The novitiate is a period of introduction to Salvatorian religious life. In an atmosphere of reflection and prayer, and under the guidance and leadership of the novice master, the novice strives to deepen his knowledge and experience of God and ever more clearly to know himself. He lives community life and the evangelical counsels and is introduced to apostolic activities. Through mutual discernment, the novice and the Society determine the possible fulfillment of his vocation within the Society and his compatibility with its life and mission. Thus the novice prepares himself for temporary profession.
Noviciate is a one year long time, where the newly accepted candidates for future priests and religious, learn how to live together in unity, accept their faults and weaknesses, and strive to live in peace, without unnecessary conflicts. That last one is probably the hardest from time to time. Don’t get me wrong, so far the time we spend together is great however due to our cultural differences, and obviously because everyone is so different on so many levels, and has unique way of looking at the world around him, we do have certain opinions on some things where we don’t always agree with each other.
The novitiate building is on the seminarian property however it is separated from the main seminary building where all clerics live. The main reason for that is that by living in noviciate together, we can firstly get to know each other even better and form strong friendship between ourselves, before we get to know everyone else in the seminary very well. It is also essential to learn how to live together if we want to live as a peaceful and happy Salvatorian community. The time in Noviciate is smartly planned and each day had detailed schedule. It is a time dedicated for everyday prayer to God so He can strengthen us and confirm that what we do here is what He wants us to do, which is to walk on his path and to follow Him. Moreover the time can be utilised for deep reflections or quiet meditations, which help to even better recognise our lifetime vocation – the priesthood.
There is always some work in or around the garden, where all the jobs are precisely planned and directed by brother Hieronim ( ‘The Boss’ that takes care of the Salvatorian Garden). Most of the fruits and vegetables we pick are then used in the kitchen by our famous Sister Aniela Garecka and some are sold to the locals. The money received from that is used for the needs of the seminary. Mentioned before Sister Aniela worked for the seminary for a long period of time and has fed hundreds of priests that studied all these years in Seminary. Just ask one of your Salwatorian Parish Priest about sister Aniela, I am sure they have great memories of her kitchen and can tell you more about her. Sister Aniela is also an author of many cook books with her famous and delicious recipes.
We have this year (2013) 7 novices: myself (Piotr) from Poland/Australia, Oleh from Ukraine, Petr from Czech Republic and Jakub, Rafał Krzysztof & Marcin from Poland. It is a small mixture of people from different countries and coming from various backgrounds and sharing different life experiences. We also differ in age with the oldest being 38 and the youngest being 18 y.o. All of us are hoping and praying that just like four of our friends who concluded the novitiate this year we too can receive habits next year and start our journey through Seminary with the rest of the Salvatorian Seminarians.
Reflection by novice Piotr Babinski (2013)