The process of becoming a sister usually takes eight to nine years.
Up to one year. The first formal step in the process is asking to come and live with the Sisters. Women can continue in their current professions while they come to know the community more and the community gets to know them. Women live with the Sisters, pray with the community and participate in community events and celebrations.
One to two years. The Postulancy is a more structured time of discernment and incorporation into the community. It lasts up to two years depending on the individual. It involves exploring community history, learning more about spirituality and church teachings and is an opportunity to get to know more Sisters.
Two years. The first year of the Novitiate is an intense preparation for vowed life as stipulated by Canon law. It is an opportunity to spend an entire year learning about each vow, taking inventory of an individual’s gifts and weaknesses, being exposed to church and community history and a prayerful preparing for commitment. It involves an ever deepening surrender of one’s life to God. The second year of the Novitiate is spent in apostolic activity as a preparation for ministry. First vows are taken after the second year.
Temporary Professed ~
Usually five years. First vows are taken for a period of three years and renewed for an individual two years before perpetual vows are taken. This provides an individual with the opportunity to live the vows fully in community to determine if perpetual commitment is indeed God’s call. Perpetual vows are lifelong and made at the end of the fifth year. As Sisters of Notre Dame, we profess our vows of Poverty, Chastity and Obedience.