Mariannhill Monastery

1882 Abbot Francis Pfanner – South Africa

The Nature and Aim;

The Noviciate as such is a graced period in the life of any Religious. It is a time of discernment to live a life long commitment centered on Christ, it is the time to build a religious foundation, a foundation to be committed for life, and once this time is taken for granted, there is a possibility to face a crisis in one’s life as a religious, that is why this time needs to be taken seriously in order for a person to have a picture of what he really wants in life.

It is the time when an individual (Novice) is initiated into the Religious Missionary life; in this case; the spirituality and charisma of the Religious Congregation of the “Missionaries of Mariannhill that had sprung from the Trappist Monastery founded by Prior Francis Pfanner in South Africa on the 26th December 1882” (The Constitutions and Regulations of the Congregation of the Missionaries of Mariannhill-Rome 2011, pg 6).

It is the time whereby a novice discerns and chooses freely to embrace his divine call to religious life slowly recognizing that he is going to live a life long commitment in serving God through his Religious community and the church. Therefore, it is a serious time for each novice to take his time to reflect and prepare oneself for the total commitment in a public consecration to God in service to the mission entrusted to the Congregation. Apart from familiarizing individual novices to the spirituality and the charisma of our Congregation, “a special attention is also given to the natural movements and rhythms of human, spiritual and christian growth that are unique to each novice.

Since this period of initiation (noviciate) is crucial, attention to each novice’s pace in the process of his discernment is very important, that is why presence of the formators is of great importance to vitalize the pedagogical dynamism which are educating, forming and accompanying of each novice with love and understanding. Considering the noviciate as the ministry of presence helps to facilitate the integral human/spiritual growth of each novice through personal encounter thereby introducing the novice(s) to the following of Christ according to the evangelical counsels and the life of community (Acts 2:42-47). Above all noviciate helps the novice(s) to develop an understanding of the missionary mandate of the church and its realization by our congregation. The noviciate also helps the novice(s) to develop in a special way, a greater communion with Christ (Jn 15:5) while at the same time cultivating a sense of belonging to the congregation.

However, reading the signs of the times, has helped us to cherish the integrated religious formation whereby needs of the community are to be taken seriously as our responsibility and commitment to sustain life of the community and its members. That is why our novices are also involved in different minor projects like gardening, cards & rosary making, music production of audio Gospel compact discs, poultry project and candle making; they are small projects, yet the formation part of it is to educate our novices to take seriously the spirit of team work (CMM Const. 208) to support the needs of the community and its mission; such a spirit helps to value what we have, being accountable, responsible and caring for what we have for the common good (Acts 2:44-45).

Fr. Lawrence Kansalu Mota CMM

Director of Novices