Becoming a canon
It is a long path from the initial contact with the community of canons to taking the eternal vows. The goal of the training is to achieve the human and Christian maturity that consists of one’s harmonious development of the physical, affective, mental, and religious talents.
Mental and physical health, as well as having passed the high school graduation exam, are prerequisites for entering an Augustinian Canons’ Monastery. A man who is interested can arrange a time with the master of novices, after which he may live at the Abbey without any binding obligation in order to get to know the Abbey’s community more closely.
As a candidate is deciding on his path into the community, the Postulate will be the first step, which can take between three and twelve months. The postulant will participate in the life of the community, but will otherwise be free in how he uses his time.
After the Postulate, the postulant asks to be accepted into the one-year Novitiate. During this time, the novice will be integrated more tightly into the community of the order. During the daily novice’s instruction, he will be familiarized with the order’s spirituality and history, as well as liturgy. In addition, the novice will take on services within the community. The novice will be free to leave the community at any time if he believes that life in the community is not his calling. By the same token, a novice may be released by the community if he is not able to integrate into the abbey’s life.
The Temporary Profession
At the end of the Novitiate, the community of canons votes on the admission of the novice to the Temporary Profession for a period of three years. This includes the obligation to live the three Evangelical Counsels (poverty, celibacy, and obedience) during this period. This is where the cleric will start his theological studies.
The Eternal Profession
After the years of the Simple or Temporary Profession, the community of canons will vote again on whether it will accept the cleric into its community as a fully entitled member. In case of a positive result, the cleric may then formally take and celebrate his Eternal Vows. The Eternal Profession enjoins the canon to remain in the community of canons for life. Upon the successful completion of his theological studies, the canon will be ordained as a dean, gathering his first experiences in a parish incorporated with the Monastery and working in pastoral care until he is ordained as a priest.
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