living, study, ministry and discernment are the foundation of the program.

What will be a “typical” day in the (pre)Novitiate?
8:00 Morning Prayer, followed by breakfast
9:30 Presentation on topics related to formation
12:15 Marial Prayer, followed by lunch
1:30 Personal‐Formation Time
5:00 Eucharist
6:30 Dinner, followed by Evening Prayer

In addition, one day a week will be a day for ministry and another for a guided day of reflection. Weekly accompaniment with the Novice Director is an important part in this time of discernment. The regular schedule will be supplemented with a retreat, community ministry visits, and participation in the Intercommunity Candidate and Novitiate Programs.

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