When an individual enters our community as a novice, an ongoing process of growth and formation begins that will continue throughout life. The point of this process is to become more closely formed according to the image and example of Jesus Christ who is ultimately the true teacher.
In the novitiate period especially we believe that it is crucial to provide the novice with a serious period of formation, in which he or she is exposed to the richness of monastic tradition. Novices attend classes in monastic spirituality, Church history, liturgy, and Scripture. Candidates follow a syllabus of important readings. These lay the foundation in mature personal development for acquiring a solid monastic identity.
The process of formation continues after the monastic makes profession. In addition to daily personal study and reflection, the community invites guest speakers to address important topics. Provision is made for each monastic to seek spiritual direction on a regular basis.
The first step in exploring our life is to contact one of our vocation directors to arrange an initial visit. Individuals who are interested in our life need to develop a positive relationship with us through several visits. These visits are usually three days to a week in length (depending on individual circumstances). Visiting helps the seeker get to know the community and how we live. These visits provide the opportunity to speak with individual members and begin the process of discerning whether our way of life is a good fit.
The next step is to attend one of our Come and See monastic experience retreats at New Skete. This is a unique opportunity for individuals interested in the monastic life to spend time with us living according to the rhythms of our
contemplative life. Seekers have ample opportunity for solitude and prayer, joining us in the choir for services, spending a certain period of time each day in common work, sharing meals with us, and having several spiritual conferences throughout the time on the monastic vocation. These retreats are usually held in October and May. No fee is expected. If you are interested, please contact Br. Stavros at 518-677-3928 x204 or Sr. Patricia at 518-677-3810 x102.