How will it work for me?The interior of a monastic cell.After your application, if you have no obvious impediments, you will be accepted for a vocational retreat visit to Papa Stronsay. On arrival, you will spend the first eight days in retreat. This means that you will be able to talk to the superior and the guest masters, but should otherwise preserve silence. Your meals will be brought to you in your cell. After the first eight days are completed, you will continue to take your midday meal in your cell but breakfast and supper will be taken in the refectory with the community. You will also be permitted to join the community for some evening recreations. Your days will be spent in prayer solitude and manual labour. You will be taught to make rosaries so that you will have something to occupy yourself with in your cell.
In addition to this you can request some more active manual labour outside. This may sometimes involve working with some members of the community; however, it will more likely be alone. Plenty of reading material will be available in your cell and should you need more it will be no problem to provide some.
After this initial retreat, which may be up to two or three weeks, it will be determined whether or not you have the signs of a vocation with the Transalpine Redemptorists. What happens next will differ depending on your particular experience here during your visit, and also what kind of Visa you need in order to come and live in the UK from your home country.Brother delivers meals to aspirants and those on retreat. If you are accepted to return you may be asked to go home for a number of months before returning to try your vocation. You may also be required to wait a few months by law while you apply for a visa to live in the UK. However it works in your particular case, when you return to the Monastery it will be as an aspirant. As an aspirant, you will live much the same life as you had in the second part of your retreat visit i.e. you will have your breakfast and supper with the community as well as some evening recreations, but your midday meal will be taken in your cell. After an undetermined amount of time, within about two months usually, if the superiors are happy with your progress and disposition and you feel that you are being called to live the Transalpine Redemptorist vocation, then you can put your request to the superior to become a postulant. On becoming a postulant, you will start to live almost fulltime with the community. You will take all your meals in the refectory and will come to both recreations. You will have one day a week on retreat where you will spend the day in prayer and spiritual reading, taking all your meals in your cell and not attending either recreation.
With these stages of discernment completed, in consultation with your spiritual director you will decide if you really want to commit yourself to living our vocation. If you decide that this is the life that you want to live, and that you want to give yourself entirely to God, you can submit your request to be admitted to the novitiate.