Discernment begins with prayer.
Entering a Cistercian monastery involves a process of discernment both on the part of the individual and of the Abbot and Community. Generally the process would involve the potential candidate contacting the Novice Master for a talk and possibly a visit to the Abbey.
This initial contact would then be followed up with the applicant making a short stay at the Abbey Guesthouse and having further sharing with the Novice Master, and in due course a meeting with the Abbot.
If things develop positively on both sides the candidate might well be invited to stay with the Community for a period of time as a “Live-in”.
He would live in the community following the novitiate daily schedule, and is thus given an introduction to monastic living. It is a time for further discerning and testing whether God is calling him to monastic life at Mount Saint Joseph Abbey.
Lord, God of hosts, happy the person who trusts in you! Ps 83