Formation at the Casa
For young men and women discerning a state of life who are able and willing to set aside their current commitments (studies, work, etc.) for a time of deeper immersion in the active listening for the Lord's call, the house offers itself as both a home and a school of Christian life, guided by the principles of St. Ignatius of Loyola and its three main authors.
“We are men with a call and a calling. Hence, we stand before God, not as finished, completed beings, but as beings who are connected to him by a relationship based on a call.”
Adrienne von Speyr
From her reflection on Eph 4:4
The house proposes to itself as a primary goal that of helping each one to live in a Christian way the end for which all men are created: to praise, revere and serve God our Lord, subordinating to this end the personal decisions and activities of each day. Therefore, the house does not look to recruit candidates for a specific destination or to introduce an exclusive spirituality, but it wants to be open to everything which is healthy and alive today in the Church.
THE LIFE OF THE COUNSELS
The house also has as a scope to open, as largely as possible, our hearts to the Word of God which personally addresses each with his call through the action of the Holy Spirit (cf. Jn 16:12-15). To help to discern a possible specific vocation to the consecrated life, the house predisposes, during the course of the year, a practical and theoretical program of initiation to the state of the counsels, permitting one to already live, in an experimental way, the spirit and the effective practice of evangelical poverty, virginity and obedience.
INTEGRATION OF LIFE
As much as possible, residents participate in the various activities of the Accademia, which was originally founded with the intent of supplementing the formation offered at the Casa. By the study of great authors of yesterday and today, the students develop their capacity to “judge everything” (1 Cor 2:15), and to integrate faith and life, cultural and spiritual formation, professional competence and sanctity. During the academic year, mornings are dedicated to study (in the seminar style described here).
“A School of...”
The nature, spirit, and objectives of the Casa are outlined in greater detail in the Charter, which is made available to candidates upon application and constitutes the document to which residents give their consent and try to observe during their stay.
A Brief Overview
The formation typically runs about 2 years in length, but can vary significantly from person to person. Fr. Servais serves as Spiritual Director for residents of the house and accompanies them in their time of discernment, which is not constrained to a pre-determined timeline but remains fundamentally open.
During their stay, residents are expected to observe a well-ordered routine of daily life that aims to nurture a spirit of peace, indifference, and availability, so that, when the time comes, they may be ready and open to receive a call from the Lord. The schedule includes times of personal prayer and community prayer (Mass and Compline), a time of study in the mornings (read more about the Accademia here), and time for various types of work and projects in the afternoons. Shared meals, especially lunch and dinner, are an important part of the community life shared by residents.
The small group of residents share a life in common and participate in the evangelical spirit of the house together during their stay. The basic spoken language in the house is Italian (but people of any nationality with a working knowledge of English, French, German, or Spanish should not hesitate to apply). Concerning room and board, each is welcome to make an offering according to his financial means. All community services (cooking, cleaning, etc.) are taken care of by the residents, under the coordination of the Rector/Vice-Rector.