The conditions of entry were demanding, each applicant was scrutinised to ensure that he was born of “honest and irreproachable parents,” and that he had the qualities necessary to profit by the good example he would receive in the Congregation, and that he himself was capable of giving good example.
Art 3. However, when he who will be presented has all the necessary qualities so that we can hope to see the person benefiting and giving a good example in the Congregation, we will in this case be able to allow him to apply even though he may not have received his first communion, provided that he will be of age to do so during the course of the year.
The applicant had to sign a letter requesting admission and promise to abide by all the regulations, and especially to stay away from all dangerous influences:
Art. 8. “Knowing how beneficial it would be for me to be admitted to the Congregation of the Christian Youth based in…., under the protection of the Immaculate Conception, I beg you to allow me to participate as a postulant. I promise that I will obey all the holy rules which are in force, and in particular: never to go to the theatre nor to dances, to avoid dangerous company and not to be a member of any secret society, nor other associations, even religious ones.”
Statuts, Chapitre III –Conditions pour être admis à postuler dans la Congrégation.
The young person committed himself to a strict lifestyle, which marked him out from his peers: he had to attend daily Mass, recite prayers each day, constantly strive to live in the presence of God, etc.
“Anybody who accepts mediocrity – in school, on the job, in life – is a person who compromises, and when the leader compromises, the whole organization compromises.” (Charles Knight)