image003 (1)Six young men committed themselves with the profession of their perpetual vows (Chastity, poverty and obedience) and entered the Society of Jesus in the month of June 2016.

These six men had journeyed for two years in the novitiates of St Francis Xavier, Lusaka Zambia and Noviciado do Coracao de Jesus, Beira, Mocambique. First to make their profession were Prosper Tubulo SJ, Paul Kanda SJ (Jesuit Province of Zimbabwe-Mocambique) and Reagan Chengamali of the province of Zambia-Malawi. In the noviciate in Beira, the following weekend, three young men, Orcastro Junior SJ, Abneiro Wachisso SJ and Joao Tivane SJ, all Mozambicans, made their profession before families, friends and fellow Jesuits.

The novitiate in a two year period of spiritual discernment, where the novices are challenged to discern their vocations.

The two year period comprises of learning the Jesuit and Ignatian Spirituality, the History of the Society of Jesus, the Constitutions of the Society of Jesus, dogma and church doctrines, pastoral theology.

After the first six months, the novices engage in the 30 Days retreat (in silence), technically called the Spiritual Exercises.

This is following the tradition of St Ignatius of Loyola, the founder of the Society of Jesus, who spent time at Manresa, in Spain, in prayer.

On March 25th, 1522, Ignatius came down from Montserrat to Manresa. He settled down and lived eleven months there.

The stay in Manresa, far longer than he had foreseen, is of great relevance in the autobiography and deeds of the Saint.

In a cave near the River Cardoner, Ignatius had a strong spiritual experience which was going to be the origin of more than one methodological instruction for the guidance of similar experiences; the Book of the Spiritual Exercises, a guide towards the orientation of one’s life depending on God, “in all things to serve and love.”

Ignatius always considered that his stay in Maresa had been very important. He said that those months of stay in the town had been for him a kind of noviciate regarding spiritual things.

That is why among the Jesuit, the expression “to go to Manresa” means a pilgrimage to their historical sources and the sources of their religious vocations and spirituality.

After the month long Spiritual Exercises (Long retreat), the novices engage in two months of hospital experience, serving in different towns around Zambia, Malawi and Zimbabwe.

Early in their second year, they engage in another two months long Social experiments. These are done outside the novitiate premises and compliment spiritual formation.

After their profession, these men either join the one year long Juniorate or enter into studies in philosophy as their advance towards priestly ordination for scholastics, and professional qualifications for brothers.