Becoming a Brother of Christian Instruction

From our Rule...

coat-of-arms2 (57K) Formation involves three major orientations: human and Christian culture, spiritual development and preparation for educational and apostolic work. The close bonds among these orientations and their interdependence should be kept in mind. (Constitutions, # 55)

Young Brothers continue their spiritual formation and their studies, particularly in theology and catechetics. They acquaint themselves with the apostolic and professional activities of the Congregation and strive to acquire an adequate critical understanding of the values and norms which govern the thoughts and actions of their society. (Constitutions, # 78)

Personal formation is an unending process/ Throughout their lives, the Brothers try to progress in the service of God, the Church and society. Whenever possible, therefore, the superiors and the communities provide them with periodic opportunities to acquire a deeper understanding of their religious and apostolic lives, to broaden their knowledge and to improve their professional skills. (Constitutions, # 81)

What is needed?

An aptitude for the Brother's life and an attraction which has withstood the test of time are signs of the Lord's call. Response to a vocation entails the total gift of self; it is clarified and sustained with the help of others who serve as instruments of God's grace. (Constitutions, # 50)

Candidates must be Catholic, free from canonical impediments, prompted by the right intentions, and acting of their own free will. They must be from respectable families, have good moral habits and possess the following qualities: a genuine piety consistent with their age, an open, firm and sociable character, sound judgment, adequate intelligence, interest in the education of youth, and physical and psychological health rooted in a wholesome heredity. (Constitutions, # 54)

Juvenate

The juvenate is available to young candidates who meet the criteria for admission, are receptive to the call of God and desire to live in a setting conducive to the study of their vocation. (Constitutions, # 60)

Postulate

The postulate provides a more direct preparation to the novitiate through a deeper experience of the Christian life and a finer discernment of the Lord's call. Preferably, it takes place in a house other than the novitiate, but its director keeps in touch with the master of novices. Regional or provincial authorities establish its special modalities and its duration of six months or more.(Constitutions, # 61)

At the appropriate time, each postulant submits to the Provincial a written request for admission to the novitiate. His written dossier should include certificates of Baptism and Confirmation, at least one letter of recommendation and, when advisable, a certificate of freedom from canonical impediments. (Constitutions, # 62b)

Novitiate

A novice seeks to develop his knowledge of Christ and his intimacy with him, to acquire a deeper appreciation of his Mennaisian vocation and to assess its requirements. In order to obtain a greater love of God, he strives to practice the evangelical counsels and to integrate in his being the contemplative and the active dimensions of the apostolic religious life. He studies the history and the activities of the Congregation and the life and achievements of its Founders. Under the guidance of the master of novices, in a fraternal community, he prepares himself through reflection and prayer to make an informed and mature personal decision. (Constitutions, # 67)

At the novitiate, the study of Scripture and of doctrine is not directed toward a degree, but towards a better formation by a deepening of the life of faith and by the contribution which such studies make to a fuller knowledge and love of God. (Constitutions, # 68)

Profession

The religious profession is the action of one whom the person of Christ has captivated, who wills to declare publicly his desire to follow him and who therefore joins a society organized specifically for mutual support in God's service. This traditional aim of all religious is the Founders' legacy, which the Brother cherishes and carefully transmits to his successors. (Directory, # 23)

At the moment of his profession, the Brother, drawn by an unshakable hope, takes hold of his entire life with all its unforeseeable vicissitudes and places it as a spiritual sacrifice in God's almighty hand. The dynamic impact of that fleeting act, sustained by grace, endures as a permanently willed oblation despite superficial variations in his dispositions.

Thereafter, the Brother belongs to God in a new way, as a living [arable of the love relationship between God and regenerated mankind: "I will espouse you to me forever, ... I will espouse you in fidelity". (Directory, # 24)

On-going Formation

Throughout the Congregation, the initial formation must, according to ecclesial norms, be continued until the perpetual profession.

Accordingly, young Brothers continue their spiritual formation and their studies, particularly in theology and catechetics. They acquaint themselves with the apostolic and professional activities of the Congregation and strive to acquire an adequate critical understanding of the values and norms which govern the thoughts and actions in their society. (Constitutions, # 78)

Personal formation is an unending process. Throughout their lives, the Brothers try to progress in the service of God, the Church and society. Whenever possible, the superiors and the communities provide them with periodic opportunities to acquire a deeper understanding of their religious and apostolic lives, to broaden their knowledge and to improve their professional skills. (Constitutions, # 81)

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