“ The spirit of Mary is something most delicate and profound, obtained only through sustained meditation and prayer. ” - Jean Claude Colin, Founder Marist Order
It is important to know that the Entrance Process is very much an international process. The various stages of training and formation will take place in different centres of Marist presence and ministry. It is a reflection of the fact that the Marist Fathers (Society of Mary) are an international religious congregation with ministries in many parts of the world.
The first stage of the entrance process is Accompaniment. Prior to entering, a candidate will usually undertake an accompaniment program of guidance in prayer and reflection for one year. The accompaniment normally takes place in their country of origin or in the Province/Region/District in which they are located.
If the candidate wishes to pursue his desire to join the Marist way of life he will have a preparatory year in community and combine work experience with religious and human development activity. This year is called a Postulancy. Each candidate will prepare according as their situation may require. The postulancy normally takes place in the Province/District of the Society in which they are located.
Novitiate follows. This is a special time of spiritual training after which a person takes vows, initially only for a limited time. Eventually vows are taken for life. The Novitiate normally takes place in an international location with other novices sharing a common language. Recent international english speaking novitiates have taken place in Boston, Sydney, Philippines, New Zealand. The next International english speaking Novitiate will take place in 2013 in the Philippines.
Following the Novitiate the professed Marist student will study those subjects required for priesthood. He will receive the spiritual guidance he needs and have opportunities for pastoral experiences. Theological Studies take place in an international Marist theologate in Rome alonq with other Marist Students from around the world. At some point, as part of his training, everyone gets a chance to further his education and skills in accordance with his abilities, e.g. taking a university degree, doing courses in counselling, chaplaincy etc.
A young man reading something like the above is often anxious as to whether he could face the training or the studies and worry about the kind of life he might have to lead etc. There is only one way to deal with that anxiety – make contact with any of the Marist communities mentioned on this site and make arrangements to visit that community and talk about the life with the Marists there.
Once a person enters a Marist community he lives as a Marist, depending on the community. There are no fees or financial obligations of entry.