Classes taken at Holy Angels Novitiate are unique to each of the three formative years. These classes aid in providing the brothers with a solid formation by familiarizing them with the different aspects of their future apostolate as a Society brother.
In their first year at the Novitiate, postulants attend the following classes:
- Ascetic and Mystical Theology – More commonly referred to as “Spirituality,” this class helps the postulant understand the importance of the spiritual life, and how to grow in virtue.
- Acts of the Magisterium – In this class, the brothers examine papal documents on Catholic doctrine to solidify their understanding of the Faith and the errors against it.
- Chant – The brothers singing Gregorian chant every day, and learning its proper execution is necessary if it is to be a true prayer.
- Latin I – A basic instruction in the language of the Church, said daily by the brothers in the Divine Office and at Mass, is necessary for all entrants.
- Principles of Art – Is art necessary in today’s world? What makes art good? These are some of the questions answered in this class.
After receiving the habit, the novices continue their instruction:
- Vows – The brother’s entire time as a novice is spent in preparation for making his first religious vows of Poverty, Chastity, and Obedience. Thus, it is necessary to be instructed not only in their practical aspects, but also in how they work together for one’s sanctification and perfection.
- Scripture – The Rule of the Brothers emphasizes the importance of daily scripture reading. This class aids in the brothers’ understanding of the Bible by investigating its origins, inspiration, and interpretation.
- Ceremonies – One of the brothers’ special duties is to serve Mass. In this class, the brothers are given a familiarity with serving the different ceremonies of the liturgical year.
- Sacristy – Many brothers are given sacristan duties at some point in their apostolate. These duties, including care of the sacred vessels, Mass linens, vestments, and the church itself, are detailed in this class.
- Liturgy – This class provides a deeper look and appreciation of the rites of the Catholic Church, especially the Holy Mass, around which their entire apostolate must be centered.
In the third year, second-year novices or newly professed brothers receive more practical, trade-oriented instruction:
- Secretarial Skills – Office organization, computer basics, and the various functions of a church secretary are the focus of this class.
- Teaching religion – Every brother is expected to be able to teach Catechism. This class helps him do so effectively.
- General Maintenance – This class helps prepare the brother for his future assignment, where the grounds may need to be kept, the walls painted, safety protocols enforced, the termites chased away, the flooded basement pumped dry…
- Culinary Skills – Cooking a variety of meals well and safely is a necessary ability for the brother.
These classes help the Brothers to understand and embrace the spirit of their sublime vocation and serve as a preparation for their future apostolate.