Becoming a Sister of Notre Dame…The Formation Process
Overview of formation: You have listened to your call to religious life. As you have prayed throughout your discernment, so too has the congregation. A decision to invite you to begin formation comes as a result of the congregation’s desire to listen to God with you. Now you begin the steps of initial formation on the journey of becoming a Sister of Notre Dame. This journey takes about eight years. It includes postulancy, the novitiate, and a period as a temporary professed sister before making final vows. During this time you will have a director for each stage along the way.
Your role as a Postulant is to:
Enter into various prayerful experiences
Discuss and implement a personal growth plan
Come to know more about the Sisters of Notre Dame
Begin to engage in ministries of the community
The postulancy lasts at least a year. When your time as a postulant ends and you sincerely desire to become a Sister of Notre Dame you will be accepted into the Novitiate.
The Novitiate lasts for two years. One year, called the canonical year, is set aside for a more intense preparation for the vows of chastity, poverty and obedience.
During the alternate year, you will be involved in formative activities that will help you to balance your prayer and community life with your ministry as a Sister of Notre Dame
Your role as a Novice is to:
Come to deeper self-knowledge
Deepen your relationship with God through fidelity to personal and communal prayer
Become involved in community activities and participate actively in them
Participate in formation sessions and continue to study the basic truths of the faith
Learn more of the history, spirit, and mission of the congregation of the Sisters of Notre Dame
When your time as a Novice comes to an end, you will be invited to make a temporary commitment by professing the vows of chastity, poverty and obedience.
Your role as a Temporary Professed Sister is to:
Participate fully in all aspects of community life and ministry
Continue to deepen your prayer life
Develop a personal growth plan yearly
Be engaged in a ministry, and if possible, with other Sisters of Notre Dame
Participate in monthly formation sessions
Renew your vows of chastity, poverty and obedience annually, for a minimum of five years
At the conclusion of your time as a temporary professed sister, you will make a lifelong commitment to God by pronouncing perpetual vows.