At this point of your discernment, you enter more deeply into the religious life as a vowed religious – renewing your vows each year. This is a 4-5 year period marked by theology studies.
We have 8 theologates (communities of theology students) at different Catholic universities in different countries and languages. The main activity is your study with some type of apostolic activity as part of the program. The scholasticate ends with making final vows and ordination to the deaconate (the deaconate will last a minimum of 6 months). Normally you will return to your home country while you are still a deacon, in preparation for your ordination to the priesthood.
The MCCJ ask that we study theology in a language different from our first language (your mother tongue). It is always a help for the missionary to learn a language well. This is an opportunity to do that. Theologates are often an introduction to living in an international context since students that make up the community are coming from different countries. It is a rich experience of faith sharing!
After your ordination, you will be given your first assignment in the mission. The Comboni General Council in Rome asks that you make three choices of where you would like to go and they will work with that. It is the work of the General Council to oversee where these newly ordained go – this is why three choices are asked. If many are asking to go to the same place as a first choice, decisions need to be made regarding the needs of mission sites and you may be given your second or third choice. There are missionaries of course, who simply ask to go where there is the greatest need!