Helping the candidates to discern their vocation and prepare them to their mission are two major priorities of the AA in the Philippines. Three stages of formation precede the perpetual vows: the pre-novitiate, the novitiate and the post-novitiate. Three respective houses welcome the young people in formation, coming from the whole world.
This step allows the discovery of the Assumption and its charisma. It is also an opportunity for the community to know better the candidate to religious life. The pre-novitiate stage consists in pre-postulancy (4 months) and the postulancy (6 months) periods. During these moments, the formand discovers his vocation to know himself better. This formation stage is also the beginning of his initiation to common life and Assumption spirituality. He is expected to develop a closer, deeper relationship with God, especially Jesus, in his chastity, poverty and obedience. During this time, some candidates may attend language courses or Philosophy classes. The candidate participates actively in the apostolate of the community and the congregation.
This stage is the formal entrance of the formand to the congregation, who becomes a novice. It lasts one year. This formation consists in a personal and spiritual foundation, purifying one’s original motivations. The formand is fully immersed in the congregation, its founder and of the Augustinian spirituality. He will meditate and eventually take his first vows consisting in poverty, chastity and obedience. During this time, the novice will participate actively in the community apostolate.
This level of formation is usually devoted to theological studies or higher academic preparation. This is the stage right after the 1st profession of vows. Some candidates may take Philosophy courses during this time, especially when they lack the required number of Philosophy units for Theology. In this stage of formation, the religious brother will participate actively in the various community and congregational apostolates. He will also be given responsibilities in the community (post-novitiate) and in the Territory (the Assumption in the Philippines).
The brother may have opportunities of joining regional or international conferences and meetings of the Assumption family. He may also be asked to have experiences in other communities outside the Philippines to intensify his experience of internationality, interculturality including the practice of another official language of the congregation.
This formation process leads to perpetual vows, that is definitive commitment in the congregation. Some of the brothers can later become priests.