How do you become a monk?

Benedictine monks always belong to a particular community. A monastic vocation involves being drawn to one such community and asking for admittance. Then there is an extended period of probation on both sides.

1. Guest

The first step is to become acquainted with one or several communities by staying and sharing their life for a time as a guest. If one monastery seems more suitable or congenial than others, then it is right to go back and spend more time there.

2. Postulant

After several stays as a guest, a person may ask to become a postulant, a stage which usually lasts several months.

3. Novice

If this is seen by the abbot or prior and his council to have worked out, and the candidate wishes to continue, then he embarks on a one year period as a novice. As a novice, he will be under the direction of a spiritual father who will guide him in his monastic formation.

4. Simple Profession

The novitiate year ends with simple profession for three years.

5. Solemn Profession

After three years, or longer if necessary, in simple (or temporary) vows, a monk is free to make his solemn profession, for life.