Becoming A Brother

Our formation as Brothers is a lifelong process of growing to full human maturity as we seek to realize more clearly that God is the center and source of integration in our lives...
Constitution #48

The central focus of your initial formation is to encourage and foster the growth and development of you within the context of the Congregation of Christian Brothers. The central experience of your initial formation takes place during your Novitiate year.

The Novitiate year takes place under the supervision of the North American Novice Director. The Christian Brothers North American Novitiate is located in Chicago, Illinois.

The Novitiate is a special period of time for growth which allows an individual to powerfully experience the presence of God through:

  • Prayer
  • Study
  • Spiritual development
  • Apostolic involvement
  • Ordinary life experiences

It is a year set apart which allows for an in-depth study in the following areas:

  • The Constitutions of the Congregation of Christian Brothers
  • The life of Blessed Edmund Rice
  • The history of the Congregation of Christian Brothers
  • The vowed life (chastity, poverty and obedience)
  • Scripture
  • Prayer, community, ministry
  • Other issues related to religious life

The Novitiate year provides opportunities for:

  • Daily quiet time
  • Reflective reading
  • Directed retreat experiences
  • Ongoing spiritual and formation direction

In addition to the above stated areas of study, the Novitiate also allows for weekly participation in the Chicago area InterCommunity Novitiate Program. This program brings together novices from a variety of religious orders, and it provides opportunities for interaction with a peer group of others experiencing the Novitiate stage of their initial formation.

An important component of the Novitiate year is the opportunity for theological study and reflection at the Catholic Theological Union (CTU) located in the Hyde Park section of Chicago. CTU is a world renowned center for religious study and formation; it is international in scope, and it draws a diverse cross-section of the world’s population.

At the end of the Novitiate year you will testify to your commitment to the Edmund Rice Christian Brothers by publicly professing the vows of chastity, poverty and obedience.