Dispatches From The Novitiate: Goodbye, Cell Phone!


Br Michael reflects on the detachment of the novitiate. No more computer, just paper and pen.

Br Daniel with Br Michael

On July 8,  I was invested with the white habit of Our Lady Mercy. It was a great day, my heart was leaping with joy as I began my novitiate.

Unfortunately, my family could not attend; it was a private ceremony with the friars, as is custom with the church and the order. However, when I make my first profession, they will all be able to come and celebrate that great day.

The novitiate is a year spent away from the world. It is meant to draw us closer to Christ and help us discern our vocation in a deeper and more profound atmosphere.

This year I will not have access to the Internet or a computer in order to grow closer to Christ with fewer distractions. (Hasta luego, my 13,389 Twitter followers! Goodbye, Xbox 360!)

I also had to cancel my cell phone. Once I take my simple vows I can no longer own a cell phone.

You might be thinking, “I could never be without my cell phone.” At first I thought the same thing, however, when I began to delve into Christ I realized there was nothing in this world more important to me than Him. I am more than willing to lose my earthly material attachments in order to wholly love God and harbor the quiet to hear His voice.

While in the novitiate my family can come to visit twice during the year and I can receive weekly phone calls.

My goals during novitiate are to grow in holiness as a Mercedarian Friar, unite myself more closely to Jesus through the practice of interior prayer, and ransom the souls from purgatory – most especially those of the deceased priests and religious.

If you feel a call to follow Our Lord, do not be afraid! This is the best decision I ever made and I am happy I took that first step.

If you do not heed the call you feel in your heart, you will always ask yourself, “What if?”

I urge you take that leap of faith and let God lead the rest of the way.


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