Five new faces parachuted into the novitiate house at the beginning of September.
Gavin, Geoff, Christian, Janis and Mark arrived in the midst of the preparations for vow day (when 2nd year guys take vows). It was a crazy few days. Families, friends and Jesuits descended on our peaceful house, ate loads of food and then vanished just as quickly as they had come.
When the dust settled, we all set about getting to know each other. Over that first week or so, everybody took their turn in introducing themselves to the group, talking about their life, their journey and the decision to give this a go. The variety of stories was remarkable. Nobody’s path has been easy but all are glad to have made it this far.
The first two weeks in the house is called “first probation”. It is a time when the new guys decide whether they actually want to stay or not. First probation ends with a 3 day silent retreat under the guidance of Paul (novice director) and Gregory (his assistant). All of us did this retreat. For those of us moving into our 2nd year, it was a timely opportunity to take stock of all that has happened. For those just arrived, it was a time to seek confirmation of their decision. God spoke to all of us in various ways and convinced us that this is the place to be.