Koningshoeven Abbey in the Netherlands has introduced a new idea for those discerning entrance into their Trappist monastery: an electronic, or virtual, novitiate, which they call “eNovice.” This system does not seem to be a replacement for the in-person novitiate, but rather is a tool that those interested in the monastery can use to help decide if their monastic interest is real or fleeting. The abbey has set up a website to guide possible entrants: eNovice.nl (in Dutch).

…out of every twenty men who register for an introductory meeting at a monastery, only one or two remain. This process costs the monks of Koningshoeven Abbey in Berkel-Enschot a lot of time.

So when they wanted to start a vocations campaign two years ago, Wits [the project leader at eNovice] came up with the idea of ​​eNovice. In this way people who are interested in monastic life are provided with everything that is necessary for preparing for the first ‘real’ introductory meeting.

Read more about this project at The Tablet.