Like postulancy, novitiate is a one-year residential program. But while postulancy is a time of intense ministry experience, novitiate provides the environment in which one is more reflective on his life in the Capuchin Order in preparation for first profession of vows [poverty, chastity, and obedience] at the completion of the novitiate year. The novitiate house is located in Santa Inez, California.
During this year, novices from across the US and from other English-speaking countries come together to have a common novitiate. This shared experience with different Capuchin provinces exposes friars to the wider Order, while also sharing traditions and history with each other to expand their understanding of being a friar.
Novices offer six hours of volunteer ministry each week. They also spend 20 hours weekly in classroom and private instruction. Topics include the history of spirituality, the history of religious life, the Capuchin Constitutions, the lay Franciscan movement, personal prayer forms, and the history of the Franciscan First Order [men] and the Poor Clares [the Second Order]. Novices practice a rich prayer life as they further discern their vocation.
Novitiate concludes with the profession of temporary [lasting for one year] vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience.