Vowed Life Formation

Vowed Life

Vowed members of The Companions of St. Luke – OSB are people of God who are on a spiritual journey, who desire a richer and deeper prayer life, and are seeking wholeness and reconciliation for themselves and for humanity whom God has called to them to love. They are people whose response to God’s call to vowed life is a reflection and reaffirmation of their Baptismal vows to Christ. The community admits men and women to Candidacy for Vowed Life who wish to explore thw call to a closer relationship with Christ. They desire to do this by sharing their life with this community and by living within the context of the Benedictine Rule and Vows and our Customary.
When the aspirant’s application is accepted they become a candidate for Postulancy. This begins a long process of formation and discernment begins before (s)he makes Life Vows.

The Initial Discernment Phase:

This phase is three years long. One year as a Postulant and two years as a Novice. During this period, through study and prayer the member discerns their call to the Benedictine life. In many ways, this is a probationary period, in that if a member feels that this life is not what God is calling him/her to do, they may simply resign and move on.

We welcome candidates for Postulancy into our community during our spring convocation, where the candidate is publically welcomed into the community. The new postulant will be supported by a senior who assumes the role of Formation Master. The postulant begins praying the four services of the Divine Office and Lectio Divina. (S)He begin a study of the Rule of Benedict, our customary, constitution and Benedictine spirituality.

As the postulant end this year of study and prayer, (s)he wishes to continue their formation,(s)he petitions to move into the Novitiate. During the ceremony at or spring convocation, (S)he is vested in the Benedictine habit and given his/her religious name The Novice completes an intense study of the Rule of Benedict, and reads and writes reports (reflections) on readings scheduled in the formation syllabus.. (S)he continues the discipline of praying the Divine Offices, Lectio Divina and regular reading of the CSL customary and constitution. The novice continues to be supported by the senior that was appointed by the superior at postulancy.

Final Discernment Phase

Annual vows is for three years. The transition to Annual Vows is initiated by the novice by petition and with the recommendation of his/her formation master. The petition is reviewed and approved by the Superior. A novice moves into Profession in a special ceremony during Mass at a spring convocation. The Benedictine vows of Stability, Conversion of Life, and Obedience are made for the first time. These vows are renewed annually for a period of three years. This three year period is a period of intense prayer and discernment about Solemn (Life) vows and the implications of life-long commitment to Christ. The member may select a life professed member to help him/her in the discernment process, A self-directed project is begun to provide a focus for the discernment process The annually vowed member is supported by a senior member who serves as a mentor to guide the member with their project. At the end of this period of living in annual vows, the junior petitions his/her mentor and the superior to move into Solemn Vows.

After ratification and election, the junior member is raised to live in Solemn Vows. The member vows to live under the Benedictine Vows of Stability, Conversion of Life, and Obedience for the rest of his/her life. These vows are made as part of a very special and ancient ceremony during Mass at the Spring Convocation. The Solemn professed member is expected to humbly guide and support other members both vowed and Oblate by example and gentle teaching, always remembering that Christ is in each person and ultimately the final judge of his/her life is God.