An individual journeying through the process of discernment (discovering one's call) will “walk” with a representative of the Congregation of the Resurrection, normally a Vocation Director. Through a series of meetings with the Vocation Director the individual will work towards a greater awareness of where God is calling him. If it appears that God’s call is leading the person to religious life, a more formal and in-depth process of formation begins.
Traditionally, the Congregation of the Resurrection has four stages of formation: pre-novitiate, novitiate, post-novitiate and on-going.
During the pre-novitiate stage the candidate will continue discerning his call to religious life by: studying the history, charism and mission of the Congregation of the Resurrection; studying and engaging in the spirituality of religious life; continuing academic studies; participating in some form of ministry; etc. An assessment of the individual at this stage of formation will focus upon their ability to live common life and participate at a level of effectiveness in ministry.
In the novitiate stage the novice deepens his commitment to Christ as he prepares for the profession of religious vows. Novitiate is an intense spiritual experience that includes daily time for prayer and reflection, celebration of the Sacraments, a directed retreat experience of some length, study, and continuing discernment. The Novitiate lasts for one full year, and concludes with the profession of first vows.
During the post-novitiate stage the process there is a movement towards full membership in the Congregation of the Resurrection. The novice prepares for ministry as a priest, permanent deacon or brother. Lasting from three to four years this stage normally includes formal education at the graduate and concludes with the profession of perpetual vows, and if applicable ordination.
The final stage of formation is on-going and lasts for the remainder of one’s life. As religious we strive to be faithful to community and ministry. This requires continual study, living the common life and persistent prayer.