Train as a Marist
Initial contact with the Society of Mary
Information packet sent with questionnaire to return. Once questionnaire is returned the Vocation Office will contact you about your interest in religious life with the Society of Mary as a priest or brother.
This will include conversations with the Vocation Director and/or a Marist priest or brother.
Live-in Discernment and Spiritual Direction
As discernment becomes clearer, you will be asked to live in a Marist community to test out community life.
You will be work with a spiritual director and Marist mentor to further guide you in your discernment.
One can apply for the Postulancy program following the successful completion of the live-in discernment period.
You will be required to provide certificates of Baptism, Holy Communion, Confirmation, and letters of recommendation as well as undergo psychological and medical tests.
Based on the decision of the Provincial and his Council, you may receive a formal call to Postulancy in the Society.
The Postulancy program is at least a 10-month period at Marist College in Washington, DC designed to introduce you to Marist religious life and prepare you for the novitiate.
A postulant experience communal religious life more intensely and learns about Marist History and charism. He will also begin formation with a thorough background in the Catholic Faith.
A postulant will learn more about prayer and methods of discernment to help deepen the growing sense of vocation. He will also begin to learn the basics of the mission of the Society of Mary and its spirituality. Studies in philosophy may be undertaken during this time for those preparing for ordination. He will also participate in various service projects.
Near the end of the Postulancy program, and if a postulant perceives he is ready for the Novitiate, he will undergo both physical and psychological testing and write an autobiography.
The Formation Director reviews the application and supporting materials. The postulant is interviewed by three Marists and will make a recommendation to the Provincial.
The Provincial decides whether a postulant appears ready for a call to the Novitiate.
The novitiate is a one-year period of preparation prior to taking temporary vows as a Marist.
During the novitiate, novices concentrate on spirituality, prayer, the history and Constitutions of the Society of Mary, and the three vows of poverty, celibate chastity, obedience. As an international novitiate you will discern with men from around the world.
Although you do not take academic courses, you do participate in service projects.
At the end of the novitiate, candidates may request to take temporary vows as a Marist. The Provincial and his Council will make a complete review and decide whether to call a candidate to vows in the Society of Mary.
The vows of poverty, celibate chastity, and obedience are to God but are received by the Superior General of the Society of Mary, or his delegate.
After being called to vows, the new Marist will go to Rome to study at the international theology program with Marists from around the world.
Both priest and brother candidates complete further studies to prepare them for their future in ministry.
These studies usually require four years and there is also a year of internship in a Marist ministry this time.
Those in temporary vows will be called to take final vows in the Society after three or more years.
For students studying to be priests, there is also an internship as a deacon at the end of studies. After Marists become deacons, they are generally ordained to the priesthood within one year.
Candidates who plan to be Marist brothers study theology or religious studies for two years following the novitiate and take time to develop their specific talents for ministry within the Society.