What is the journey to a Spiritan commitment like?
It's not a decision that is made quickly or with little thought. To help each man who feels he is called to be a Spiritan brother or priest understand the commitment and discover if he is truly called by the Holy Spirit to this life, we walk with him, guide him in reflection, and share our own experiences. We will guide you through this process which we call discernment and help you discover God's call in your life.
Brother Michael Suazo, C.S.Sp.
Holy Spirit Provincialate
Bethel Park, PA 15102-2214
412-831-0302, ext. 421
If you think you may have a calling to religious life, contact us for more information and support.
We are here to answer your questions and tell you more about the Spiritan community.
Answering the call
The first step is a feeling of curiosity or a call to learn more about life as a Spiritan. Spiritan brothers and priests will talk with you and answer any questions you have about their life as Spiritans or how they sensed the call of the Holy Spirit before joining the order. Contact us if you'd like to talk about any of these issues.
Year 1: The Pre-Novitiate -- Moving into the community
After taking a few months to take care of your personal business (leaving your job, moving out of your home) you will be invited to move into our community and begin to live with other Spiritans. You spend this year taking classes, deepening your ministerial experience by volunteering in prisons, hospitals, tutoring, working in parishes and other places where you might be needed. During this period, you'll enter into spiritual direction that will help your discernment process through prayer and dialogue.
Year 2: The Novitiate -- Living as a Spiritan
During this year, you will grow in your understanding of the Spiritan vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience and discover if you are able to commit your life to the Spiritan Congregation. This Novitiate year could take place outside the U.S. in another Spiritan community, like Canada, Ireland or Haiti. You will be with other men who are discovering more about the Spiritan life. You'll meet Spiritans from all over the world and learn about their experiences as missionaries. This is a year for spiritual reflection and a time to learn more about the mission and history of the Spiritans. At the end of your Novitiate experience, you will have reached a decision about whether or not to take temporary vows and commit to live in the Spiritan congregation for three years.
Years 3+: Post-Novitiate Theological study and overseas training
This period can vary in length as you finish your undergraduate degree and work toward your master's degree in theology/divinity. You will also spend two or three years overseas getting hands-on ministry experience in another culture. During your first year abroad you will learn the language. During the second year, you will take part in the missionary work with the local Spiritan community. Where you spend your overseas experience is decided jointly by you and your Spiritan advisor. You will have a mentor, a Spiritan living and working in that community, who will help you adjust and reflect on your experiences. When the overseas missionary work and studies are completed, those called to priesthood will move toward their final vows and ordination.
Read about Jeff Duaime's Overseas Experience
In your final year of study, after you have taken your final vows, you'll engage in dialogue with the Spiritan leadership in Rome and the local leadership of your province regarding your first assignment. During this exciting time, you will have the opportunity to consider many options.
A Three Phase Process
(The precise details of the process vary depending on your regional location in the United States.)
Next, you'll have a chance to meet some Spiritans and continue your discussion and investigation of the Spiritan community. We'll ask you some tough questions, give you time and guidance as you seek the answers. If we both feel that becoming a Spiritan is the life you are called to live, you'll be invited to take part in what we call the "formation process," or more simply, the process of becoming a Spiritan. During this time, you'll be invited to discern more deeply God's call in your life.