Steps to Becoming a Sister

The process of becoming a Sister is gradual - giving a woman and the Congregation the time and freedom to get to know each other.

Steps to Becoming a Sister

Step One: Candidacy 1–2 years

  • The process of becoming a Sister of St. Joseph is gradual – giving a woman and the Congregation time and freedom to get to know each other. The very first stage,Candidacy, is about trying on our way of life to see if it fits. During this time, a woman has an opportunity to discern God’s call to religious life and to experience life in a community of vowed women religious. As part of a community of Sisters, she will join us in everything from prayer and meditation to planning meals and scrubbing kitchen floors! She will be encouraged to maintain active, healthy relationships with her friends and family, but dating will be discouraged. She will maintain her job and continue to keep her income, but will be asked to pay rent to the Congregation and to live simply.

Step Two: Novitiate 2 years

  • The Novitiate is a time of study, reflection, and service. As a Novice, a woman increases her knowledge of theology and the meaning of vowed commitment. She also acquires a greater understanding of the mission, spirit, and history of our Congregation. Just as she did in her Candidacy, a Novice will live in community with a group of Sisters and participate in Congregational events. At this time she will also be asked to begin living her life more fully as a Sister of Saint Joseph. At the end of her Novitiate, a novice may request to take her temporary vows, or once again determine that she is called to a different way of life.

Step Three: First Vows 3–6 years

  • Once she has made her vows, a woman enters fully into the life of a Sister of Saint Joseph of Rochester. The time for Initial Profession ranges from a minimum of three years to a maximum of six years, during which she will also engage in full time ministry. At the end of this period the Sister is free to request final vows and permanent membership in the Congregation or it may have become clear that God has another plan for her.

Step Four: Final Vows

Learn more about becoming a Sister of Saint Joseph of Rochester. Please contact Sister Donna Del Santo at (585) 641-8122

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