Religious formation is a lifelong process that consists of various stages of formation.
The Vocation Director
The Vocation Director is the contact person and "walks" with the individual who is discerning a vocation. Everyone experiences the anxieties and confusion entailed in discerning God's Will in life. The Vocation Director is the initial link to the Congregation. Sister can answer some of your questions and she will act as guide to help you focus.
- The Postulancy is the initial stage of formation and is generally an 8-month experience.
- The first and last months of the postulancy are spent at the Motherhouse, and the other six months are spent at one of the Homes served by the Congregation. The Postulant is given the opportunity to work with the elderly in the facility and to participate in the prayer life of the Sisters.
- Certified Nurses Aide training program and other pertinent services are provided for a postulant with no previous experience working with the elderly.
- Classes are given on the following: Spiritual life, Community history, Carmelite Spirituality, Catechesis, Community life.
- The Postulant Director meets at least weekly with the Postulant to discuss her progress and difficulties, and to offer guidance.
- If readiness for the Novitiate is ascertained, the Postulant receives her name in religion and prepares for the next phase of formation: the Novitiate.
The Novitiate is a two-year period of time during which the Novice explores on a deeper level what it means to be a member of our Carmelite Congregation. The resolve and suitability of the Novice is further discerned. There is concentration on developing a solid spiritual foundation.
The First, or Canonical Year
- The Novice receives the Habit of Carmel (Brown tunic, brown scapular and a while veil.)
- The Sister becomes more fully acquainted with the many facets of religious life.
- Classes are given on the Rule and Constitutions, the Vows of Obedience, Chastity and Poverty, Scripture, Prayer, Liturgy, Christian Doctrine, Vatican II documents , spiritual growth and development.
- These classes are given by the Novice Director, experienced priests and other qualified speakers.
The Second Year
- The Novice continues to learn and live the spiritual and religious aspects of the Carmelite life.
- She learns more about the apostolate through a course on the Organization and Operation of the Long Term Care Facility and by spending time in two homes of the Congregation.
- If readiness and suitability of the Novice are ascertained, Sister then goes on to the next step of her religious formation "Profession of First Vows" and receives a black veil that distinguishes the Professed Sister from the Novice.
The Temporary Profession of Vows
The Temporary Profession of Vows is the stage in religious formation during which the newly Professed Sister is assigned to one of our mission houses, where she will gain further experience in integrating the spiritual and apostolic aspect of our lives as Carmelite Sisters for the Aged and Infirm.
- The Religious Vows are renewed annually before perpetual profession.
- The Sister continues in the active ministry of the Congregation and resides with a local community of Carmelite Sisters.
- The Sister continues to attend formal spiritual programs held at the Motherhouse twice a year.
- She strives to grow in union with God and in her gift of self to the Community and the apostolate.
The Perpetual Profession of Vows
- After completing the five to seven year period of temporary vows, the Sister may request to make perpetual profession.
- A gold ring is given at the time of perpetual profession.
- The Sister becomes a permanent member of the Congregation.
- By her final profession of vows, she gives herself forever to God, her Community and the Church.