Resources on Vocations, Religious Life, Life as a Sister, Prayer and more…
Below is useful information to help you understand more about life as a sister. Frequently Asked Questions will shed more light on religious life as a way of life. Useful Resources will list helpful links and books to help you on the journey of learning more about life as a sister.
What is daily life like for sisters?
The foundation is prayer, community and ministry. We take time for community and personal prayer, going to Mass, make an annual personal retreat. Schedules vary from local community to community, such as the time for having meals together. Our call to be of service through ministry takes many forms depending on one’s gifts and abilities. One may use her gifts as a community organizer while another may be an administrator or a social worker. We decide together how we will care for the house and schedule. Taking time for relaxing will depend on one’s interests and our time.
How do I know which community is a fit for me?
Choose a few communities to contact and visit – you should feel attracted to it. Learn about their way of life: how they make decisions about their life; what you are allowed to do during formation; how you can use your gifts and talents; how they live the vows; how they pray; how they view relationships with family and friends, etc. It is best to make a list of questions before you visit and to pay attention to your feelings during and after the visit. You’ll know it is right when you feel at home. Remember it’s a mutual discernment process.
What are the stages of becoming a sister?
- Pre-Novitiate [Candidate or Postulant]
A discerner requests and is accepted to live with the Congregation to immerse herself in the life of the community which includes prayer, ministry, our common life and customs to continue her discernment and aptitude to live religious life. It starts with a simple entrance ceremony and provides ongoing discernment with a director. Pre-novitiate is usually six months to two years.
- Novitiate [Novice]
The novitiate is a time of prayer and study to incorporate the spirit of the Gospel, the vows, and the life, mission, spirituality and history of Bon Secours; to continue discerning your vocation to religious life within the Congregation; and human development integration. It is a time of deepening your relationship with Christ, as you reflect on the grace and responsibility of your personal consecration to Him. The novitiate is two years requiring one full year living in a designated novitiate house. The first year [called canonical] includes classes and instruction to give you a deeper understanding of your life as a Sister of Bon Secours. The second year typically focuses on integrating learnings from the canonical year with a lived experience of ministry and local community living. At its end, the novice requests to profess temporary vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience.
- Temporary Profession of Vows (3-6 years)
A sister commits herself through temporary profession to the practice of the vows according to our Constitutions. It is a time of fully living your life and mission as a Sister of Bon Secours – balancing life in community, engaged in ministry, and integrating your deeper spiritual awareness of God’s call into your daily life. Progressive formation with evaluation and continued discernment with the formation director leads the sister to a level of human and spiritual maturity required to pronounce her perpetual profession of vows.
- Perpetual Profession of Vows
Perpetual profession is a religious rite of a person making public vows of poverty, chastity and obedience and freely consecrates herself to God through the Church as a member now incorporated into the Congregation of Sisters of Bon Secours. It takes place within a liturgical celebration.
- Ongoing Formation
Through on-going formation you continue your growth and development of the ministerial, personal and communal life of a Sister. You are encouraged to continue to pursue theological and spiritual studies, as well as human development. You continue to discern how God is calling you to use your professional gifts and talents in ministry.