Formation of a School Sister is based on the Scriptures, Franciscan writings and tradition, the charism of our Mother Foundress, the lives of the saints, and the documents of the Church and of the Order. The Evangelical Counsels, Mariology, writings of the spiritual masters, Church History, the Catechism of the Catholic Church, prayer, and the Theology of the Body are also a huge part of our formation.
We currently have a Formation Team of three Sisters that contribute to a balanced and well-rounded formation.
The aspirant is interested in learning more about our Community. Aspirants communicate with us and may visit to experience our life first hand.
The aspirant and the Community agree that there is sufficient evidence of a possible vocation, and she is allowed to enter and live with the Community. She begins to learn about our history and charism, St. Francis, and the philosophy of religious life.
The postulant is prepared for and makes a simple consecration to the Blessed Mother. She submits herself to continued formation in the study of the Holy Rule, the documents of the Congregation, elements of prayer life, the Catechism, and Scripture.
The novice is dressed in the habit and wears a white veil. Her cincture has no knots to show that she is not yet subject to vows. She receives her new religious name. She is striving to live what she is learning about the vows and giving herself to strive for holiness as a School Sister of St. Francis. Her desire is to be intimately united with Jesus, who will be her Spouse!
The Junior Sister professes the temporary vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience according to the Rule and Constitutions. She will repeat these vows annually twice more and then make vows for a final two year period before formally requesting her final vows.
As a Junior Sister, she wears the black veil of the professed and has three knots in her cincture as an outward sign and reminder of her vows.
After the completion of the Juniorate, the Sister may ask for permanent admission to the community. If the Congregation, after prayer and discernment, believes that the Sister has a permanent vocation as a School Sister, she is admitted to final vows and receives a gold ring inscribed with the name of Jesus. She is now a full member of the Community and the profound and indescribable graces of final profession are hers. It is these graces that will help her to live her vows faithfully until death.
All professed Sisters are engaged in ongoing formation throughout their religious lives. We never come to the point where there is no more to learn or understand, and personal conversion remains a daily and lifelong goal.