The Novitiate Experience – An Overview

The Novitiate Experience Curriculum shall include the following: 

  • Readings: Novitiates shall read the following texts during the Novitiate Experience. The Readings shall be discussed with the Anam Cara according to the following schedule: 
    • February: Underhill, Evelyn. 2019. Mysticism: a study in the nature and development of man’s spiritual consciousness.
    • July: Hunter, George G. 2010. The Celtic way of evangelism: how Christianity can reach the West– again. Nashville: Abingdon Press.
    • At the Allhallowtide Retreat: Scraper, Matthew. 2020. Mystic Way of Salvation. [S.I.]: Lulu Com ]
  • Anam Cara: Novitiates shall meet monthly in-person, virtually, or over the phone, with their Anam Cara (Soul Friend). An Anam Cara shall be assigned to each Novitiate by the Dean of the Novitiate Experience. Any Full Member of The Order of St. Patrick shall be eligible to serve as Anam Cara. The Anam Cara relationship shall conclude upon reception of the Novitiate as a Full Member of The Order of St. Patrick.
  • Spiritual Direction: Novitiates shall meet with the Abbot or Abbess of the Order, the Claustral Prior(ess), and the Conventual Prior(ess) once each year throughout any calendar year in which Novitiates remain within the Novitiate Experience. Meetings shall occur according to the following schedule:
    • December: Conventual Prior(ess)
    • April: Claustral Prior(ess)
    • August: Abbot or Abbess
  • Dean of the Novitiate Experience: The Dean of the Novitiate Experience shall be the primary point of contact for Novitiates, and for any individuals inquiring about membership in the Order of St. Patrick. The Dean of the Novitiate Experience shall convene a regular meeting of the Novitiate Class virtually or in-person four times per year, according to the following Schedule to discuss the following topics:
    • November: Introductory Meeting
    • February: The Rule for Life
    • May: Contemplative Life and Monastic Service
    • August: Preparing for Allhallowtide
  • Allhallowtide: The Novitiate shall attend the Allhallowtide retreat in-person. Virtual accommodations may be made according to the discretion of the Abbot/Abbess or the Claustral Prior(ess).
  • Invitation to Full Membership: An invitation to take vows of Full Membership shall be extended at the discretion of the Abbot or Abbess of The Order of St. Patrick, upon completion of the following:
    • The Novitiate offers a written statement to the Council of Priors confirming discernment of a calling to the monastic vocation. 
    • The Anam Cara offers a written statement to the Council of Priors confirming discernment of the Novitiate’s call to the monastic vocation.
    • The Council of Priors recommends the Novitiate to the Abbot or Abbess by a vote of ⅔.
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