An Authentic Formation: Seeking Holiness as Religious
At the Fathers of Mercy, we believe in developing the whole man, body and soul, to make him the Soldier of Christ he’s called to be.
Our Congregation strives to foster a strong fraternal community life which integrates in the individual man a well-founded balance of prayer, work and recreation. We believe in giving our men a solid formation rooted in sound human, spiritual, intellectual and pastoral principles. A man accepted into the Fathers of Mercy seeks to become Christ’s instrument in the work of preaching the Divine Word and administering the Sacraments.
- Formation begins with a period of Postulancy (usually around six weeks), after which the individual is accepted into the Novitiate.
- The Novices spend their days learning about prayer and the spiritual life, about the religious life and the vows of poverty, chastity and obedience, and about the history and charism of the Fathers of Mercy. Their studies and daily life will be under the direction of the Novice Master, who will also assist them in discerning God’s Will in their lives.
- At the end of the Novitiate year, the men petition to be received fully into the Fathers of Mercy and profess their First Vows of Poverty, Chastity, and Obedience. Freely renouncing their natural rights to act as owners, to marry, and to practice self-will, they vow poverty, chastity, and obedience for the purpose of attaining a higher good. That higher good is the novice’s growth in perfect charity by a more exact imitation of Christ. Through these vows, “a person is totally dedicated to God, loved beyond all things. In this way, that person is ordained to the honor and service of God under a new and special title” (Vatican II).
- After First Profession, the new Brothers will continue their religious formation under the direction of the Student Master and begin their studies for the Sacred Priesthood at St. Mary of the West (The Athenaeum of Ohio).”
Our holy founder, Fr. Jean Baptiste Rauzan, knew that “without a thorough instruction one cannot properly fulfill such functions as that of directing souls, preaching, and educating youth.” Hence, the Fathers of Mercy take great care to ensure the good spirit of the seminary in which its members arc trained. This means proper discipline, competent staff, sound Thomistic philosophy and theology, proper liturgy, and, above all, loyalty to the teaching authority of the Church.
“To revive the Faith among the people, it is necessary that there be true preachers of the Gospel, full of the Spirit of God Who sends them…”
– Fr. Jean Baptiste Rauzan, Founder of the Fathers of Mercy.