Understanding the Vows

For us, becoming a Sister means belonging to a community. It is purposeful. It means standing with others who share our faith & mission. It means being able to say, “I’m home. I am living who I am meant to be.”

Understanding the Vows

Vowed life is one of the ways we seek God. Through the vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience, we dedicate ourselves to life-long listening and loving in a spirit of openness and simplicity.

Our vows are a free and deliberate promise made to God in the presence of the Church, our Sisters, family, and friends.

  • The Vow of Poverty: The vow of poverty is not about living in a state of poverty, it’s about making a choice as Sisters not to clutter our lives with material things. Material possessions are good in themselves, however they can stifle the freedom required to make a radical response to the Gospel and be available as disciples of Jesus. The vow of poverty invites us to trust fully in God’s providence and to live simply, both individually and in community, sharing what we have with each other and those in need.
  • The Vow of Chastity: Celibate Chastity (the state of being unmarried or not in a sexual relationship) makes sense only when it is grounded in the spiritual life and expressed as a gift to God through the Church and to the world. Because human relationships are at the heart of a Sister’s life, we are called to be in relationship with those we live with and minister to, in an intimate and non-sexual way. In accepting God’s invitation to live the consecrated life, we gradually become aware that celibate chastity is about loving and being life-giving. To choose celibate chastity as a way of life is to make a choice to love generously, widely and inclusively. As in all mature, loving relationships, the focus is on being other-centered rather than self-centered, to be selfless rather than self-focused.
  • The Vow of Obedience: As Sisters, our love for God and desire to listen attentively to where God is calling us involves listening and dialogue with our Sisters in community and our elected leaders. Our saying “Yes”, is an act of obedience to freely put our lives and talents at the service of the congregation, its mission, and the people of God. Taking a vow of obedience is an act of faith we make in saying “Yes” to allowing God’s grace to be made more present through us.

Sister Stories

The Sisters of Saint Joseph of Rochester are daring, innovative, pioneers, risk takers, loving, & faithful. We are just like you!

Would you like to know first hand what it is like to be a Sister?

  • Sister Anita Kurowski tells her story in a recently published article by the U.S. Federation for Sisters of Saint Joseph.  CLICK HERE
  • Sister Melissa Gernon just professed her permanent vows. Her story is featured in Blessings on pg 5. CLICK HERE
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Learn more about becoming a Sister of Saint Joseph of Rochester. Please contact Sister Donna Del Santo at (585) 641-8122