Explaining the Steps of Jesuit Formation

vow crucifix

Each Jesuit is given a vow cross on their Vow Day as a sign of his commitment.

Jesuit formation is a long multistep process, which takes years to complete. It can be difficult for Catholics, even those familiar with the Society to keep track of the process. To help clear up the confusion about a Jesuit’s formation, Fr. James Martin, SJ, wrote an article after last year’s Vow Day Mass.

Vow Day occurs early in a Jesuit’s formation when a novice takes perpetual vows of poverty, chastity and obedience in the Society also known as First Vows. It comes after two years of formation as a Jesuit. This process includes a 30-day retreat in the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius, apostolic experiments in a variety of Jesuit ministries as well as studying the history and Constitutions of the Society.

This Saturday, August 16, men from the Maryland, New England and New York Provinces will profess First Vows in the Society of Jesus at Holy Cross Church in Dewitt, N.Y. Visit the blog next week to see photos from their Vow Day Mass.

Click here to read Fr. Martin’s full article on the language used for Jesuit formation, including Vow Day.

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