What is a Vocation? A vocation to the religious life is gift from God the Father to the individual. It is also a beneficial gift to the Church. It is the total consecration of self for the love and service of Jesus Christ through a life of dedicated service in the Church. The religious stands as a prophetic sign of the supreme good and destiny that all will find in God alone.
Throughout history God has raised up those who desire to live their baptismal consecration in a more radical way in imitation of Christ who was chaste, poor and obedient. Thus the consecrated life ‘constitutes… an abiding re-enactment in the Church’ of Christ’s of Christ’s own way of life. (Vita Consecrata 22., quoting Lumen Gentium 44.)
Formation The initial stage of formation is known as ‘postulancy’. In our Congregation this lasts one year. Postulants live within the cloister as part of the community. It is a time of learning about our life and Dominican practices and customs. Initial formation is also given in the spiritual life, the reading of Scripture and in the history and theology of the Order. Two years novitiate follow postulancy. The first or ‘canonical’ year is a special time in which the novice is given more time for personal prayer and spiritual reading. In addition there is theological and personal formation under the guidance of the novice mistress.
The period of ‘temporary profession’ lasts three years at the end of which permanent vows are made.