The formation of a brother of the Society of St. Pius X is three-fold: a spiritual formation, a religious formation, and a practical formation. These stages correspond to the three years of a brother’s formation.
The Postulant Year
As postulants, the newly-arrived young men will familiarize themselves with life in a religious house. During this year they will learn to keep the brothers’ Rule and the schedule of the house. They will strive to increase in the virtues which are necessary for living in community, including humility, docility, devotion to duty, and fraternal charity. To help the postulants grow in these virtues, they are given particular classes, such as the class on Catholic spirituality. Postulants work with the other brothers in the afternoon, giving them a chance to practice obedience, and also to learn some skills.
The time as a novice is essential to learning to live as a religious – one consecrated to God by the vows of religion. As novices, then, the future brothers focus on learning about the three vows of religion – poverty, chastity, and obedience – and striving to gain their spirit. To this end, the novices take a class on the vows, among others. They continue working in the afternoons under the supervision of the professed brothers.
The Second Year Novice, or First Year Professed
The final stage of the brother’s formation is of a more practical nature, which is reflected in their classes: learning to teach religion, to perform basic maintenance and secretary work, and to prepare meals. These brothers may even teach a catechism class themselves, or be responsible for certain jobs at the Novitiate.