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Jesuit Novitiate - Jesuits of North-West Africa Province | Society of Jesus

Gratitude Magazine March 2015 Edition

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Jesuit Novitiate

The Novitiate for the North-West Africa Province is situated at the southeast of Edo State, in Ugbekun Quarters, DSCN0232
not far from the state capital, Benin City. Fr. Thomas Oguagua, S.J., is the Novice Master and is assisted by Fr. Reginald Tiesaah, S.J.

The Novitiate is a two-year program of studying the Constitutions of the Society of Jesus, our manner of proceeding, Jesuit spirituality, discerning one's initial zeal to become a member of the Society of Jesus, and preparing for the life of studies and community in the Society. Various activities such as daily morning and evening meditations, indoor and outdoor work, examen, and once a month day of recollection take place within the novitiate. Novices are also assigned to help out in the parishes, conduct communion services in Benin and Oko prisons, help with the Sunday school at the Remand Home in Benin City and other such apostolic activities outside the novitiate compound.

Novices are accepted into the Novitiate in the month of July around the feast of St. Ignatius of Loyola. Some time within the next two weeks the Novice Master and the Assistant Novice Master direct the first year novices in a Triduum. After this, the second and first year novices continue with the regular Novitiate schedule.

Novices do not engage only in spiritual activities. There are outing days when novices go out to visit with their friends and families, and visiting days when friends and families come to visit with the novices in the novitiate. There are also otherDSCN0253 occasions for socializing and celebrating such as the feast of Stanislaus Kostka which comes up on November 13.

At the beginning of the second semester, the second year novices are assigned to various apostolic communities to help in the works of the Society. This assignment also serves the goal of the novices seeing how Jesuit priests, brothers, and scholastics actually live and work outside the novitiate. This assignment also teaches the novices how to strike a balance between conscientious prayer such as the novitiate Picture of a newly vowed Jesuit Scholastic signing his vow formula. environment offers, and apostolic commitments and demands. The first year novices then begin their thirty-day long retreat at the same time that the second year novices are away in various Jesuit ministries.


Both first and second year novices return to the Novitiate after they have completed their apostolic experiment and thirty-day retreat, to activities and further studying of the Constitution of the Society and other documents of the Society, and the Church. After some time in the Novitiate, the Novice Master assigns the first year novices to their first experiment which, in line with the directives in the Constitutions, will be done in a hospital environment as was the experience of Father Ignatius and his companions. The second-year novitiate culminates in those who have been approved for vows among the second year novices taking their vows and being sent for philosophical studies either at Arrupe College of Philosophy and Humanities in Harare, Zimbabwe or Coll├Ęge Saint Pierre Canisius at Kimwenza, not far from Kinshasa, the capital of the Democratic Republic of Congo. The first year novices then become second year novices with the departure of their older brothers for studies.

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North-West Africa Province

P. O. Box 223,

Surulere, Lagos, Nigeria

Tel: +234 907 177 3535

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