The use of a simple dress code and the reception of the Community medal of Our Lady of Walsingham, marks the entrance into religious life which Initial Formation indicates. The holistic formation of the individual will be such that the novice learns to internalise human and Christian values. Every novice will be formed in the charism of the Community, its spirituality, prayer life, the study of Scripture, liturgy, the history of the Carmelite tradition, the theology of religious life and relevant ecclesiastical history.
‘The Word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division between soul and spirit, between joints and marrow, discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart’.
Special attention will be given to enabling each person to discover their ‘personal vocation’: who they are for Jesus and who Jesus is for them. This awareness will clarify all future choices.
Richeldis’ empty, unadorned wooden house at Walsingham was a means of bringing to the minds of pilgrims the person Mary was when she uttered her ‘yes’ to motherhood – a woman empty and poor, yet receptive and joyful in that poverty. The means will be provided, where possible, for everyone to acquire the human and spiritual maturity necessary to say a responsible ‘yes’ to the calling of total consecration through religious vows.
When pronouncing first vows, members receive a habit as a visible expression of their state of life as well as a crucifix. The latter, with its symbols of the Trinity, the Eucharist and the Annunciation reflects elements central to the COLW charism.