The Basilian formation process for American and Canadian candidates consists of four basic steps that occur over a period of approximately seven years:
Associate: This stage gives a candidate the opportunity to get to know the Basilians and allows the Basilians to get to know him. It can occur while a candidate is in high school, college, or working. Generally, most associates spend their last associate year living in a Basilian community that indicates a stronger desire to commit to the Basilian way of life.
Novice: As a novice the candidate will spend one year and a day, as prescribed by canon law, in our novitiate in Houston, Texas. It is a year away from friends, family, work, and most things familiar to our everyday life so that the novice may build a strong foundation of prayer and spirituality for the rest of his life as a Basilian. At the end of this year, the novice may profess first (temporary) vows.
Scholastic: By now, the candidate is living in temporary vows and engaged in three to four years of theological study. Alongside their theological studies, scholastics are engaged in various pastoral ministries during the year and often travel on assignment each summer. These ministries and assignments are tailored to the individual’s interests and capabilities.
Supervised Ministry: The most challenging period for new deacons and priests is the first few years after ordination. The Basilians consider the first year of ordination an important stage in the formation process. This serves as an adjustment period to the work of the priesthood in a Basilian apostolate.
Ultimately, the formation process is heavily dependent on the individual. As a small community, we have the flexibility to meet a candidate where he is and help him grow from there. Especially in today’s context, candidates bring with them a remarkable range of talents, abilities and experience. When one begins the formation process, the Basilians are quick to recognize these gifts and to help him find his place in the congregation.