Alexian Brothers' Terminologies and Stages of Formation
Candidate - one who is actively exploring an Alexian vocation.
Candidacy Period is the term used to refer to the inquirer's initial contact with the Vocation Team, which if proven promising, usually lasts for one year or more. It ends when the candidate's application for admission is formally approved and accepted by the Alexian Brothers Formation Committee.
Postulancy Period refers to the six months transitional community living which starts from the time the accepted candidate formally enters the Postulancy in St. Louis, MO. The Postulant will live with the local communitiy and join the Brothers in their everyday activities, which include daily community prayers, 5 days of ministry during the week and some formation studies. This period gives the Postulant the time to strenghten his spiritual life and to further discern if he is being called to continue his formation as a Novice, which is the next period of the Alexian Brothers' Formation. It formally ends when their application to proceed to the Novitiate is accepted by the Provincial.
Novice - one who makes a deeper commitment to the life of an Alexian Brother.
Novitiate Period refers to the intensive two-year-formation required by the constitutions of the Alexian Brothers, namely, Canonical and Apostolic Years. During the Canonical Year, which is the first year of the Novitiate Program, the Novice is required to spend most of his time in studies and in further spiritual development. During this time, a Novice will be asked to make more intentioned inner work of prayer, personal reflection, and life integration, in close conversation with his Novice Director and his Spiritual Director.
During the second year of the Novitiate , which is the Apostolic Year, the Novice will be actively involved in one of the Brothers' ministries. The novice will also complete a unit of CPE (Clinical Pastoral Education / chaplain training) in one of our ministries.
The Novitiate Year ends at the end of the Apostolic Year, when the Novice will make a decision to pursue his decision to apply for Temporary Life Profession. When the Novice's application is approved by the Provincial Council, the Novice will be formally and legally become a part of the Province.
Temporary Professed Brother
An Alexian Brother who freely lives the vows of poverty, chastity and obedience for one year. An Alexian Brother in temporary profession renews his simple vows yearly, for a minimum of 3 years and a maximum of 7 years.
Life Professed Brother
An Alexian Brother who has committed his life to the vows, in community, as an Alexian Brother for his entire lifetime.