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Membership in the Institute

Formation of Institute Members
 
The development and stability of the Institute is largely dependent on a careful
selection of candidates. For this purpose, a period of Postulancy lasting at least
six months is useful.
 
The following can be members of the Institute:
 
  • Catholic married couples and widows who can suitably carry out the Works of the Institute, who have a right intention and a sincere desire to reach perfect charity by following an evangelical lifestyle in their conjugal state and who dedicate their lives permanently to the apostolate;
  • A husband or wife who fulfills the conditions mentioned in the preceding paragraph and has obtained the consent of the spouse.
 
Any Catholic who has the right intention and possesses the qualities required by the Constitutions may be admitted to the Institute. Nobody can be admitted without an adequate preparation.
 
Why Should You Join?
 
Have you been living a "good Catholic life", but time and again, you have this nagging feeling
that you are called for more? Have you been wandering from one Church organization, prayer
group or spirituality to the other, but none of them seem to provide what you are longing for?
Perhaps you had a deep desire earlier in your life to consecrate yourself to God and now you
are married or widowed and think that it is no longer possible? We invite you to take a look at
the Holy Family Institute! We invite you TODAY to listen to God's voice in your heart and ask
for greater light, because "nothing is impossible for God". The following videos may help you
hear that voice and see with greater clarity what God has in store for you, if you follow His
calling. "Speak Lord, for your servant is listening!" (1 Samuel 3,9)
 
Postulancy

The purpose of the Postulancy is to facilitate a better mutual awareness between the candidate and the Institute. Engaged couples, seriously intending to marry and wishing to learn about the Institute vocation, may also become Postulants. Entry into Postulancy takes place after participating in a Course of Spiritual Exercises conducted by the Institute.
 
Novitiate
 
Life in the Institute begins with the Novitiate. The purpose of the Novitiate is to ensure that:
  • novices become better aware of their divine vocation;
  • they gain experience of the lifestyle proper to the Institute;
  • their suitability and real intentions are examined.
 
The time of novitiate runs from the enrollment of the novices in the Novitiate Record and it
lasts for two years. For particular reasons, it may be extended by the Provincial Delegate but
not for more than a year.
 
Temporary Vows
 
During the first three years, vows are made and renewed annually; then they are made for
two years, at the end of which they may be made permanently (perpetually). Members  who have made temporary vows are free to 
renew them or not, when they are due for renewal.
 
Perpetual Vows
 
The last and lifelong phase of formation starts with permanent (perpetual) vows. Ongoing, systematic formation and spiritual direction are provided by the Provincial Delegate in the form of regular (e.g., monthly) personal communication, stage-specific spiritual materials (e.g., printed materials, audio or video recordings) and other, suitable media sanctioned by the Provincial Delegate. In addition, periodic recollection with local Institute members and an annual Triduum (three days of spiritual exercises) are also extended to members as means of ongoing spiritual formation.
 

(Based on the Statute & Directory of the Holy Family Institute, Ch. 5.)

Discovering the will of God is a simple thing but also a complicated one; it is luminous and obscure; painful and sweet; natural and yet wonderful, according to each case. And so we must neither be simplistic nor yet suffer exasperating, tormenting uncertainty; rather we require prudence, self-examination, prayer, counsel and a decision in faith".  (Bl. Alberione)