Today is the feast of St Stanislaus, a Jesuit novice who died in 1568, and is regarded as the patron saint of novices by many congregations. So it's a good day to pray for our novices, here in England-Wales (and include a soon-to-be novice in the prayer) and throughout the world; and to look back in gratitude on my own novitiate, almost twenty years ago.
There are no road-maps for the novitiate; the process is different for each one, because each one is unique, with her own personality, background, gifts and limitations. Each one brings her self and her own story to this process, along with her hopes, fears, uncertainties, desires and expectations. So what I look back on is my own experience, of a time in which I gradually came to understand the grace of my vocation, and God's unbelievably wondrous choice and call, which led to my first vowed commitment. And for all this and more I give thanks.