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Five Phases of Formation

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Becoming a Sister of Divine Providence involves a process of transforming oneself by understanding and living the vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience. In order to carry out the mission of the Sisters of Divine Providence, all women who pursue becoming Sisters in our community are expected to be able to live in community, minister full-time, and continue to deepen their relationship with God through prayer.

Inquirer

The first step in becoming a Sister is making a contact and inquiring about what it means to live our life. This is done in conversation and discernment with the Vocations Director. If the thought of being a Sister engages your imagination and makes you feel energized, even if you are hesitant or nervous, please inquire. Sometimes the only way to know if something is the right fit is to learn more and spend time trying it out. Inquirers visit, share prayer and meals with the sisters and, occasionally, may spend a short time living with the Sisters. The period of inquiry lasts at least three months. If you and the community discern that you are ready to begin the formal process of becoming a Sister, an application process is initiated as you seek admission to the community.

Each woman who enters the community goes through the following phases of formation:

Pre-Novitiate Candidate
The first step in the process of becoming a sister is to live in community with the Sisters and experience our life more fully. A Sister mentor provides guidance and support as you could continue to learn more through daily living and as you continue to discern God’s call in your life. This period typically lasts six months to two years.

Novice
When a candidate is received into the novitiate, a more intense process of incorporation begins. In this period, under the guidance of a director, you would engage in two years of prayer and begin to study theology, Scripture, the vows and holistic living, as well as our community charism and history. Novices continue to discern their vocation with the community and are given opportunities to learn about and experience various community ministries.

Temporary Professed Sister
After you complete the novitiate, you would take temporary vows, if you have discerned with the community that you are called to do so. You would profess vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience for three years. As a temporary professed Sister, you would spend three to six years integrating all you have learned as you experience religious life in community, exploring whether this is the way you are called to live all of your life, and serving in ministries where your skills can be developed for the service of the people of God.

Perpetually Professed Sister
The final step in initial incorporation is the profession of perpetual vows. At this time, you would make a public commitment to live the vows as a Sister of Divine Providence for life.