Witnessing our Priory/Novitiate project in Denver make considerable and exciting progress these last months, the above famous quote from, Field of Dreams, comes to mind. The renovated, original building joined to a brand-new wing will encompass a novitiate for first-year discerners, aka novices, within a larger expanded priory for as many as ten professed friars. We hope to move in by Christmas.
Timing couldn’t be better. This year saw seven men approved for entrance into the Central Province Order of Preachers, six of whom will arrive in Denver on August 1 to begin the Pre-Novitiate. The other approved candidate will continue to work to lower his student debt in time to join next year’s class. The Pre-novitiate, is a period of transition and orientation, an antechamber of sorts. During these days, we provide novice candidates with both the space and time to transition from their previous lives and acclimate themselves to a life more intensely and intentionally centered in prayer and community.
The Pre-novitiate has two main goals. First, we begin to form the young men entering our way of life into men of personal and public prayer. While most come to us with developed prayer lives already, it is a time for each of them to turn their attention away from previous life concerns and focus within on building their interior lives. It is also the time they learn Dominican choral prayer and begin to serve as cantors and leaders of Common Prayer.
The second goal is to form the new class in community living. Our novice candidates typically do not know each other well, having only met at a Come & See weekend or at their Admissions Board. The Pre-novitiate offers the soon-to-be novices a chance to get to know each other more deeply and begin solidifying as a group through being introduced to the skills and ideals of living a Dominican religious life.
With your help, we have built it and they are coming!