Formation in Benedictine Monastic Life is an on-going process within persons who seek to integrate human experience and Benedictine Monastic Values, Spirituality, Work, Contemplation and all other activity. This process begins at initial formation and continues throughout the entire lifetime of each sister.
Stages of Formation
The stage of affiliation is a one to two-year program for women who sense a call to Benedictine Monastic life. The affiliate is encouraged to continue her development of personal identity, to acquaint herself with the community and allow the community to become acquainted with her.
Postulancy is also a one to two year period. The postulant lives in the monastery and makes a gradual transition into the life-style of the monastic community as she practices Benedictine Spirituality.
Having completed Postulancy the candidate becomes a Novice. The Novitiate extends over a two year period, the first year being the Canonical year. During this time the novice continues to discern her call to seek God within Benedictine Monastic life, under a Rule and a Prioress. The novice discerns her commitment to the essentials of Benedictine monastic life as she prepares for profession of vows and full involvement in the community’s life and work.
The stage of temporary profession is a period of three to six years during which the sister continues discernment while beginning to live as a vowed woman. This state encourages continued personal integration as the sister deepens her identification with the Benedictine monastic life of prayer, community and work. She continues to discern with a free and faith-filled process, her readiness to make vows and to be assisted in the transition from temporary profession to life as a perpetually professed member of the community.
A sister pronouncing perpetual vows becomes a full-fledge member of the community. She commits her entire life to God forever.
By our monastic profession we seek God through a commitment to community life. Together we strive for a life of continuous growth, learning, renewal and service to others.
We take the three vows at the time of our profession: STABILITY- a lifelong commitment to a particular community of women. FIDELITY to Monastic Life – a promise to seek God by embracing the pattern of living inspired by the Rule of St. Benedict and OBEDIENCE – a commitment to attentive listening, discernment and response to the will of God.
All the Sisters’ ministries flow from the richness of this communal life.
Requirements for Candidates
1. Expression of desire to live the Benedictine Monastic way of life motivated by a desire to seek God in community
2. Evidence of Physical and psychological health as well as the mental competence needed to live the monastic life.
3. Freedom from canonical impediments.
4. Ordinarily, minimum age of 22; maximum age of 45, this age may be extended in an individual case and by vote of the Chapter.
5. Evidence of having lived according to the teachings of the Roman Catholic Church for a minimum of two years.
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