One wishing to become a Sister in this community follows several steps to help her know how God might be speaking in her heart.

 

1.     First, she joins the CONTACT PROGRAM by writing, calling, or emailing the Sisters.  She visits with the Sisters and attends Franciscan Life Experience weekends.  During the CONTACT time, a Sister accompanies her on this journey of discovery by talking and listening with, helping her to understand herself, and to learn more about what God is calling her to be and do.

 

2.     The next step involves becoming an AFFILIATE.  An affiliate has a simple, formalized connection with the Sister, visits regularly, and continues to pray, read, offer service and discern with a Sister to better understand God’s call in her life.

 

At some point before her actual entrance into the community, an AFFILIATE lives with the Sisters for an agreed upon amount of time as she continues exploring whether or not God is calling her to seek vowed membership in the School Sisters of St. Francis of Christ the King.

 

The length of time that a woman in an affiliate will vary but lasts at least one year.

 

3.     Next, POSTULANCY also lasts for one year.  Now, the young woman lives, prays, and shares daily ministry with the Sisters.  In addition, she studies Franciscan ideals and learns more about the desires of her own heart and the way of life of a School Sister of St. Francis of Christ the King.

 

4.     NOVIATE follows.  This can last one or two years and is a time of special prayer, study, service, and growth.  The vows and the Church’s understanding of religious life are important elements of this year’s study.

 

The novice does not participate in ministry outside the community.  Rather, she offers her time to deepening her relationship with God through prayer and to the Sisters themselves as she seeks to confirm her belief that God is calling her to this particular community.  This time is set aside in a special way to prepare her heart for the profession of vows.

 

5.     After NOVITIATE, the Sister professes VOWS of poverty, chastity, and obedience and lives in TEMPORARY COMMITMENT for three to six years.  During this time, the Sister fully participates in the life and ministry of the Sisters until she is ready to profess FINAL VOWS and assume her permanent place as a School Sister of St. Francis of Christ the King.