58 | VISION 2021 | VocationNetwork.org
in experiences of prayer and com-
munity life. Others may take part
in a “come and see” program to
visit a community and experience
its way of life. [For a current listing
of discernment opportunities, visit
CANDIDATE: This period enables the
candidate (sometimes called a “pos-
tulant”) to observe and participate
in religious life from the inside. He
or she must indicate interest and
have the community agree to accept
him or her as a person in the pro-
cess of joining. The candidate lives
within the community while con-
tinuing his or her education or work
experience. This period enables the
candidate to observe and participate
in religious life. It also allows the
community to see whether the can-
didate shows promise in living the
community’s life. A person may be a
candidate for one or two years.
NOVICE: The novitiate is the nextstage of formation. This is a specialone- to two-year period that marks amore official entrance into a community. Novices spend time in studyand prayer to learn more aboutthemselves, the community, andtheir relationship with Jesus. At theend of the novitiate, novices preparefor temporary vows.
VOWS: Promises of poverty, celibacy,
9. How can I join a religious
The process of joining a religiouscommunity actually takes sometime and involves several stages.
While these vary from communityto community in name, length oftime, and format, the basic stagesinclude:
CONTACT: A person of high-schoolage or older who is interested in religious life but is still searching to answer the question “What does Godwant of me?” can join a programwith a religious community. Theseprograms are usually very flexible.
The person may meet monthly witha priest, brother, or sister and share
STEVE PFOS T (COUR TESY OF OPUS PRIZE FOUNDATION)