The word vocation comes from the Latin verb Vocare, meaning to call. God gives all men and women vocations — calls to be holy — but he offers different ways to respond to the universal call to holiness. Some he calls to marriage and to become holy as mothers and fathers. God also gives unique vocations to follow him in the religious life and the priesthood. God can and does call people specifically to be Paulines. And each vocation answered is a witness to the person’s faith in God.
Vocations to the Order
God calls men to be Paulines. Every religious order exists because God has given a charism, a special gift to the Church, through a particular saint or order. Like all great orders, the Pauline Charism is very robust and broad. Four pillars form the basis of the Pauline Charism.
- A Love of contemplative prayer — alone with God alone — and liturgical prayer
- A poor and industrious life, characterised by penance
- A desire to spread devotion to Our Lady, particularly in the running of her shrines
- An openness to the needs of the Church in preaching and the administration of the Sacraments, particularly in the hearing of confessions
The Order is monastic but has a very active apostolate in parishes. The Order looks to the tradition of the desert Fathers of Egypt, particularly St. Paul the First Hermit, and to the communal life of our founder Blessed Eusebius, and our Rule giver St Augustine,
Priest or Brother?
There are two ways of living the Pauline Charism, either as a priest or as a brother. They both take the same vows and wear the same habit. A brother lives the life of a proper monk; he can give his full time and energy to becoming a saint. He lives the religious life without the worries and cares of a priest. He is close to people and close to God. Lay brothers tend to be the real saints in religious life. They keep our monasteries and houses running: serve Mass, work in the fields, cook, work in the office, and clean. They are our backbone and our constant humble prayer to God.
On the other hand, a priest celebrates Mass, administers the Sacraments and gives himself to pastoral work in our shrines and parishes. A Pauline Priest juggles both the life of a priest and a monk. Though rewarding, it is not easy and not for everyone.
Contacting the Vocations Director
The Vocations Director
PO Box 226
Moss Vale NSW 2577
What to do with a Vocation?
Should you feel a pull or a tug on your heart towards our Order, the first thing you should do is pray and secondly, come and see us. Please visit our shrines or parishes and say hello to us. The best way to get the girl is to ask her out on a date. Likewise, the best thing to do in a vocation is to come and visit us. A vocation, like a wife, is not on a website but in a real place.
The growth of a Vocation
The Candidate and postulant
Like being a Christian, being a Pauline is a lifelong process. He who repents quickly falls back quickly. One begins becoming a Pauline by approaching and being in contact with us. This may take several weeks, months or even years. At this informal stage, one is called a candidate to the Order. Once he has reached a certain degree of maturity in the possibility of a vocation, he can apply to live with us full-time as a postulant.
A postulant lives the complete Pauline life, but without the obligations and responsibilities of it and therefore without its privileges. These two stages are done in Australia and are very flexible. They are a time for a young man to look at us and for us to look at him. Once a postulant and the Order are confident, it is time for the novitiate.
The novitiate is essentially boot camp for the religious. Entering the novitiate, one becomes a Novice. Novitiate is a real test; it lasts 365 days, and the novice is almost completely cut off from the outside world. It is a time of rigorous growth, work and prayer. The novice must also make a choice either to become a priest or to be a lay brother. Lay Brothers usually do their novitiate in Australia, whilst future priests generally are sent to Poland, which is an excellent test of the seriousness of their vocation. One is clothed in the Order’s habit during the novitiate and may take a new religious name. The novitiate ends with the profession of temporal vows.
The Temporally Professed
Temporally professed Paulines are Paulines and live the full life of a Pauline. The vows are sort of like a period of try before you buy. The temporally professed monk renews these yearly, meaning he can leave by not renewing his vows. This period can last anywhere between 3-9 years. During this time, future priests live at our house of formation in Rome and study two years of Philosophy and three years of Theology at the Angelicum University. They can study either in English or in Italian.
Lay brothers also spend two or so years in some form of formation in Australia. Then, after a suitable amount of years, living the real life of a Pauline in temporary profession, the man and the Order may choose to make it permanent in the profession of Solemn Vows.
The Solemnly Professed
A solemnly professed Pauline is a Pauline who makes his vows permanent, that is, until death. After that, he becomes a full member of the Pauline family and shares in all its privileges and rights but also its responsibilities and obligations. The initial formation for a lay brother is complete at this stage. A Pauline can only be ordained a deacon or a priest after he is a full-professed member of the Order.
Every vocation is unique. Every Pauline is unique. Every formation is unique. God calls unique individuals uniquely to our unique Order. If he is calling you to follow him in the adventure of the Pauline vocation, then do not be afraid. Come and see us.