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Basilian Novices Build Foundation of Prayer and Spirituality

November 11, 2019

The Basilian novitiate in Houston, Texas welcomed four novices in August 2019. They will spend one year and a day, as prescribed by canon law, away from friends, family, work, and most things familiar to everyday life so that they may build a strong foundation of prayer and spirituality for the rest of their life as a Basilian.

Father Paul English, CSB, director of novices, describes their routine and some of their upcoming events:

Days are fairly regular for the novices in Houston. Each morning starts with 45 minutes of silent prayer in the Novitiate oratory, followed by Morning Prayer. The novices have breakfast and clean up before a 9 a.m. conference. For the past several weeks, we have been going over different sections of the Basilian Way of Life and the Basilian Customs. Many mornings there is a celebration of the Eucharist at 11:30 a.m. followed by lunch. The novices have been doing manual labor in the afternoons. There is some time for study and relaxation before supper in the Novitiate dining area, followed by Evening Prayer. They have common recreation from the time after prayer until Compline, at 9 p.m., at which the day ends in Grand Silence.

On Thursdays, the novices have their “walk day”. They walk in the morning because in Houston, the hottest part of the day is in the afternoon. When they return, they have a conference at 1:30 p.m., Mass later in the afternoon, supper, and Evening Prayer. They spend an hour in Eucharistic adoration and close the evening with Compline.

The novices join the local community in Keon House for 5 p.m. Mass, relaxation, and supper on Mondays. They have a very good relationship with the local confrères, several of whom are spiritual directors for novices.

They have participated once in an Inter-Community Novitiate weekend held at the Congregation of Divine Providence Motherhouse in San Antonio, Texas. It was a wonderful opportunity to meet other religious in formation, to hear an excellent presentation on the history of spirituality and to have a welcome change of scenery.

On Sunday November 3, the Basilian novices participated in a Vocations Fair held at St. Rose of Lima Church in Houston, Texas where they handed out Basilian vocation materials. The novices attended the 10 a.m. Mass at St. Rose and were asked to speak to those assembled about the Congregation and their vocation. Please join them in praying for vocations to the Basilian Way of Life.

On Sunday, November 17, the North American novices will fly to Mexico, where they will gather with the novices from Colombia and Mexico for the first Basilian Novitiate Gathering. They will spend the week at the Mexican novitiate in San Lorenzo, Tehuacán, state of Puebla. The week will provide plenty of opportunities for our brothers to pray together, recreate and get to know each other, to see the important work of Basilians in Mexico and to visit holy shrines where they can pray and honour God together. The novices in Houston have been hard at their study of Spanish in preparation to meet their brothers.

Please pray for these young men as they grow in their faith and in the Basilian Way of Life.

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