The Novitiate

Published by Saint Vincent Archabbey Public Relations on

“A novitiate, that is, the institution for the formation of monks, [is] an institution upon which depends the future weal or woe of the monastery. For from the novitiate must arise the young strength and vigor of the Order, which is needed to continue and perfect the labors of the founders and predecessors. A life of freely chosen poverty and unconditional obedience, as the monastic state requires, without a doubt presupposes a high degree of self-denial and therefore rightfully demands a long and serious period of testing of the will and of the strength of whoever strives toward the goal of higher godliness with joyful courage. The ascetics of old recommended that the novice master test the obedience and the humility of the novices by the way of severe discipline and humiliations. Father Boniface believed that at St. Vincent the lack of comforts, the meager and rugged daily life, and the hard labor more than made up for such practices.”

—Boniface Wimmer, O.S.B.

—From Boniface Wimmer, Abbot of Saint Vincent in Pennsylvania, translated by Dr. Maria Von Mickwitz and Father Warren Murrman, O.S.B., editor.