- E n t r a n c e & F o r m a t i o n P r o c e s s -
Do you want to get to know the Community? Come and see! Come spend a few days in any of our houses around the world. Discover the Community's charism, enjoy the liturgy, fraternal life, mission and receive regular spiritual direction which will enable you to attune yourself to the Will of God for your life. If you feel the Lord calling you to join the Beatitudes, you would ask the superior about becoming a candidate.
1. First Stage: Candidacy Before Entering the Community
Candidacy is an official time of preparation before entering. While still living your normal life wherever you are (working, studying), candidacy is a time to deepen your relationship with the Lord and with the Community, and discern which branch you want to join (lay or consecrated). Candidates maintain a regular life of prayer, visit the Community on a regular basis, are encouraged to undertake an apostolic activity on their campus or in their parish, and may begin receiving a spiritual formation. Candidates desiring consecrated life do a one-month stay in a Beatitudes house before entering.
2. Second Stage: Year of Common Formation
If it has been discerned that you have an authentic vocation to the Community as well as sufficient Christian and human maturity, you may be admitted to a year of common formation of the aspirants in a Community Formation House.
The beginning of the year of Common Formation marks the official entrance into a Community house to begin full-time Beatitudes life and formation.
“The aim of this year of common formation is to allow the person to know and take on the charism proper to the Community. It shall not only be an intellectual formation, but a real school of life.” (Statutes, no. 65)
For couples and other lay people who have commitments in the world which they cannot renounce, a formation will be offered adapted to their situation on an extended time-frame.
3. Third Stage: Postulancy Year in the Chosen Branch
Has the year of common formation confirmed your call? You must discern and choose whether to pursue your call in either one of the Consecrated Branches (bothers or sisters) or in the Lay Branch of the Community. You make a written request, the discerning team confirms your desire, and then you must obtain the consent of the Regional Head. You will be sent to join a House of the Branch in order to continue community life under the watchful eye of your local moderator or superior.
This year is called the probationary year in the lay branch. It is a year of formation to deepen your relationship with the Lord. (Continued below)
◊ THE BRANCHES OF CONSECRATED BROTHERS AND SISTERS → → →
4. Fourth Stage: Novitiate
You will receive formation in consecrated life and the meaning of the vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience. Your life will be permeated by an experience of the specific vocation of consecration within our Beatitudes charism.
5. Fifth Stage: Incorporation through Temporary Vows
If your call remains, you must make a written request and receive the blessing of your superiors… And now you are clothed with the habit and the white novice scapular, as you pronounce the three evangelical counsels of poverty, chastity and obedience. You have chosen to follow Christ and be configured to him. Alleluia!
You will renew your vows every year for a minimum duration of four years and a maximum duration of six years. You make a written request every time you renew your vows. This is freedom! Obedience is a true path of interior freedom and happiness.
Have we reached the end of the road of formation? Although these years will begin to establish you in life and service, they are still a time to receive a solid doctrinal foundation in philosophy and theology, developed according to your abilities and your particular gifts. You are also to receive adequate formation for the mission or tasks which may await you.
6. Sixth Stage: Perpetual Vows
After you make a written request, consultation and consent will be asked of the superiors and councils concerned, and you may be called to pronounce your final vows. Your Creator is your Bridegroom!
7. Ongoing Formation
Throughout their whole life, consecrated brothers and sisters are to diligently continue their spiritual, doctrinal, apostolic, and missionary formation.
+ Specific Priestly Formation
If the candidate is a brother who aspires to the priesthood and is considered to have sufficient human and spiritual maturity, he may be admitted by the General Superior of the brothers' Branch directly after the year of common formation, without completing the postulancy year, so that his journey towards priesthood shall not be excessively lengthened.
Admission to Holy Orders depends on the authority of the Archbishop of Toulouse. Incardination takes place in the Archdiocese of Toulouse.
◊ LAY BRANCH → → →
4. Fourth Stage Lay Branch: Temporary Commitment
After having made a written request, you commit yourself to live out the spirituality of the Community according to the charter. This commitment can be renewed annually for three years.
An elder of the community will be assigned to guide your formation, and you must receive spiritual direction with a director of your choice. You will either be offered housing within a Community House, find housing closer to a Community House, or be attached to a Fraternity. There are many possibilities because various members might continue their previous job, take on the work of an apostolate, take a sabbatical time, etc.
5. Fifth Stage Lay Branch: Permanent or Definitive Commitment and Integration
Following your written request and with the consent of your moderators, you may make a lifetime commitment to the Community.
If you are single, you make a “permanent” commitment, which includes a clause that permits one’s commitment to be modified if, eventually, they marry and your new spouse does not find the same call to the Community. You might also pursue a lay celibate consecration.
A married couple may not make a commitment to the Community unless the decision is made in full communion by both parties.
6. Ongoing Formation Lay Branch
Ongoing theological, biblical, spiritual, intellectual, and human formation is to be fostered all throughout one’s life.