Novitiate in the Alexian monastery

Our training to enter an Alexian monastery for new members of the community consists of two phases referred to as the postulate and the novitiate, which are normally completed in about two and a half years. After having taken the initial monastic vows, our brothers have the option to continue their vocational or academic training. People of all trades and walks of life are welcome in our monastery, as their skills and knowledge can be put to use to benefit the sick, the disabled and the disadvantaged. 

First contact

Men who wish to enter an Alexian monastery should write to the provincial of the monastic community of the Alexian brotherhood. The minimum age for entrance to a monastery is eighteen years. After receipt of the letter of interest, the provincial will invite the applicant to spend some time at the monastery. 

Postulate– a time of searching

The postulate is a time during which the candidate will need to determine whether the monastic life is the right choice for him. During the postulate, the candidate lives in the monastery as a member of the community. He is accompanied and supported by the provincial and experienced brothers of the community.

Novitiate – a time of examination and learning

After having completed the postulate, the candidate and the brotherhood decide whether the postulant should progress to the novitiate. If both parties decide that this is the right way forward, the postulant becomes a novice. At this time, the novice is given his monastic name. The novitiate is a time of learning and experiencing a new way of life. The novice will be given time and space to thoroughly examine his dedication and vocation. Throughout the novitiate, the candidate can rely on the support of his brothers in the monastery and the provincial. A novice can leave the monastery at any time. After completion of the novitiate, the candidate has the option to formally join the brotherhood and the monastery for an initial period of one year (temporary profession). Candidates who enter the commitment of a temporary profession receive their monastic habit. Over the next five years, before committing to the perpetual profession to monastic life, the new brother has the option to complete his vocational training or study at university.

Training at the Alexian monastery


Theological and theoretical study

  • Introduction to the Liturgy of the Hours
  • Systematic theology of the three classical religious vows
  • Liturgy
  • History of the order and the monastery
  • Rules and constitution of the Alexian brotherhood
  • Introduction to dogma and canon law
  • Constitutions, theology and spirituality of psalms, spirituality of the order

Practical training

The practical training takes place at various institutions of the Alexian Brotherhood in Münster: 

  1. Geronto-psychiatric ward                                 6 months
  2. General psychiatric ward                                  7 months 
  3. Children's and juvenile psychiatric ward            3 months
  4. Forensic psychiatric ward 1 month
  5. Rehabilitation centre (for disabled people)        9 months
  6. Home help for the elderly                                4 months


For all practical assignments, the postulant or novice is given a training guide. This guide enables him and his mentor at the place of training to understand the tasks and the envisaged learning outcomes. Based on the training guide, the postulant or novice is in a position to contribute to a successful outcome of the practical training by showing initiative and putting forward his ideas.

The training guide also provides a comprehensive insight into the work and activities at the various wards and centres. It further lists the tasks and learning outcomes so that both the trainee and his supervisors can track the candidate's progress during his training.