The novitiate is traditionally known among Legionaries as “the University where you study Christ.” It is a period marked by a particular separation from the world as the novice has limited access to internet and no cellphone or use of social media. This atmosphere allows him to hear the Lord speaking within his soul in order to discern his vocation as well as lay the foundation of a solid interior life, without which his future apostolate will be fruitless.
The novice is systematically instructed in the spirituality of the Legionaries of Christ, the history of the Legion, human formation, and the theology of the vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience. After two years, the novitiate ends with the first profession of vows which he makes for 2 years.
Humanities is the time when a Legionary studies the heart of man in order to engage culture. He continues to deepen his response to Christ, who calls him to live in the world but not be of the world. The humanities program in Cheshire, Connecticut, lasts for two years and includes Legionaries from 6 novitiates from around the world (The United States, Mexico, Europe, Venezuela, Brazil, and Colombia). At the end of humanities, the Legionary renews his vows for another three years before heading to Rome for the study of philosophy.
To evangelize society, a Legionary dedicates three years to developing a deeper understanding of the person and his relationship with the world and with God through the study of philosophy. In a world where information is readily available, these studies help us interpret reality and find the proper balance between God, the world, and humankind. In a polarized world, a solid intellectual formation allows our men to ground dialogue in reality.
At the end of Philosophy, a Legionary renews his vows for four years.
After philosophy, a Legionary begins his time of apostolic internship. He re-lives the experience of the seventy-two disciples of being sent. He dedicates two years of his formation fully to the apostolate. During this time, he lives in a Legionary community, getting to know more closely and practically the life of a Legionary priest. He takes advantage of these years to consolidate habits and form his heart to be like Christ.
Returning to Rome, a Legionary studies theology, integrating the Word of God and teaching of the Church to deepen his experience of the history of salvation, which he will communicate to society during his priestly ministry. After experiencing the range of facets of Legionary life, he commits definitively to Christ through religious life, making his perpetual vows.
After 13 years of formation, a Legionary receives the grace of ordination to the priesthood and is finally able to celebrate the Eucharist and administer the sacrament of reconciliation. For a Legionary, arriving at ordination is not the end of the story but the beginning of a new chapter.