To become an Augustinian Recollect it is necessary to advance in the vocation and formative itinerary intended for the discernment and study of the faith and of God, to whom one consecrates himself.
The Augustinian Recollect Vocational Itinerary (IVAR) is a tool based on the Augustinian Recollect charism, to help the accompanied persons mature in their vocational decision; that which the Lord sowed in their heart. And the main thing is that the IVAR encourages and inspires a close vocation accompaniment, empathetic and competent, from the perspective of the vocation response itself.
Inspired by the work of the sower, the itinerary is divided into three stages:
• Plowing or preparing the land – refers to the challenge of creating a vocation culture.
• Seed or deliver the seed – refers to the announcement of vocation kerygma for vocation awakening.
• Cultivate or care for the plant so that it may bear fruit – refers to the cultivation of the vocation through accompaniment.
It involves the careful action of preparing and tilling the land for sowing. This work involves, above all, removing the soil so that it softens and becomes loose, removing stones and large grass, throwing some type of fertilizer and designing the furrows. Here a direct allusion is made to the commitment that exists throughout the Church to continue generating a vocation culture; which consists fundamentally in recreating this favorable environment – vocationally meaningful environment or “vocation communities” or “vocation oriented ecology” – that a vocation needs in order to take root, grow, flourish and bear fruit.
The work of planting is to place the seed into the earth with confidence and hope. It is sowing in every welcoming surface – the heart of the human being – the seed of the Good News that contains the words of Jesus referred to in the Gospel. The vocation sower collaborates diligently in the sowing of the Word.
This stage seeks that, through accompaniment, the person will gradually develop an authentic, free, conscious and mature response before the Lord who calls him for something concrete. It involves for the person to live the adventure of strengthening that inalienable intuition, characteristic of the faith that he experiences in his heart as a person called by the Lord.
Augustinian Recollect Formation Stages
• Aspirancy. The proper goal of the aspirancy is to help the person with vocation concern to study more easily the signs of a possible vocation and, through a solid formation, prepare them to follow Christ with a generous spirit and a pure heart. It can be done in a house of the Order or by external monitoring of the candidate with periodic meetings. Its duration depends on the personal status and development of the candidate.
• Postulancy. The postulancy is the period, immediately prior to the novitiate that takes place already in a house of the Order. It brings with it a certain experience of community life and coexistence with the members of the community, in order to have a convenient mutual knowledge. Normally this stage coincides with Philosophy studies. Its duration depends on the personal status and development of the candidate.
• Novitiate. The purpose of the novitiate is for the person to know better the divine vocation in the Order, to experience the way of life of the Order, to conform his mind and heart to the spirit of the Order and to prove his intention and suitability. It has a duration of one year.
• Simple profession. With the simple profession begins the stage in which the new professed enriches his consecrated life with an intense dedication to prayer and study. This dedication helps him to mature his vocation, in the face of his definitive commitment to God in the solemn profession, and to prepare himself properly for his future apostolate.
• Theologate. In the stage of simple profession, the study of theology is developed along with other Augustinian disciplines and the history and spirituality of the Order.
• Experience of community immersion. After completing the studies in Theology, the professed are inserted into the religious communities collaborating in some of the ministries of the Order.