become a sister

Understand the Steps of Formation

Vocation Process

Inquiry : This is the first step on the vocational journey. You may visit a community from time to time, meet with a sister to learn more about the Teresians, and participate in retreats, mission trips and Come and See experiences with the sisters.

Affiliation : When you and the community have discerned that you may be called to be a Teresian Sister, you may ask to become an affiliate.  This period lasts from six months to two years, depending upon the individual. As an affiliate, you visit with a community regularly for prayer and meals and meet regularly with a vocation minister to continue discerning your call. The time of affiliation also includes completing physical and psychological testing and the application process to enter the community.

Formation Process

Pre-novitiate : As a pre-novice, you live in a local community with professed sisters and share in their prayer and common life while engaging in ministry.  You will discern your call and the capacity to live as a Teresian sister with a formation minister.  Pre-novitiate is a time to get to know the Teresian community from the inside as you begin to study our spirituality, history and lived reality. 

Novitiate  : This period of formation lasts for two years.  The first year is the canonical year. This is a year of prayer and intense study of the spirituality of St. Teresa of Jesus and St. Henry de Osso as well as the vows of poverty, chastity and obedience.  As a novice, you continue to deepen your experience of the Teresian sisters and our apostolic charism. The canonical year takes place in the novitiate. The second year is the apostolic year and includes some time to experience full-time ministry, usually in a local community other than the novitiate.  Novices continue to discern their call to religious life as a Teresian sister with the help of the Novice Director.  Novitiate ends with the profession of first vows.

Temporary Profession : This period lasts for five to eight years.  Vows are professed for a year at a time and renewed annually. As a temporary professed sister, you will live in a local community and engage in ministry as a Teresian sister.  You may also complete any studies that will equip you to do ministry with the community.  Temporary profession is a time for integrating community life, ministry and living the vows.  Temporary professed sisters are accompanied by a formation minister as they continue to discern their call to the Teresian way of life.  

Final Profession : When a temporary professed sister and the community have discerned that she is called to life as a Teresian Sister forever, the temporary professed asks for permission to profess perpetual vows.  She then begins a special time of preparation for final profession.  Although final profession is the last stage of the formation process, the perpetually professed sister continues to grow in her understanding of living the vows and the charism and mission of the Teresian Sisters for the rest of her life.  She commits herself to a lifelong process of growth as a religious sister.