The brothers at Assumption Abbey are always open to welcoming new members into our monastic community. There are no set times for entrance. Men are welcomed whenever they come and enter into a discernment process with the Vocation Director.
St. Benedict says, Test the spirits to see if they are from God (RB 58:2). Together the candidate and the Vocation Director seek to discern if indeed the candidate is being called to this life of particular intimacy with the Lord. Saint Benedict, whose Rule we follow, says the Novice Director is to see if the candidate truly seeks God, if he is drawn to a life of prayer and praise, to the way of humble obedience and self-denial.
In general, candidates should be between 25 and 45 years of age. In any case, before he enters the community it is best if a man has completed college and/or has worked in a career, giving him the experience of standing on his own two feet. From this position of strength he can choose freely to prefer nothing whatever to Christ.
To undertake the monastic journey, a person needs to be in good physical and mental health. He needs to be well established in the Roman Catholic Christian life to be prepared to enter into our monastic formation program.
A seeker best gets to know the Cistercian life as it is lived at Assumption Abbey by visits to the Abbey with increasing immersion into the life of the community. Before actual acceptance as a postulant, the candidate is welcomed to live in the community for a month or more. After this experience, called observership, he returns home to put his affairs in order before actually entering the community.
There is an initial year-long period of formation, called postulancy, preparing the candidate to receive the habit and enter the novitiate. The two year program in the novitiate prepares the aspirant for vows: first, temporary vows for three years or more and then solemn vows and consecration as a monk. There are formal classes during the formation period but the forming of the monk is more the work of daily life in the community.
Since each monastery is an autonomous family, each has its own family spirit. Seekers often profit by visiting different monasteries and experiencing this difference. It helps one to sense where he might best find his home as a monk. Any man interested in exploring monastic life with the community at Assumption Abbey is invited to contact our Vocation Director by mail, phone or e-mail.If you are interested in or have been discerning a call to religious life, you might be interested in attended our next vocations weekend.