How does a novice live?


#1

I'm just wondering if any sisters can describe how a novice lives. I've looked elsewhere for such descriptions but they tend to be rather broad (prayer, study, work). I'm not interested in this for myself (I'm not Catholic), but because I have a friend who's entertained the idea of becoming a novice and I'm not sure she understands what it consists of. I suppose an ideal answer would be an hour by hour overview of a day in a novice's life, but any answers would be appreciated. :)


#2

It really depends upon the community. Here is an example of a Benedictine communities engagements, although I think it might be for monks instead of nuns the general times will give you an idea I hope;

Midnight Church Service - Matins followed by Lauds
1:00 am return to bed
5:45 am Wake-up
6:00 am Church Service -- Prime
6:30 am Breakfast
7:00 am Chapter House for Mass, Confession, given jobs to do.Private reading & Prayer
9:00 am Church Service -- Terce & High Mass
9:30 am Work
12:00 noon Church Service -- Sext
1:00 pm Midday Meal
1:30 pm Sleep, Reading or Prayer
3:00 pm Church Service -- Nones
3:30 pm Work
6:00 pm Church Service -- Vespers
7:00 pm Private Reading and Prayer
9:00 pm Church Service -- Compline
9:30 pm to bed

If you could give the exact community, or the type of community it would help. There is huge differenances between ones engaged in "outside" work, than contemplatives.


#3

To be a novice is a step in the process of formation in actually joining as a religious. Is your friend intending to become a religious sister? Novitiate is one of the steps along the way. The way that the novitiate is lived will depend very much on the community.


#4

Yes, she's entertaining becoming a religious sister.

@JohnDamian-I don't think the contemplative life is what she's looking for, she wants something involving outside ministry. She certainly doesn't want to be a cloistered nun.


#5

[quote="Crispy_KrisP, post:4, topic:202894"]
Yes, she's entertaining becoming a religious sister.

@JohnDamian-I don't think the contemplative life is what she's looking for, she wants something involving outside ministry. She certainly doesn't want to be a cloistered nun.

[/quote]

So are you looking for fuel to dissuade her from attempting to follow this calling she feels?

Looking at and reading a honorarium (a house schedule) is a lot different than living that schedule.

Also many novitiates schedules are a bit different than the regular community schedule you would find in one of their houses because the novices are in formation.

My novitiate schedule was way more filled than it is today but that is because I work in a ministry now and that takes up the majority of the schedule.


#6

As Br. David seems to have implied, daily life during the novitiate is not necessarily a true indicator of one's later life in community. I think of the postulancy as being the prologue to religious life, with the novitiate as the actual introduction. Post-novice life is that upon which I would focus. My own concerns about religious life(as a potential priest) are that my prospective community's daily schedule is not so structured as to prevent me from writing and study upon my own in addition to my clerical responsibilities(ministry, teaching, etc.). I wish to belong to an order or congegation that has a vibrant prayer-life yet is still rather active.


#7

[quote="ByzCath, post:5, topic:202894"]
So are you looking for fuel to dissuade her from attempting to follow this calling she feels?

Looking at and reading a honorarium (a house schedule) is a lot different than living that schedule.

Also many novitiates schedules are a bit different than the regular community schedule you would find in one of their houses because the novices are in formation.

My novitiate schedule was way more filled than it is today but that is because I work in a ministry now and that takes up the majority of the schedule.

[/quote]

I'm not interested in persuading her to do anything. But scripture says one should count the cost before making major decisions like these. A "house schedule" surely clarifies more than it confuses.


#8

[quote="Young_Thinker, post:6, topic:202894"]
As Br. David seems to have implied, daily life during the novitiate is not necessarily a true indicator of one's later life in community. I think of the postulancy as being the prologue to religious life, with the novitiate as the actual introduction. Post-novice life is that upon which I would focus. My own concerns about religious life(as a potential priest) are that my prospective community's daily schedule is not so structured as to prevent me from writing and study upon my own in addition to my clerical responsibilities(ministry, teaching, etc.). I wish to belong to an order or congegation that has a vibrant prayer-life yet is still rather active.

[/quote]

I understand there is a wide difference between the novitiate and post-novice life, but there seems no reason as yet to dwell on the latter, since (as I understand it) a sister can end up in any number of different situations according to ability and need.


#9

[quote="Crispy_KrisP, post:8, topic:202894"]
I understand there is a wide difference between the novitiate and post-novice life, but there seems no reason as yet to dwell on the latter, since (as I understand it) a sister can end up in any number of different situations according to ability and need.

[/quote]

All right. I wish Godspeed to your friend.


#10

[quote="Crispy_KrisP, post:7, topic:202894"]
I'm not interested in persuading her to do anything. But scripture says one should count the cost before making major decisions like these. A "house schedule" surely clarifies more than it confuses.

[/quote]

All this would depend on the group she was interested in joining and would be told to her before she starts the novitiate. Its not like you show up to the novitiate and they dump the schedule on you with out you knowing it before had.

This is all information she should be gathering in her discernment process.

Does your friend have a spiritual director?

Do you know what community she is discerning with or is this just a vague feeling and she has not moved much forward from there?


#11

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