Religious formation, as a process of maturation to respond to God’s vocation, lasts a lifetime. The basic stages of preparation are carried out at several levels:
Candidacy, during which contact is established between the person concerned and the Congregation, in order to jointly discern on the willingness and ability for religious life.
This is a time of intense living with the Gospel,
Postulates get acquainted with the spirituality and history of our Congregation. They expand and deepen religious knowledge and scripture knowledge. They will also learn the responsibilities and works of the sisters and, where possible, participate in the agenda of the house.
It is a time of preparation for a complete devotion to God in the way of the evangelical counsels of chastity, poverty and obedience. The novice participates in lectures, deepens her knowledge of Scripture, learns the depth of meditation, liturgy and the principles of faith and morality, and directs her life towards the realization of evangelical counsels. She should also know our Constitutions and The Directorate. She learns life according to Mary’s example.
The novitiate lasts two years, culminating in the first time vows (chastity, poverty and obedience).
The novice sisters receive a habit, a veil and a medal of Mary Immaculate.
The period between the first and the perpetual vows is Juniorate.
Junior sister experiences the experiences of the first years of religious life, practically participating in the apostolic work of the Congregation, trying to harmoniously combine prayer with external activity and maturing to decide on perpetual vows.
Juniorate is the pre-stage of the perpetual profession. It usually lasts from5 to 9 years and gives enough opportunities to re think the choice and put at God’s disposal, serving people, according to the charism adopted by the Congregation.
During the Juniorate period, the Sisters can complete their religious, general and professional education.
The Sister, by making the Perpetual Profession, confirms her commitment to God for life in the religious community. She forever makes a gift of herself by vowing to chastity, poverty, and obedience. As a sign of being bound to God and the Congregation, she receives a wedding ring with the symbol of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. A professed sister is consecrated to Christ and the service of the Church and is incorporated forever into the Congregation.
The submission of the perpetual profession opens each of the sisters to the next stage of formation. Life and ministry in the Congregation offers many opportunities for daily growth in faith and ever more complete intimacy with God and Mary. This is done by annual retreats, formation meetings, days of focus, joint meditation on the Word of God, living jubilees and other means of common life. The sisters who are old and sick remain spiritually active through prayer, sacrifice and the many support they spare for a common mission. The sister’s bond does not break until at the time of death. In our tradition, we pray every day for the departed sisters.