Become a Sister
As Women of Providence we participate as co-creators with God in showing the face of Providence to our world and by building a future based on Christian hope.
Sisters of Divine Providence are women of varied and diverse backgrounds and talents. We are united in our deep trust in a Provident God who loves and cares for all creation.
Our mission statement reflects our stance toward life in the lines, “… we nurture in ourselves and in others a trust and confidence in God’s faithful presence.”
Trusting in God’s presence calls for ongoing fidelity, maturity, and a sense of adventure into the unknown. In a religious community with members around the world, we know that we do not stand alone in risking our love for God and others. In the U.S., Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic, Germany, Korea, and Peru, Sisters of Divine Providence daily meet the challenges of our Church and world.
Sustained by our community living, our prayer and faith sharing, and our love of serving God’s people, we journey together as signs of God’s love and care.
We invite women from 18 to 50 to join us in the adventure of making God’s Providence more visible in our world as a Sister of Divine Providence. The invitation is clear—God asks for your whole life. Does the God who loves you call you to more?
Five Phases of Formation
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.
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:
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.
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.
Life As a Sister
Making God’s Providence more visible in our world through our ministries is an essential part of being a Sister of Divine Providence. Education and healthcare have been important since our founding. Today, Sisters also work as counselors, in campus ministry, social work, pastoral care, and a number of other fields. Some Sisters give direct service to various populations like undocumented immigrants, foster children, and the homeless.
As Sisters of Divine Providence, we live together in community and share our lives, supporting each other in times of sorrow and sharing our joys as well. At times this calls for sacrifice, but it also builds deep bonds of friendship.
Our community is an apostolic one, which means that we go where we are needed in order to carry out the mission of making God's Providence more visible in our world. This may mean living in larger houses with 25 or 75 Sisters, living in smaller groups of 3-7 Sisters, living in pairs, or even, when circumstances call for it, living alone.
One element of living in community is that Sisters make choices in collaboration with other Sisters and with the whole community in mind. Sisters’ lives are always full of discernment.
Sisters are encouraged to stay in contact with family and friends. We see this as a healthy part of living community.
Sisters of Divine Providence share both a communal prayer life and a personal one. Whether we are praying individually or communally, we are open to various prayer forms, including liturgical dance, lectio divina, visio divina, and other forms of meditation and contemplation. By sharing our faith with one another, we strengthen our community bonds and deepen our trust in our Provident God.