Training as a Marist Priest or Brother takes place in Auckland, at the Marist Seminary, and at the Society of Mary’s English-Speaking International Novitiate, at Good Shepherd College, Auckland and later on at the Marist International Theologate in Rome.
The training, or “formation” process begins by joining the Marist Seminary community, generally for a period of 1 – 2 years. During this time Marist seminarians:
- live as part of the Marist Seminary Community
- are introduced to the Marist life
- work out whether they would like to go to Novitiate and become a Marist
- study at Good Shepherd College towards a Batchelor of Theology degree
When a Marist Seminarian decides he wants to further his life as a Marist he applies to go to the Marist International Novitiate.
He makes this application to the head of the Society of Mary in New Zealand, who on the advice of the formation staff at the Seminary and having consulted his provincial councilors, forwards the application to the Superior General of the Society of Mary in Rome.
Successful applicants will then be invited to join with other English-speaking novices and go to the International Novititate for a year.
At the end of the Novitiate the Marist seminarian is professed as a Marist and is entitled to place SM (Society of Mary) after his name. He then returns to New Zealand to study once again at Good Shepherd College and complete his Bachelor of Theology degree.
After a further one year’s study, the Marist seminarian travels to Rome to study for four years with other Marist seminarians from around the world.
During the summer holidays the seminarian will go on pastoral placement generally to one of the various Marist missions around the world.
The seminarian returns to New Zealand to
- takes his final vows as a Marist
- is ordained as a Deacon (priest students only)
- receive a further period of pastoral placement
- be ordained a Priest.
After ordination, a newly ordained priest can expect to be placed in a supportive Marist community and occasionally gather with other newly ordained Marists either in New Zealand or in an international English – speaking setting.