Each religious community structures their formation process differently. Here is the process by which we form women as Sisters of the Holy Family of Nazareth.
A period of questioning, prayer and reflection on how to live in response to God’s call.
A period (6 months - 2 years) of continuing discernment about one’s possible vocation to consecrated life. Most affiliates live with the sisters in one of their convents. A sister is responsible for guiding the affiliate through this stage.
The community and the candidate begin a period of structured discernment together, from six months to two years. A sister accompanies the postulant during this time.
The candidate, together with the community and her novice director, works to learn more about the congregational charism (or special call), its history, and its spirituality, and the substance and implications of the vows. In accordance with Church teaching, the novitiate is a structured two-year period of discernment.
Through prayerful discernment, candidates request admission to the profession of vows. In our congregation, we profess three vows of chastity, poverty and obedience. Temporary vows are renewed on an annual basis for five to seven years
After living as a temporary professed sister for at least five years, the sister may request to make her final profession of vows.