The purpose of the Novitiate is to determine whether the Novice truly has a vocation to the Canons Regular of St. John Cantius.
During the period of Novitiate the Novice continues to familiarize himself with religious life in the context of the Canons Regular of St. John Cantius. He continues to acquire a greater understanding of the rich liturgical history of the Roman Catholic Church by participating in the Present Rites of the Church as well as its Traditional Rites, and to develop in the communal life of the Canons Regular of St. John Cantius as indicated in the Constitutions.
During the period of Novitiate, the Novice is immersed in the daily parish work, life and the Canons Regular of St. John Cantius’s prayer life, viz., communal celebration of the Liturgy of the Hours, Daily Mass, devotion to Our Blessed Lady, Eucharistic Adoration and lectio divina.
The Novitiate of the Canons Regular of St. John Cantius is common for all candidates, whether they have entered with a view toward the priesthood or the brotherhood.
The Postulant seeking to become a Novice must: be a minimum of 18 years old, be a practicing Catholic who accepts the totality of Catholic doctrine as contained in the Catechism of the Catholic Church, be in a certifiable state of good physical and mental health, be free of any impediments, such as marriage, and possess at least a high school diploma or the equivalent.
Before acceptance into the Novitiate, the Postulant must submit a letter of intent to the Superior, as well as necessary documentation according to the criteria established by the Canons Regular of St. John Cantius. He may then either advance to the Novitiate or be dismissed by the Superior in consultation with his Council.
Before entrance into the Novitiate, the Postulant must settle all financial debts and obligations. The CCanons Regular of St. John Cantius does not assume any financial obligations of the individual in question.
Novices must be formed in the counsel of poverty. Although they may still own property, they are only to use and have in their possession that which is permitted by house custom.
The Novitiate begins with the official and public acceptance of the individual by the Superior, who vests him in the black Roman cassock and sash (without fringe) during a formal ceremony in the Canons Regular of St. John Cantius’s church. The vestiture usually takes place on the Solemnity of the Assumption, the Canons Regular of St. John Cantius’s Founding Day, August 15.
The House of Formation (Novitiate) for the Canons Regular of St. John Cantius is located initially at the Mother House in Chicago. When a suitable facility is erected elsewhere for that purpose, the House of Formation becomes a Daughter House of the Mother House.
The profession of vows at the conclusion of the two-year Novitiate program in the Canons Regular of St. John Cantius usually takes place on August 15, the Feast of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary and the Institute’s Founding Day.
Plan for the Formation of Novices
The roots on which the Canons Regular of St. John Cantius is grounded
· The Rule of St. Augustine
· The Constitutions
· The life of St. John Cantius
· The Liturgy: The Mass and the Divine Office
· The principles of religious life in the Canons Regular of St. John Cantius
· The consecrated life in the Church in the documents of Vatican II
· The principles of the common life
· The vows
· Private prayer: prayer, meditation, spiritual reading
· The Holy Bible
· Catechism of the Catholic Church
· Documents of the Vatican Council II:
· The Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy (Sacrosanctum Concilium).
· The Dogmatic Constitution on the Church (Lumen Gentium).
· The Pastoral Constitution on the Church in the Modern World (Gaudium et Spes).
· Post-Conciliar Documents on the Sacred Liturgy:
· Instruction on Music in the Sacred Liturgy (Musicam Sacram).
· The Roman Missal (Missale Romanum).
· General Instruction on the Roman Missal.
· Graduale Romanum.
· The Code of Canon Law (Codex Juris Canonici).
· Papal Documents:
· Pope Pius XII: On the Mystical Body of Christ and Our Union With It (Mystici Corporis).
· Pope Pius XII: On Christian Worship (Mediator Dei).
· Pope Paul VI: On the Propagation of Human Life (Humanae Vitae).
· Pope John Paul II: The Consecrated Life (Vita Consecrata)
· Pope John Paul II: The Splendor of Truth (Veritatis Splendor)
· Pope John Paul II: Motu Proprio Eccessia Dei
· Benedict XVI: Motu Proprio ‘Summorum Pontificum’
In this stage of formation, members of the Institute profess private vows. The profession of vows in the Canons Regular of St. John Cantius customarily takes place on August 15, the Feast of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary and the Institute’s Founding Day. The first profession of vows at the end of the Novitiate and their renewal in subsequent years are temporary private vows. Candidates for both the Priesthood and Brotherhood renew these vows yearly.
A member of the Institute may renew his temporary vows annually, but the period during which he is bound by them may not exceed six years, at which point he must either profess final vows or leave the Institute.
After three years under temporary vows, a member of the Institute may request profession of final vows.
All members aspiring to the priesthood must profess final vows before they are advanced to the diaconate.
Ongoing classes and seminars organized by the Superior constitute the main vehicle for the continuing formation of the members of the Institute.