After you’ve connected with a vocation director and after some conversation, prayer and discernment you may want to ask about joining the Contact program, an initial “yes” that you’re open and the Brothers are open, mutually, to walk together in your continued discernment of being Brother.
Contacts are young men who are at least of college age who discern whether God is calling them to this life of service. We encourage you to join the Contact program to take another step in your discernment.
The Contact program allows you to:
- Personally connect with a Brother, who will help guide you in your growth in prayer and spirituality
- Attend an annual retreat with other Brothers and Contacts, all at varying stages of discernment and formation
- Live in community and serve in a Lasallian ministry during the year, particularly the summer months
- Visit local Brothers’ communities
The Postulancy is a period of time to prepare for the Novitiate. Such preparation includes living in a Regional Postulancy Community with other Postulants and with Brothers, learning to integrate faith, service and community. Theological studies and/or other degree work may be part of that experience. You will develop an active personal, communal and liturgical prayer life, study the Catholic faith, scripture, and the life and vision of St. John Baptist de La Salle, and participate in local Lasallian ministries. Depending on your specific situation and background, further communal experiences while teaching full time may be part of the Postulancy period. At least annually, you will discern your call to the Brothers’ life and determine if you are ready for the next stage of formation, the Novitiate.
The Novitiate year is the formal year of preparation for the vocation of a Brother. During the novitiate year, held at the Regional novitiate, there are specific classes and activities that develop your life of faith, your understanding of religious life and the Brothers, and your experience of community. You will continue with the studies begun in the Postulancy program, but with a view towards an in-depth initiation into the religious life of a Brother. In the novitiate’s communal context, you will primarily grow in your personal relationship with God. Opportunities for input, discussion and reflection will help you to integrate your understanding and experience of the Brothers’ vowed life of association for the service of the poor through education, stability, obedience, chastity and poverty. You will come to discern your call to profess annual vows at the end of the year, publicly acknowledging your commitment to a relationship with God as expressed through service and community in a specific educational ministry as a De La Salle Christian Brother.
Throughout this period, you will profess annual vows, you will be living in a community while serving in an educational ministry. You might pursue additional studies in the evenings and/or during the summer. In support of one another the Brothers in temporary profession gather at least once a semester to share the successes and challenges of their lives as new Brothers. After community and apostolic ministry, you may request perpetual vows if you are 25 years of age or older, have professed annual vows for five years and have attended a pre-profession retreat.
Professing Perpetual Vows signals the end of initial formation. This public statement in the presence of God, the Brothers and the Church in general tells all who will listen of your desire to continue your participation in educational work and community life style of the Brothers of the Christian Schools. Emboldened by ongoing professional and religious studies, entrusted with responsibilities in community and ministry, and enabled through the support of annual retreats, you will strive to integrate the elements of faith, service, and community in your call as a Brother.