How Do I Become a Sister?
If the call to religious life is on your heart, first and foremost, you need to pray. It is only through deepening our relationship with our King that we are able to more fully know Jesus’ Will for our hearts. If you continue to feel called, contact the Vocations Department and begin to explore different orders.
Jesus has made your heart for a particular purpose, and so if you are called to religious life, there will be an order whose charism will resonate deeply with your heart. Look at the websites of various orders and fill out a contact form for the orders that interest you. When you fill out a contact form, a sister from the order will call you and have a conversation with you about not only their order, but also your vocation story and your faith. Continue to keep in contact with the orders that you are interested in and make retreats with the orders that most interest your heart.
Once you have been accepted to an order, you will not immediately be a full fledged sister. You will go through formation, which varies from order to order, but follows a similar pattern.
The Formation Process
Postulancy (six months to two years):
This is a time of initial formation and continued discernment. The postulant lives in community and participates in the daily life of the sisters, learning about how the community prays and what its apostolate (work) is like, and experiencing life in community. The postulant is free to leave the community at any time.
Novitiate (one to two years):
Building upon the postulancy experience, the novitiate is a time more set apart for prayer and study. Built into this time is hands on exposure to the community’s apostolate. This is also a time of more intentional separation from family and friends, to focus more time on developing one’s relationship with God. A novice promises to live the life of the community and takes on a religious habit, but is free to leave the community at any time.
Temporary Professed (three to six years):
The temporary professed vow to live in poverty, chastity and obedience, which are renewed (usually) each year. Those in temporary vows commit to living the vowed life for the duration of the year(s) that they’ve committed to. They are incorporated into more of the community’s life and apostolate, and may be sent for further studies to help prepare them for teaching or other works of the particular community.
Final or Solemn Professed:
Sisters who profess final or solemn vows have discerned that the religious life is truly their vocation, their call. They are espoused to Christ forever. Even though the sister has made this commitment, she will participate in ongoing formation throughout her whole life.