Born from the experience of the risen Jesus who passed through the cross, it is during the Easter Octave that the Shalom Catholic Community in each mission celebrates masses of thanksgiving for the life offering of its members. According to the path and stage of formation of each one, the Community shares the joy in Christ, along with the experience of each one in postulancy, discipleship, renewal of temporary vows and definitive vows.
But how do I become a member of the Shalom Catholic Community?
To tread this path (to and from happiness) of the Shalom Vocation, one must begin by taking one step at a time, which involves listening to the call of God and seeking to choose His will.
Life in the Spirit Seminar
The first step is to experience a Life Seminar in the Holy Spirit. That’s right! It is important to have a personal experience with the love of God. The Life Seminar is not explained, it is lived. It is always an invitation to open our hearts to God. Whoever opens the doors of their interior and allows the entrance of God, experiences the greatest of all revolutions: the revolution of Love.
After the Seminar, participants will be referred to a Prayer Group where they will meet once a week to begin a spiritual journey and deepen the use of the Charisms of the Holy Spirit. The Prayer Group is one of the communication channels of grace received from the experience of the outpouring of the Holy Spirit in the Seminary of Life. Everything must be done to preserve it.
With the time of journey and faithfulness in the Prayer Group, with the experience of fraternal and spiritual life, some feel a stronger call to take greater steps and make a greater commitment by discovering the Shalom Vocation within themselves. Together with the coordinator of the Prayer Group, it is decided whether it is time to enter a path of Vocational discernment. Parallel to the Prayer Group, the member of the Vocational Path participates once a month in vocational meetings.
The Vocational Path has a minimum duration of one year, starting with the Open Vocational Meeting (in March or April of each year).
Each member of the Vocational Path is assisted and guided by a Vocation Accompanist (spiritual director) to listen to the Lord’s will to discern the call to the Shalom Vocation or to another Vocation in the Church, on the maturing time needed to take concrete steps towards the postulancy of the Life or Covenant Community.
Having discerned in the Vocational Path (which lasts one or two years) to take the next step, the Postulancy emerges. It consists of a period of experience as a candidate in the Community (one year for the Life Community and two years in the Covenant Community), during which the Postulant and competent formators embark on a journey of formation and discernment of their vocation and of human and spiritual maturity necessary to respond to it.
They are no longer members of Prayer Groups or member of the Vocational Path: they are postulants who along with other postulants will journey twice a week, participating in the Cells of community and prayer experience, intensifying the apostolate and service in the growth of evangelization.
Discipleship and Promises
Discipleship is a time of intense formation in the missionary life that lasts at least two years. It is marked by the deepening of the spiritual and vocational life. After the time of Discipleship and having prospered in the spiritual, communitarian and apostolic life, the person will be able to request their First Promises (of one year) of consecrated life in the Community. After four years of the renewal of these Temporary Promises, a member who deems fit may formally request the Community for their Definitive Promises, in the Shalom Catholic Community.
Life and Covenant Community
The Shalom vocation can be experienced in two complementary dimensions: the Life Community and the Covenant Community. During the Vocational year, the candidate may apply for admission, according to his calling, in the Postulancy of the Life Community, in which the appeal of the offering of life is more radical, with a particular lifestyle, or one can join the Covenant Community living their offering of life to Christ in means of family and professional activities.
On the path of consecrated life as Covenant or Life Community, discernment and discovery of one’s way of life is fundamental: marriage, celibacy or priesthood.
The TAU is a sign of those whom God calls to carry out a mission. Like St. Francis of Assisi, we are aware of this and we want to say yes to this call, to this election of God for us. The Tau is a visible sign of belonging to the Shalom Community. It is made of wood, as a sign that we want to live poverty, to live what the Lord does through our hands, through our work. The sign is attached by a thread cord and has pirograted the Hebrew letters SHALOM, meaning that the Peace of which we seek to be ministers and disciples is the fullness of Peace, Christ himself.
TRANSLATED BY ELLEN BEATRIZ