1 – Inquiry
Women who may be drawn to explore religious life contact the Coordinator of Vocation Ministries via e-mail, text message or facebook. After a time of mutual exchange, the inquirer will be connected with another sister who will be her conversation partner. This sister responder will answer questions about religious life and about the Sisters of Charity in particular. She will also assist the inquirer to explore her own life in terms of where God may be calling her.
2 – Acquaintance
After a time of sharing communication, the inquirer may be invited to connect in person with the community. She may arrange to meet a sister, to join the community at some event or to attend a prayer experience or service project. In this way, she will have a better idea of who the sisters are and how the community prays, serves and celebrates.
3 – Affiliation
If she feels she wishes to learn more about the life of a Sister of Charity, she enters a period marked by directed prayer and study. She continues to maintain her own lifestyle and commitments during this more intense period of exploration. If her decision is to move toward membership in the community, she spends a few months living with the sisters in a local community.
4 – Postulancy
The first step toward full membership is the postulancy. A candidate enters the community with a commitment to live fully in community; she continues to engage in active ministry during this time.
5 – Novitiate
After her postulancy, a woman formalizes her relationship with the community and enters a time when she lives a full year devoted to prayer and study about the Congregation’s mission, spirituality and lifestyle. A second novitiate year is devoted to full-time active ministry.
6 – Temporary Profession
Should she and the community agree that her commitment to membership in the life of the community is desirable, the woman makes temporary vows, which she renews on an annual basis. During this time, she deepens her active participation in the life and mission of the Sisters of Charity.
7 – Perpetual Profession
Through vows of poverty, obedience, and consecrated celibacy, the sister makes a final and lifelong commitment to God and God’s people. She pledges her service in the spirit of the Sisters of Charity.