Vocations   3 comments

Becoming A Sister

The formation period is an opportunity for a person to become aware of the spiritual implications of the consecrated life. Each stage of preparation is also a stage of discernment.

A postulant, meaning “one who seeks” spends six to nine months getting to know the community and its spirit, while engaging in the apostolate, prayer life and common life of the community. She studies the catechism, with an emphasis on the elements of thorough catechesis for one day the religious will teach the faith, Christian Spirituality, the Rule and Franciscan charism of this religious order, and is introduced to the liturgy and music of the Divine Office. An emphasis is placed on growth in healthy, courteous, loving interpersonal relationships and the family spirit.

The first year of the novitiate is a quieter time, where the focus is on deepening the novice’s prayer life.  Study focuses on Christian spirituality, the theology of the consecrated life and the principles of the religious life, Sacred Scripture, Systemic Theology, and Moral Theology.

The second year of the novitiate emphasizes integrating prayer and the apostolate, with studies focused on deepening Franciscan spirituality, preparing the novice to take a full role in the life and governance of the community and a special class in Christian Formation and Evangelization. Novices do not relinquish their possessions or finances, but they begin to experience another dimension of holy poverty and the common life by giving up the use of their money. Individual abilities begin to emerge and through growth in discipline and responsibility, become enrichments of the community and channels of outreach.  Like postulants, a novice is free to leave at any time. After completing the novitiate and requesting to take temporary vows, the  sister may be elected to make vows. Junior professed sisters  participate fully in the life of the community. The vows are binding for three years; the religious is free at the end of that period, if she or the community feels that she should not continue on to a life commitment.

Solemn Profession or Life Profession of vows, made to God, is the sister’s act of total life-long giving of herself to God. Vows are an act of worship of God and a matter of public witness to the sovereignty of God. At profession, the religious receives her profession ring, symbolic of his or her unique relationship to and call in the Church, as the Bride of Christ and His Church. Thus the  sister commits  to ongoing conversion in the context of a consecrated relationship to God, supported by the community.

Requirements for Admission

Applications may be received from women who are:

-possessed of the holy catholic and apostolic faith as described in our Credenda and confirmed members of a church in the apostolic succession
-at least 18 years of age
-high school graduates
-free from debt or moral obligation of a financial or family nature
-in good physical, mental and emotional health
-willing to embrace serving our Lord in this way with a spirit of total surrender, loving trust and cheerfulness

It is essential that each person seeking admission have a personal relationship with and commitment to Christ and that she desires to serve Him in and through community. There should be a sense of “call,” which may be simply a growing desire to give her life completely to Him in this way. The same qualities of love, joy, generosity, and self-sacrifice which contribute to a good family life are important in community.

For more information, write, call or email. Come and see!  Consider joining us on a vocation retreat!

For more information or to contact us:
Missionaries of Divine Compassion
311 6th Street
Winona Lake,  IN 46580
Phone: 574-453-1082


Posted May 24, 2011 by franciscanmdc

3 responses to “Vocations

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