Oblate Formation formerly begins at Mazenod House Pre-Novitiate in Woodville, Bulawayo where the students would stay in an Oblate community for a certain period of time, which usually lasts two years, although not necessarily so. The aim of the Pre-Novitiate programme is to allow the candidate to see and experience the Oblate life. It is in such an environment that the candidate or Pre-Novice, as he is referred to, comes to discover more about himself, about God's call in his life and also about the his readiness to move to the Novitiate.
We have ten pre-novices, this year 2007, four doing their second year and six newcomers. There are two semesters and at the beginning of the first semester there is an orientation programme. From there they get into the daily rhythm (programme) of the Pre-Novitiate.
After the Pre-Novice completes the Pre-Novitiate programme he moves to the Novitiate where he begins the Novitiate programme. This programme last for a year and in this year the now Novice would receive an initiation into the Oblate religious life and leads to his public commitment in the Congregation. Prayer and communal life are at the heart of the Novitiate. It is also in the Novitiate that the Novice learns intensely about the vows and the life of St. Eugene de Mazenod, who is the founder of the Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate, our Congregation.
From the Novitiate after the Novice makes his public commitment, first vows of being Chaste, poor, obedience and steadfast in perseverance for one year he then moves to Scholastic ate, St. Joseph's Theological Institute, in Cedara, Natal where he takes up, very strongly, his academic studies. In the first two to three years of his programme there - depending on whether he is in the diploma or degree programme - philosophy is covered in detail. After completing the course he then proceeds with his theological studies which last four years. There are For more information on the scholastic ate please click on the following link: