Before requesting to begin the Rite of Passage for entry to the seminary of the Society of Ignatians, we recommend reading the following four points about the Society:
- Ignatians are Focused Men – and We Stay Focused All Our Time: “Missionary-Monks”
To the intensity of the active life characteristic of the missionary, often in the bustling centers of the world’s megalopolises, we will bond the intensity of prayer, silence, and rigorous study typical of the monk.
Although we will move and act in the center of the technological-mass media society of the third millennium, we will live a lifestyle that – in order to be understood by our contemporaries – is best described as “monastic”through its resolute focus on God alone through several hours of daily prayer in the traditional liturgy of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass and the divinum officium and dedicating the rest of our time to our “missionary” projects for the salvation of souls.
We aim to follow, amidst the different circumstances of the Church and the third millennium, in the long line of missionary monks who converted Europe to the Catholic Faith during the Dark Ages: Martin, Patrick, Columbanus, Columba, Augustine of Canterbury, Aidan of Lindisfarne, Boniface, and so many others. And in the long line of Ignatian saints – Ignatius, Francis Xavier, Jean de Brébeuf, Peter Canisius.
Prayer and Mission – all our time is for this double component of the “one thing necessary”
2. Ignatians are Pro-Actively Pro-Convert
Although the Society of Ignatians has many different projects all of its members are men who are permanently in convert-outreach.
3. Ignatians Live a Challenging Lifestyle: Fasting
Ignatians, in order to live in ongoing alertness to our mission, demand much from our bodies for the sake of our souls.
In this we simply follow in the long line of unbroken Catholic Tradition. Applicants should recognize that we fulfill the norms of fasting of the traditional Latin liturgy. Likewise, while eating healthily for their energetic lifestyle, Ignatians abstain from meat except on Sundays and the Church’s main feasts.
For us fasting is bonded to prayer. Naturally, the Society will take care that Ignatians always fast according to common sense health requirements. And centuries of history records that the men of religious orders who fasted lived vigorously and long!
4. Ignatians Study Hard!
Rigorous studies are integral to the Ignatian pathway to ordination and beyond. To enter the Society high academic grades are necessary, or at least, as an absolute minimum, the necessary qualifications for university entrance along with the readiness to put extraordinary effort into the long years of intense and demanding studies required to fulfill the Ignatian mission.
RITE OF PASSAGE
- Give forty hours doing missionary work to explain the Catholic Faith.
- Do a three days retreat in the wilderness, reflecting and praying on themes from St. Ignatius’ Spiritual Exercises.
- Walk in a “March for Life”, or have participated in the Pro-Life movement in some other way.
- Stand up clearly and intelligently on some occasion for the dignity of marriage.
- Make a walking pilgrimage to a shrine of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
- Pray a Holy Hour (an hour of adoration before the Blessed Sacrament) for 40 days.
- Do an all-night vigil before the Blessed Sacrament.
- Fast and abstain, as on Ash Wednesday, one day for four weeks, for the sake of asking God’s blessing on your vocation.
- Read and present your judgment on ten books assigned to you by the Society of Ignatians.
- Get character references from a priest and two others.
- Pass the personal interviews with the Society of Ignatians.
- Pray the Rosary for 40 days
- Attend the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass for 40 consecutive days.
- Do the Ignatian Spiritual Exercises according to their classic, traditional format.
- Pass the examination on the Catechism.
- Pass the examination on Catholic apologetics.