A man desiring a monastic vocation contacts us. Next, he will make a few visits to see first-hand what our monastery and community are like and consult with the Vocation Director. Candidacy is this initial discernment period leading to a 4-6 week Observership in the Cloister. A Labor Day "Come and See" weekend is provided for men wishing to consider our vocation.
Contact: Bro. Francis, Vocation Director
(417) 683-5110 Ext. 3
When a man feels a call, or an interest, to follow Christ as a monk, he explores the possibility of a monastic vocation. He usually tries to learn more about the monastic traditions and way of life by reading, praying, and consulting with others. He may make a reservation at our Guest House for a few days, to see first-hand what our monastery and community are like, and to talk with our Vocation Director. Every year, a Labor Day "Come and See" weekend is provided for men wishing to consider our vocation.
After the candidate and our vocation team get to know one another, discernment can be made as to whether the candidate is ready to make a "trial run," living within our community for four to six weeks as an Observer; or whether he needs to do some "spiritual gardening" (pruning, weeding, planting, growing), before he is ready for Observership. Before a man comes as an Observer, we ask for some letters of reference.
After his Observership, the candidate returns home to mature his decision, and our vocation team has time to reflect. If both sides are satisfied, he may return as a Postulant for one year. Before returning, the candidate has physical, dental and eye exams, so any immediate needs can be addressed. Both as Observer and Postulant, he leaves his cell phone behind. He can work out the question of a laptop computer with the Vocation Director and vocation team.
Further positive discernment that the fruits of his postulancy are of good quality, qualifies him to become a Novice for two years. Both the postulant and the novice periods can be extended if it seems good to do so. During all of this time, the candidate has no committed obligation to stay, being free to leave at any time.
Throughout this entire discernment process, we all are seeking God's Will. Sometimes a candidate may have a very clear and firm conviction. Another might have only enough to take one step forward. We must do our human spadework, and then gradually the Holy Spirit shows us by the fruits of the efforts whether we are on the right track. Each person has his own individual vocation to follow Our Lord Jesus. It is great adventure to search and work out how and what He calls us to do as His disciples. The monk leaves all else, devoting his life to entering more fully into the mystery of a growing union with God, and to spreading Christ's Kingdom through intercessory prayer and sacrifice.