First Year of the Novitiate
The first year of the novitiate is characterized by a period of prayer, reflection and a deliberate effort to live a communal, consecrated life.
The first part of the first year of the novitiate is a hermitage period. The hermitage period is primarily a time for the novice to deepen his discernment, explore the landscape of Norbertine life in community, and evaluate the unique call he has received. This hermitage experience invites the novice to withdraw a bit from his former life. In order for this to be accomplished, the novice is asked to focus on his relationship with his confreres and with God—re-orienting his life around a communal and particularly Norbertine center.
- The first year includes courses and experiences in prayer and spirituality, liturgy, choir, the history and nature of Norbertine life, and the study of foundational documents of religious life.
- Each novice makes an annual retreat, which provides a means to develop and integrate the spiritual, emotional, physical, and intellectual dimensions of his life.
Upon entering the Norbertine community, novices are referred to as either “Frater” or “Brother.” The title “Frater” (Latin for “brother”) identifies a clerical-candidate pursuing Norbertine priestly formation. The title “Brother” refers to a candidate who is not pursuing ordained ministry but is committed to the fraternal brotherhood of the community, binding himself completely to the community and the Church through the eventual profession of Solemn Vows.