How we live

Monks at Home
"Jesus called to himself those he wanted, and they went to him. He established twelve of them to stay with him. He sent them to preach and he gave them power to cast out demons". (Mark 3:13-15)

In the mind of St. Gaspar , the Stigmatines should be “monks at home and apostles outside”. At home, the Stigmatine should lead a life similar to that of monk, that is, as the gospel says, “They stay with Jesus.” Our life as consecrated men finds its purpose in a constant search to seek the face of God both personally and in community, as God is the center of our very existence. Meditation and personal study are enhanced by an atmosphere of silence and recollection.A moment that qualifies this life is the Lectio Divina, which is our gathering around the Word of God to meditate together and to listen to what the Lord is saying to each one and to the community. It is impossible to become credible witnesses of the gospel unless we enter into this personal contact with God.

Community life

A common schedule in our houses determines the most important events of the day: prayer, meals, work, recreation, and sleep. All the community gathers together on specific days for encounters during which we make a review of our life. We plan, have spiritual recollection, and keep up with the events of the world around us. Each confrere is given a task, which promotes the harmonious operation of the community: superior, bursar, librarian, sacristan, etc. Everything is put in common, and all confreres have access to what is necessary for carrying out our apostolic activities.

Fraternal life

We do not espouse an individualistic approach to life. Stigmatines pledge themselves to living together as brothers in Christ. By means of our diversity of age, character, culture and, national origin, we wish to tell the world that it is a beautiful and joyful thing to live together as brothers. This is not always easy! Each individual’s joys and sufferings are shared by the whole community, which, in turn, provides everyone the necessary assistance for their growth in humanity and grace. We live together, religious priests and consecrated brothers.

THE JOURNEY OF FORMATION

When a young man hears God calling him to become an Apostolic Missionary, he needs to be accompanied by a Stigmatine confrere along his first spiritual steps. Subsequently, he will follow a specific journey of formation.

  • Pre-Novitiate

    This is period of variable length, during which a young man begins to live in a Stigmatine community. Its aim is for the community to discern the intentions of the candidate, and for the candidate to experience the reality of community life as it is lived. During this period, the candidate builds upon the foundation of his choice in faith, and he has the opportunity to complete his secondary education and/or his university studies. In some of our provinces, the candidate completes the course of philosophy before entering the novitiate.

  • Novitiate

    The novitiate lasts for one year. With the assistance of the novice master, the candidate sets out along the journey of a more radical imitation of the life of Christ. He does so through a strong engagement in prayer and recollection. Novitiate is the beginning of religious life. The novice studies the life of St. Gaspar, the history of our Congregation and its charism, and the Documents of the Church, especially those concerning consecrated life. At the end of the year, the novice makes temporary profession of the three vows: chastity, poverty and obedience.

  • Temporary Profession and the Course of Theology

    While becoming experienced in religious life within an appropriate community, the professed student pursues the academic course of Theology in a graduate theological institution or a major seminary. The aim of this period of formation is to acquire a genuine competence in preparation for the various ministries of the proclamation of the Word of God.

  • Consecration for Life

    Following three to six years of temporary profession, the confrere, having made a mature decision binds himself for forever to the Congregation through Perpetual Profession, which is nothing less than a total dedication to Christ for the whole of his life. At this stage he decides, in dialogue with his formators, to serve the Lord in our Congregation as a priest, a permanent deacon, or as a brother.

  • Evangelization Activities

    From the very beginning of our studies and formation, we are exposed to various forms of evangelization: catechesis to children and adolescents, ministry to youth, activities in our Oratories, assistance to lay movements and associations, formation workshops, participation in parish missions, preaching during liturgies, etc. We aim at becoming experts in communicating the Word of God to today’s world.

  • Apostolic Missionaries

    At the end of our formation we become engaged in full-time evangelization through the different works and activities committed to us by our superiors. Since the world is constantly changing, ongoing formation and updating becomes a life-long experience for us.