Becoming a missionary oblate
Initial Discernment is the process by which an individual feels prompted to respond to a call to religious life and ministry within the Church. With the Vocations Coordinator, the individual discusses his feelings and reasons for considering religious life as an option for his life. The Coordinator develops a relationship with the individual, invites him to participate in retreats and ministry experiences, and gives him an opportunity to meet members of the Oblate congregation. At some point, a promising individual is invited to join the Oblates for at least a year to continue the discernment process in a more structured and formal way.
Pre-Novitiate Formation is a period during which a candidate, living and working among the Oblates, continues the process of discerning whether religious life is the right option for him. Its purpose is to prepare candidates for the Novitiate year.
The Novitiate is year which marks the beginning of a candidate's life as a Missionary Oblate of Mary Immaculate. Having completed pre-novitiate requirements, candidates apply for admission to the Oblate Novitiate, potentially overseas. This is year-long experience of intense prayer and reflection, study, community living, pastoral experiences and continued discernment - away from the everyday world. This year is concluded by the individual's first profession of vows. These vows are made for one year.
Post-Novitiate Formation continues for a number of years during which newly professed Oblates study Philosophy and Theology through a tertiary institution. The purpose of post-novitiate formation is to deepen the candidate's understanding of religious life and to respond to the graces of that life within the charism of the Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate. Candidates for priesthood are ordained after completing their theological studies. Brothers receive their first ministry assignment after making their perpetual vows.
All Oblates are encouraged to continue the process of renewal and study throughout their lives.