Learning about Marist life
The best way to learn about Marist life is to ask a Marist. Any Marist would be happy to provide information about the Society of Mary. Those who are interested in knowing more can also contact the Vocations Promoter.
The journey in discerning God's call to the Society of Mary is an important one. After a period of enquiry a person formally enters 'accompaniment'. This time can last up to twelve months or longer. The interested person meets regularly with a Marist and shares with that person their faith journey.
The accompaniment period is a supportive and positive experience. Meanwhile, the person while discerning his interest and willingness to become a Marist, has the opportunity to visit some of the Marist communities and to learn more about the Society of Mary.
Application for initial formation
After the accompaniment period if the person wishes to pursue seriously the idea of becoming a Marist he makes application to the Marist Fathers Provincial to enter the initial formation program. Currently this program takes place in Auckland, New Zealand.
To be a considered for acceptance into the Marist formation program a candidate must usually be under 35 years of age.
The first period of the initial formation program takes one or two years; after that the candidate applies to enter novitiate.
This is a period of time given over to deep and personal reflection and spirituality. It usually takes twelve months and the candidate joins with Marists from all over the world. The international English-speaking novitiate is located in Davao, Philippines.
At the conclusion of novitiate the person becomes a Marist by professing the three temporary vows of poverty, chastity and obedience.
Candidates who wish to pursue a course leading to priestly ordination continue their formation program in 'Casa Di Maria', the Marist International Theologate in Rome, Italy.
(See blessing of 'Casa Di Maria', Oct 14, 2012)
After a minimum period of three years, the temporarily professed Marist makes final profession as a Marist.
Candidates for the priesthood are called to ordination on the completion of their seminary studies and usually at the end of a year of pastoral experience in a pastoral or mission setting..