How does one become a Benedictine Sister?
The process of becoming a full member of a Benedictine community is called Initial Formation, recognizing that one continues to be formed in the monastic way of life even after perpetual profession.
• The first stage of Initial Formation is Postulancy. It can last from ten months to two years. Postulants live with the community, join the community in prayer, work, and leisure activities, attend formation classes, and participate in some form of part-time ministry.
• The second stage of Initial Formation is called the Novitiate. Novices withdraw from external ministry and other activities to focus on learning the various aspects of monastic life. It is a time for deepening one’s relationship with God and gaining a better understanding of monastic profession. The duration of the Novitiate is at least one full canonical year, ending when a novice makes her first monastic profession for a period of three years.
• The third stage of Initial Formation is called the Scholasticate. During this stage newly professed monastic women engage in some form of full-time ministry while maintaining full participation in the life of the community. The Scholastic Director will continue to guide and instruct her as she prepares for making a permanent commitment to the monastic way of life as it is lived in a particular community. This stage generally lasts for about five years and ends with perpetual monastic profession.
If you wish to learn more about the monastic vocation as it is expressed in our Benedictine community, we welcome you to contact Sr. Magdalena at (256) 615-6114 or vocations [at] shmon.org.
This Benedictine way of life challenges me daily to live Christ's prophetic Gospel.
Sr. Sara Aiden