“Speak, Lord, for your servant is listening (1 Sam 3:9).”
Formation is a lifelong process of helping the religious conform his or her life to that of Jesus Christ.
Postulancy (Six months to one years): This is a time of initial formation and continued discernment. The postulant lives in community and participates in the daily life of the sisters and friars, learning about how the community prays and what its apostolate (work) is like, and experiencing life in community. They will participate in classes on the basics of prayer, the religious life and our Franciscan community. The postulant is free to leave the community at any time.
Novitiate (Two years): Building upon the postulancy experience, the novitiate is a time more set apart for prayer and study. Built into this time is limited, hands-on exposure to the community’s apostolate. This is also a time of more intentional separation from family and friends, to focus more time on developing one’s relationship with God. A novice promises to live the life of the community and takes on a religious habit, but is free to leave the community at any time.
Temporary Professed (Three to five years): The temporary professed vow to live in poverty, chastity and obedience, which are renewed each year. Those in temporary vows commit to living the vowed life for a full year at a time. They are incorporated into more of the community’s life and apostolate, and often continue studies to help prepare them for teaching or preaching.
Final or Solemn Professed: Priests, brothers and sisters who profess final or solemn vows have discerned that the religious life as a Franciscan of the Eucharist is truly their vocation, the state of life that is their path to holiness. They are consecrated to God forever. Even though the sister or friar has made this commitment, they will participate in ongoing formation throughout their entire life, always seeking to grow in their relationship with the Lord.