Steps In The Journey
DISCERNMENT AND ACCOMPANIMENT
The Lord has a plan for each of us, he calls each one of us by name. Our task is to learn how to listen, to perceive his call, to be courageous and faithful in following him and, when all is said and done, to be found trustworthy servants who have used well the gifts given us. (Pope Benedict XVI to Seminarians, Bavaria, 11 September 2006)
Enquirers are invited to make contact with the Vocations Director who can meet with them to answer questions and provide an initial point of contact with the Passionists. Applicants for entry into the Congregation should normally have been in contact with the Vocations Director for a year before beginning their Postulancy. During this time of discernment, they will meet regularly with the Vocations Director, who accompanies them at this stage. The period of accompaniment is a time of discernment for both the Applicant and the Congregation, as they seek God’s Will together.
Applicants are usually between the ages of 18 and 35, although in particular circumstances older candidates are also considered.
The formation journey begins with postulancy which usually lasts from six months to a year and takes place in a Passionist Community. The postulancy is an introduction to living in a religious community. Religious Formation has spiritual, intellectual and human dimensions, and formation in all of these areas begins during the time of postulancy. Postulants share in the prayer life of the community and are introduced to the Liturgy of the Church. The teachings of the Church are also studied and the postulants are introduced to the spirituality and history of the Passionists. Spiritual Direction is an essential element of formation at this stage, as it will be throughout the person’s Passionist Life. During the postulancy, the candidates have their ﬁrst experience of the apostolate and ministries of the Province.
The novitiate is the real introduction to religious life and the time of preparation for First Profession. It is, in a sense, an extended retreat. During the year of novitiate, the day is shaped by the traditional activities of prayer (liturgical and personal), work and study. This is a time of progressively deepening our relationship with Christ and our sense of being called by him to the Passionist life. Novices receive further instruction on prayer and spirituality, the Passionist Charism, the Passion in Scripture and the Tradition of the Church, and the meaning of the Vows of Poverty, Chastity and Obedience and the Passionist Vow to contemplate and proclaim the memory of the Passion of Jesus. Human formation is also an essential dimension of the preparation for taking religious vows.
The period of initial formation continues until Perpetual (Final) Profession and, for clerical candidates, Ordination to the Priesthood. Professed Passionist students study Philosophy, Theology, Scripture, Spirituality and any other subjects needed for their future ministry in the community. Like the earlier stages, the post-novitiate formation takes place within the context of Passionist community life.
PASSIONIST VOCATION PRAYER
you gave your life on the Cross
so that we could share in God’s own life
and know his love for us.
May the love that flows from the Cross
transform our hearts,
so that we can bring your love and compassion
to those whose lives we touch,
especially those who are suffering.
Give the light of your Holy Spirit
to those young people who have received
the grace of a Passionist vocation.
Inspire them to give their lives
as Passionist priests, brothers or sisters,
keeping the Memory of your Passion alive
in their own hearts and in the hearts of others.
May Mary, who stood by the Cross, be their example,
and may Saint Paul of the Cross be their guide. Amen.
If you feel that God might be calling you to be a priest or brother in the Passionist community and would like to meet a member of our vocation team in Ireland or Scotland, or if you would like more information, contact our Vocations Director: Fr Paul Francis Spencer CP, Saint Paul’s Retreat, Mount Argus, Dublin 6W, Ireland.
Telephone (00 353) 1 4992000 (mobile 0831725973) or email: firstname.lastname@example.org