Some of us knew we wanted to be priests or brothers as far back as high school. Others were pre-med and engineering majors or began careers in other fields before answering the call to religious life. Like any major life choice, deciding to join The Edmundites is a process filled with a gradual progression of steps, so candidates are able to fully determine if a faith-filled life of service is right for them.
We invite you to click through this Web site to learn more about our vocation programs and other materials to help determine if this is a path you want to pursue. You can also read about what inspired us to become Edmundites and the experiences that have shaped our lives by clicking here.
Discernment — The first step towards joining the Society of Saint Edmund is a mentorship with an Edmundite who can help you understand how to approach the serious possibility of a religious vocation. During this period, you will spend time getting to know the Edmundite community and partake in spiritual direction toward your life’s vocation. At the end of the discernment process, the candidate and the Vocation Director discuss whether it is appropriate to move forward and apply to the Formation Program.
Formation Program — Once in Formation, candidates associate themselves with an Edmundite ministry and live in an Edmundite community. During this period candidates work closely with the Formation Director or another Edmundite who helps to guide and direct the candidate on his faith journey. The Formation Program allows both the candidate and the Society of Saint Edmund to assess their readiness for Novitiate.
Novitiate — Novitiate is a yearlong process that initiates candidates into Edmundite life through prayer, study and work. By living the vows of poverty, chastity and obedience, sharing the Common Table and reflecting on their Edmundite experience, the novice is prepared to reach an informed and free choice. At the end of the Novitiate, the novice may request to take temporary vows and continue the path to final vows. Some will also continue to be ordained to the priesthood.
frequently asked questions
How do I know if I’m really being called to religious life?
The call of God is a gentle invitation that comes and goes throughout our lives. It is the felt sense that God is calling me to a different way of life that involves prayer, service, and a life in community.
How do I discern whether my commitment to religious life is permanent?
I would encourage you to contact our vocation director, Fr. Lino Oropeza, S.S.E. He will help you in the discernment process. All religious communities invite interested candidates to spend time living in community and actually experiencing our life.
What does it mean to take vows of poverty, chastity and obedience in the 21st century?
Members in the Society of Saint Edmund live in community. We share our goods in common (poverty), remain unmarried and chaste (chastity) and are responsible to the community (obedience).
Where will I live?
Those discerning a call reside in our house of formation in South Burlington, Vermont.
How will I be assigned to a ministry?
We work to match the gifts of our members with the needs of the Society of Saint Edmund. After prayer and consultation, the Superior General assigns you to a ministry.
What happens if I come to investigate life with the Edmundites, but decide it’s not for me?
Our formation and discernment process takes four years. You can leave at any time with our blessing.
Have more questions?
Call Vocation Director Father Lino Oropeza, SSE at (802) 338-1151
The Society of Saint Edmund is a small religious order. At the present time, we have about 30 members who are active in ministry among African-Americans in the South, at Saint Michael’s College in Vermont, working with retreats at Enders Island in Connecticut and ministering in parishes in New England and the South. We have three men in formation at the present time.
Candidates for the Society of Saint Edmund must have an undergraduate degree and demonstrate an ability to complete an advanced degree. We rarely consider anyone who is older than 35 or who is not a citizen of the United States. Because of the demands of an active apostolic community, candidates should be in excellent health, and free of family responsibilities.
If I can be of further assistance to you, please don’t hesitate to contact me. May God bless you in your vocation discernment.