We would like to wish our readers a blessed 2012.
The novitiate year (http://www.jesuitvocations.org.uk/the-novitiate-year/) has entered a new phase. After almost four months at the novitiate in Birmingham, we have had family visits (or friends in a few cases) and are about to go into an experiment phase. The first years will be doing their 30-day retreat and I am sure that one or more of them will write about that in February. The second year novices are doing a 3-month experiment.
Experiments are Jesuit-ese for placements. They have been important parts of the novitiate from the time of Ignatius. The foundational experience is the full spiritual exercises over 30 days. The others are opportunities to gain some first-hand knoweldge of Jesuit life beyond the novitiate. They tend to raise questions about what it is to be a Jesuit, to relate to non-Jesuits and to try to be a Jesuit presence in the various, often challenging situations we find ourselves.
This is a time when we do not have the support of the novitiate schedule and are usually doing activites that stretch us and so it might be difficult to make regular postings on the blog during this period. Our aim is to continue posting once a week but we’ll have to see whether that works out.