Well, it looks like this blog is going to be active before I enter the monastery. Someone asked me the following questions by e-mail:
QUESTION: So, what does it mean to enter a postulancy? Are you going to be a monk? Is this a temporary change, while you are studying to become something, or a permanent change?
Postulant: "A person taking the first step in religious life before entering the novitiate and receiving the habit. The purpose of the postulancy is to acquire some knowledge of the religious life and of the particular institute through personal experience. It enables one to become better known to the superiors of the community, and to develop such virtue as will qualify the candidate for acceptance into the novitiate." (Fr. John Hardon, SJ, Modern Catholic Dictionary)
My postulancy will last from August 14 - December 7, 2009.
Novitiate: "The period of formal probation of a person in a religious community of secular institute. It follows the postulancy and precedes the first profession of vows." (ibid.)
My novitiate will last from December 7, 2009 - December 8, 2010.
If all goes well in the novitiate, I would then take first (or temporary) vows on December 8, 2010.
I would then spend 3 years as a "Junior Monk".
And if all goes well, I would take final (permanent) vows 3 years later.
A monk is a person who "lives a community life in a monastery, under the vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience, according to a specific rule." (ibid.)
St. Benedict's Abbey is a Benedictine monastery and lives by the Rule of St. Benedict.
And yes, I will be a monk... eventually... (I am not sure exactly when I will be technically qualified as a monk.)
If I make final vows (in about 4 1/2 years), it will be a permanent state... and my residence would be at St. Benedict's Abbey and I would serve the apostolate assignment which the Abbot would give me (currently the abbey has pastoral duties at their college [Benedictine College], their high school [Maur Hill-Mount Academy] and numerous parishes in Atchison and the surrounding area.
I hope that gives some insight into the monastic journey.