The initial step in becoming a Passionist Nun is making contact, getting to know each other, discerning if a woman has the basic, objective qualifications. Depending on the distance and expense we like to have some personal contact, preferably by email, visits and a live‑in experience of about a week.
After these initial contacts a woman may request to make her aspirancy, which could be described as a prolonged live‑in experience. The aspirancy usually lasts 3 months. It gives a person a better opportunity to experience the rhythm of our life and to learn more about Passionist life through classes and speaking with the sisters involved in formation work.
If the young woman and those in charge of her formation feel that God is calling her to be a Passionist Nun she writes a request to be accepted as a Postulant. Postulancy lasts one year. A Postulant wears a simple black jumper and veil while living in the Novitiate. She is gradually incorporated into our life and has a Directress that will help her to integrate into the community. She attends classes to help her grow in wholeness and holiness.
After the postulancy follows the novitiate which lasts two years. The Novice receives the habit of a Passionist Nun except the Sign we wear over our heart and she wears a white veil instead of a black one. At this time she also receives her religious name. During this time she continues with classes focusing primarily on the meaning of religious life and the vows of poverty, chastity, obedience, enclosure and our special vow to promote devotion to the Passion of Jesus.
At the end of the novitiate the Novice pronounces the five Passionist vows and she renews them for six years. This period is commonly called the time of Temporary Vows or Juniorate. The Junior Sister receives the Sign of our Congregation and the black veil and the wedding ring. She takes on more responsibilities in the community while continuing with some classes.
After these many years of preparation sister fulfills her heart’s desire by pronouncing her Perpetual Vows, consecrating herself to Jesus with all her heart and forever, to be His Bride. She is fully integrated into community life and responsibilities including becoming a voting member of the Chapter.