The Noviciate is a central stage in the formation of the religious life of the Daughters of Jesus. An African proverb clearly illustrates its significance :
“Don’t worry about the harvest, but the careful sowing ” .
So the Novitiate is the time of careful sowing : a time of discerning a call which was heard ; a time to lay the foundations of the reply which a novice wishes to make in an apostolic religious community.
What does this mean?
First and foremost it is the time to know and work the soil by a deep knowledge of self and by openness to meeting others who are different.
Daily fraternal living in a frequently multicultural context , in the noviciate community as in any environment or course is a means of working in depth and openness larger than oneself.
In fact, if it is important to work the soil well, it is to welcome and allow to germinate the seed of meeting God, allowing Him to take root in the heart of the novice and help it bring new life to birth.
The Novitiate is fundamentally a time of interiorisation and basic spiritual experience. Like the tiny seed thrown into the soil;, the novice lives through times of rupture and fundamental choices, dispossessions and liberations , small or great death of self , of rebirths.
It is the fruit of the existential meeting with Jesus which becomes the treasure of his life .
How is it possible to know him intimately without loving him passionately ?
How can we love him passionately, humanly
– without seeking to love , act , serve in his way…
– without witnessing to the Father’s tenderness for all humanity ?
For us, Daughters of Jesus , the novitiate generally lasts two years, and may be prolonged by an extra six months if necessary .
Seven main focal points essential to the time of formation:
- Fundamental experience of God and meeting with Jesus Christ
- Integral formation of the person
- Fundamental elements of apostolic religious life
- Missionary openness in an a multicultural reality
- A sense of belonging to a Congregation in the Church
- Knowledge of the Faith.
In a particular way, deepening the history of the Daughters of Jesus from its origins to the present day, from the point of view of the charism we bear, the novice is invited to become implicated in this spiritual adventure through:
- daily fraternal life and solitude ;
- manual work ,prayer, reflection and study;
- apostolic work and community stages ;
- relaxation feast and “pardon”.
Together we live out the progression . But the personal commitment, free and responsible of each novice is essential.
“ If you wish follow me!”