- The formation program is such that each phase of the program prepares the candidate for the following stage of formation. The goal of the pre-novitiate is to prepare the candidate for the novitiate by affording him a basic understanding of a religious vocation within the People of God. This stage of formation entails a period of six to twelve months.The candidate will be given the tools and instructions necessary to enable him to deepen his basic Christian and religious knowledge. During this period of time the candidate is given an opportunity to know our way of life, its values and its demands. He is also introduced to the apostolate of our province and helped to accommodate himself to and appreciate the multi-cultural environment of our houses and ministerial settings.The pre-novitiate is designed to facilitate a gradual transition to religious life. Developing a personal relationship between the candidate and the community is more important at this point than the form of life he follows.
THE NOVITIATEThe purpose of the novitiate is: to offer the novice a genuine experience of what it means to be consecrated to God as a Discalced Carmelite friar; to make available to the novice a deep objective knowledge of the evangelical counsels, and the theological virtues inherent in the Christian life; to help him come to an understanding of the basic demands made upon him by our way of life, i.e, a spirit of detachment, whole-hearted adherence to God in contemplation and apostolic zeal. This period of formation covers the period of a year and one day.The foundation and structure of the novice's personal prayer are to be found in Scripture and the Liturgy (R. 198). The novice should develop a deep love of prayer. The novice's prayer should be one of a personal response to the Lord's call to friendship with him.The font of fraternal union and the gratuitous giving of oneself are to be found in the Eucharist. Daily participation in the community's Mass is the keystone of the novice's vocational development.At the end of the novitiate year, with the consent of the Provincial and the formation community, the novice may be admitted to profess the evangelical vows of poverty, chastity and obedience according to the Rule and Constitutions of the Discalced Carmelite Friars. These vows are professed for one year's time.
THE STUDENT PROGRAMThe goal of the time of temporary profession is to deepen in the student his commitment to, and sense of personal responsibility for, the values of religious and Carmelite life.The student's academic studies, his introduction to the apostolate, his ongoing experience of community life, his continuing fidelity to prayer, and his further assimilation of Carmelite spirituality comprise the basic components of his life. Each of these components, in varying ways, help towards the fulfillment of the above-stated goal.
SOLEMN PROFESSIONAfter having lived the evangelical counsels for a period of five years, a candidate may be admitted to make Solemn Profession, by which he professes the evangelical vows of poverty, chastity and obedience according to the Rule and Constitutions of the Discalced Carmelite Friars. By Solemn profession a religious is definitively incorporated into the Order and becomes a full member of it.