Candidacy

The Jesuit Candidacy Programme is a period of spiritual direction and vocational guidance. It is intended for a young man who is seriously considering the Society of Jesus as one of several vocational choices. It is also for a person who strongly believes that God might be calling him to be a Jesuit, but is not yet certain. Lastly, it is for a person, who has decided in his heart that he is called to be a Jesuit, but needs or wishes more experience and growth before taking such a step. This stage does not imply a commitment to enter the Society of Jesus, but rather provides an opportunity for vocational discernment.

During this period, the candidate will familiarise himself with Jesuits, their works and as well their way of life.

We are often asked about an age limit for admission of candidates. It is not easy to set such a limit since this depends on concrete cultural situations and on the maturity of each individual.  A former Father General commented that, "generally speaking, the older the candidate, the more difficult it will be for him to accomplish the appropriate ‘disconnection’ and to make his own the values of religious life and of our Jesuit charism.”  In Africa, most of our candidates are in their twenties, though in some parts of the world they are frequently somewhat older.

As for academic requirements, the Society asks that the candidates have satisfactorily finished pre-university studies, 2 A levels as a minimum, and that they show a capacity for the intellectual formation demanded by our charism and way of proceeding.

The candidates’ programme of the Zimbabwe Jesuit Province is administered by the Vocations Director who admits candidates into the programe and remains in communication with them.   During the time that an individual is recognized as a Jesuit candidate, he will live at home and continue his studies at school or college or his regular employment.   From time to time the Vocations Director will invite groups of candidates to come together for weekend meetings or retreats.   It may also be that individual candidates will be in regular contact with a Jesuit community in their neighbourhood.

At the appropriate time, candidates will be invited for a series of interviews to assess their suitability to be accepted as novices of the Zimbabwe Jesuit Province.

Applicants to the Society of Jesus in Zimbabwe may contact:

The Vocations Director
Jesuit Province of Zimbabwe,
P O Box MP620
Mount Pleasant
Harare
Tel. 0773 587 026
email:  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Or

The Formation Delegate
Jesuit Province of Zimbabwe
52 Mount Pleasant Drive
P O Box MP610
Mount Pleasant
Harare
Tel. 0773 069 305 / 0734 177 432
email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Admission to Probation taken from General Congregation 34

Complementary Norms of the Constitutions of the Society of Jesus

Candidates for admission

25. For the probation to fulfill its purpose, the candidates must have adequate human maturity and proper preparation.

To achieve this, various arrangements can be made to place them under the guidance of chosen priests and brothers, who might help them to mature in their vocation, while they engage in studies and apostolic experiences, preparing themselves to enter the novitiate.

Where the need is felt, special programmes should be arranged for those who will become brothers but are not sufficiently prepared for it.

During this time a certain amount of information on the Society of Jesus will be made available, through conversations, readings in history, and even a sampling of the main documents, both classical and modern.

26.  There must be a carefully conducted personal interview to ascertain the candidate's life, qualities and aptitude for the Society of Jesus, his motivation, any mental of physical defects, and the impediments or deterrents that might exist, with serious attention to the directives of the Examen and the Constitutions as adapted to our times.

Other suitable means should be employed so that the Society of Jesus may know the men thoroughly.  Unless this has already been achieved through earlier contacts, information could be sought with regard to health, character, religious formation and practice, temperament, talent, studies undertaken and results obtained, the family's situation and position in society.   Where necessary for a more complete picture, a psychological report should be secured, strictly safeguarding the confidentiality of the consultation, the candidate's freedom and the norms established by the Church.

To this same end, candidates may be invited to spend some time in one of our communities suited to that purpose.

Introductory paragraphs to the

Formula of the Institute of the Society of Jesus

(approved by Pope Julius III on 21 July 1550)

1. Whosoever would enlist in the cause of God beneath the standard of the Cross, to serve the Lord alone and his bride the Church under the Roman Pontiff, the Vicar of Christ on earth, and wishes to do this in our Society, which we want to be distinguished by the name of Jesus, will make a solemn vow of perpetual chastity, poverty and obedience. 

He must take to heart that he now becomes a member of a Society founded chiefly to engage in the defence and propagation of the faith, and the promotion of Christian life and principles, through public sermons and lectures, as well as any other ministry of the world of God, and the Spiritual Exercises, and catechetical instruction of children and uneducated adults, and assistance to the faithful by hearing confessions and celebrating the sacraments.

He may also be usefully employed in peacefully resolving conflicts, in reaching out with sympathetic support to those who languish in jails and hospices, or by taking up any work that love inspires as being for God's glory and the good of all; everything being done quite free of charge with no thought of profit through such activities.

He will make it his concern ever to keep his gaze fixed on God first of all, and then on the design of this our Institute, which traces a path to Him; and to strive with all his might to attain the goal that God himself has set, in the measure of the grace that the Spirit bestows on each, and in the category determined by his specific vocation…

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