Novitiate

After the Postulancy period, if the Postulant feels he is called to follow the Capuchin way of life, he may then apply for the next stage of formation: the Novitiate.  The Novitiate is a more intense period of prayer and discernment and an opportunity to experience more deeply the Capuchin community life and charism.  It lasts for one year in which the novice will also study the Capuchin Franciscan life and charism, Rule, and Constitutions.

 

The Novitiate is a time of deep reflection and personal prayer guided by the help of experienced spiritual directors.  It is also a time for experiencing more fully the rhythm of community prayer (especially the Liturgy of the Hours). The Australian Capuchin Province sends its novices to the International (English-speaking) Novitiate which is situated on the outskirts of Santa Barbara, California - a peaceful environment to free the novice from the distractions of normal day-to-day life and give him the space and quality time to be able to truly hear and discern the will of the Lord.  The novice learns to live in a fraternity, with a number of peers (there were 23 novices in 2014) so that both he and the Order can discern if he is truly suited to a fraternal way of life.  The year also involves some ministry to the poor and fraternal house duties.

 

 

At the beginning of the Novitiate year, the novice is clothed with the habit (which, for this year, is technically referred to as "the clothes of probation" - since it includes a caperone, which is a piece of material that he wears over his shoulders) in an investiture ceremony. At the end of the Novitiate year the novice returns to Australia and makes his temporary profession (for three years) of the three vows of poverty, chastity and obedience - conforming himself to Christ who, for us, was poor, chaste and always obedient to His Father. There is some footage below of one of the friars making his temporary profession:

 

 

Then: Post Novitiate