As the Director of Formation, I would like to introduce you to the Formation Community here at Daylesford Abbey. The Formation Community is composed of those men who are currently in the Formation Program from the beginning of their Affiliate Status through their Solemn Vows and Ordination. Currently, we have six men in our Formation Program, learning to journey, together and individually, discerning the will of God in their regard. We have two men, Fraters Gerard and James, studying in Chicago, IL at the Catholic Theological Union, two priests, Fathers David and William, in simple vows doing their apostolic ministries in the context of Abbey apostolates while still in Formation and we also have a first year and a second year novice.
During the first year of the novitiate, the novice, Jeffrey Himes, who received the Norbertine habit on August 27th, just yesterday began his studies on the Rule of St. Augustine, the History of the Order, and Religious LIfe in the 21st Century. In addition to these courses, Frater Jeffrey will also be a part of INSEARCH and that is an intercongregational program for candidates in formation for all religious Congregations and Orders in our Region of the Religious Formation Conference, a national organization helping candidates in Formation to discover their call to follow what they believe is a call to community life in a religious Congregation or Order.
It’s been a hectic couple of weeks for Frater Jeffrey, but now he is settling into the rhythm of Abbey life. Along with Frater Jeffrey is Frater Samuel who as a second year novice will continue his philosophy and theology studies in preparation for his entering full theological studies next year. Also, later this year, Frater Samuel will take on an Abbey apostolic assignment in order to familiarize himself with the various works done in the Abbey.
Under the direction of the Novice Master and Director of Formation, along with the Formation Committee, these men continually pray, live, and work together towards seeking the will of God in coming to a union of minds and hearts along their journey. It is a fantastic and exciting experience, no doubt with its “ups and downs”, but formation affords all the candidates an opportunity for self-growth in their spiritual lives. It is great for me, as their Director, to journey with them in this adventure.
From time to time, you’ll be hearing from me on what these men are doing and how their “routines” are helping them in the journey of self-discovery. Have a great day and God Bless!