Religious formation should be in accord with the nature and purpose of the Institute. It should be constant and faithful. It should occupy first place among the things most necessary to the welfare of
the Institute and each of its members.
During the aspirancy, the aspirant begins a period of initial formation in the charism of the Institute and experience of the common life. In North America, the aspirancy is located at Mount Saint Francis near Binghamton, New York.
The postulancy is always made within a house of formation, and ordinarily lasts a year, but may be shortened (or lengthened) according to the judgement of the superiors.
The novice is formed in the school of St. Maximilian according, to the “pattern of Minors”, who is St. Francis of Assisi, and in the divine mold, which is the Immaculate, the All-Holy.
At the investiture the candidate’s name can be changed, as suggested by the Master of Postulants, who will take into account the postulant’s preference; The name of the novice will always be preceded by “fra” (friar or brother) and followed by “Maria”. Also, a new and sacred surname is taken at investiture.
The program of study during the year of novitiate concentrates on the charism of the Institute, along with studies in Holy Scripture, Mariology, Franciscan and Kolbean spirituality, Franciscan history, liturgy and sacred Chant, attentive always to the documents of the Magisterium.
The years of temporary profession are the period of interior development for every friar in living his consecration to God always more fully and more deeply, looking to the Immaculate and imitating Her so that he may live an evangelical life “pure, holy and immaculate”.’
The formation of the temporarily professed is fundamentally directed to the growth of their spiritual life, to their doctrinal preparation, and the conduct of the work (inside or outside, pastoral or technical) in which they are to engage.
The program of formation requires in particular that the Friars deeply grasp the teaching and spirituality of St. Maximilian so as to understand always better the mystery of the Immaculate and to promote the truth of Her universal mediation.