Father General spends time with those who represent the future
Becoming a Jesuit in Vietnam implies, even before entering the novitiate, a demanding journey and therefore a high level of motivation for those who undertake this path. To better understand this process, Father General devoted half a day of his stay in Vietnam to visiting the "House of the Candidacy" and the novitiate of the Vietnamese Province.
More than 100 young men are part of the candidacy programme Twenty-five of them are at the pre-novitiate stage, the year during which the decision to apply for entering the Society of Jesus must be made. The "pre-novices" already live a community life, with a Director and his assistant who accompany them on the path of discernment. The other candidates live mostly in houses located here and there in the city. They are all university students, because in Vietnam it is a requirement for entering the Society of Jesus to have a university degree.
The Associate Director of the Candidacy, Nguyên Minh Phúc, SJ, presents in a short video the candidates' programme, which includes elements of both human and spiritual growth. Another montage shows in pictures the life and activities of the candidates over the course of a year: it is full of life!
Early morning, Father General met with the thirty novices and the team of their formators at the novitiate of the Vietnamese Province. After delivering a message of encouragement to the novices, he answered their questions and toured the estate, which includes a large garden and a farm.
The Novice Master, Fr. Lê Quang Chùng, in an interview with the communications team, stated:
"Novices come from all parts of the country and enter after studying in a wide range of fields, such as sciences, humanities or anthropology. It is not easy for them to make their discernment in favour of religious life, because the culture of Confucianism and the communist culture that surrounds them do not naturally orient them towards the following of Christ. What I am doing with them is precisely to help them to see clearly that the criterion of their religious and Jesuit vocation is their determination to follow Christ, the humble Christ, the servant Christ. The training we offer here helps them to make this discernment. Thus they can freely choose, thanks to the instrument of Ignatian pedagogy, religious life in the Jesuit way, a commitment to the service of the Church and society."