10. Entrance Into The Community

  1. When an individual hears God's Spirit calling him/her to investigate membership in our community, co undergoes a process of mutual discernment between coself and the community to “test the Spirit”. This time is not intended to test the quality or worth of a person before God, or even necessarily to test one's overall call to community or religious life. It is meant only to discern cos specific call to be a brother or sister in our community. Once discerned that a person should pursue membership within the Companions of Christ, we must further discern as to which of these particular expressions of community a brother or sister is called, i.e., single life, celibate brotherhood, celibate sisterhood, the family monastic, or the domestic expression of the Companions of Christ. Each particular expression of our community receives a brother or sister according to their own approved directory.

  2. All expressions undergo the following process to provide time to judge the ability and vocation of the candidate. It is also meant to ease the candidate into the lifestyle of the community. The steps of entrance into the community are as follows:

    1. Aspirancy: This is the initial period that extends to the beginning of the postulancy. It is a period of discernment for both parties. It is a time for the Aspirant to get to know the community and likewise the community to get to know the Aspirant. Aspirancy shall not be less than 1 month in length.

    2. Postulancy: This period extends to the beginning of the candidacy and calls for an appropriate amount of time visiting with and living the normal schedule of our life without any commitment to remain. For example, a Postulant might visit for a weekend or week at a time until both the Postulant and Community felt ready to advance to the Candidacy stage. Postulancy shall not be less than 3 months in length.

    3. Candidacy: This is a period of time to get to know the life of the community in both ideals and practices. During this time the candidate lives with the community full time, becomes acquainted with the vision and spirit of the community, works in the community ministries, and is given an orientation to community life. Co receives spiritual guidance for growth in prayer and the interior life. Candidacy shall not be less than 6 months in length.

    4. Novitiate: After the candidacy, the individual enters a novitiate period of sufficient length. During this time the novice is instructed more intensely in the particular charism of the community. The Habit of the Order is given when the individual enters the Novitiate. The novice is asked to covenant for a period of time to be determined by leadership, typically for a year at time. Novitiate shall not be less than 12 months in length. This may be repeated three times.

    5. Life Profession: For those who have been a part of the community as a novice for a sufficient length of time may be given permission to make their Life Profession.