Becoming a Sister
With each phase of Formation you gently build toward your future with the Sisters of Bon Secours
On the day of your entrance, a simple Rite of Welcome celebration with family, friends and the community will begin this phase of formation. This phase will last from six months to two years. It’s a time to discover whether you have an aptitude for religious life.
As a candidate, you will bring the rich experiences of your life and live with a community of Catholic Sisters, in a neighborhood setting near one of our sponsored ministries. You will share prayer, household responsibilities, enjoy meals together and participate in leisure activities, including community celebrations and events.
You’ll also begin working in a ministry sponsored by our community after dialoguing with the vocation director about your unique gifts and talents and the opportunities available such as health care, outreach to the poor, human or social service, education, etc. You will also have time for spiritual development, retreats, workshops and travel for community events.
During this time, you’ll receive guidance in methods of prayer and you will learn more about the spirit of Bon Secours and the meaning of religious life to broaden and deepen the understanding of your relationship with God, with your ministry, with others and with the world.
When you are ready to move to the next phase of formation, the novitiate, you will dialogue with the candidate director and make a request to the leadership team.
In a part of the Argonne Forest,
is the ville of L’Harazee.
And in that ville there is a road that
seems to wind into infinity.
I wonder who once trod that rue (road),
what were their hopes and dreams.
Soldiers, I’m sure, there fighting a War;
thinking life can play tricks that are mean.
A young girl, perhaps, her mind on God,
His call must be obeyed!
She must care for the sick,
especially the poor,
This girl named Angelique Geay.
So she left the petite ville of L’Harazee,
for the grande ville of Paris.
And there on the Left Bank of that place,
she met her destiny.
Sr. Mary Catherine Rogers 11/05/02
In the two-year Novitiate phase, you’ll begin a privileged time when the community offers you the opportunity to study, ponder and assimilate the spirit of the Gospel, especially the vows, and the spirit (charism) and mission of Bon Secours. It’s a time of deepening relationship with Christ, during which you, the novice, and reflect on the grace and responsibility of your personal consecration to Him.
You’ll spend your Novitiate with other novices at the Provincial House in Marriottsville, Maryland. One year will be spent in intense study and spiritual preparation. The second year allows you to integrate into your life what you have learned about Bon Secours, the vows, community, ministry, etc.
The Novitiate program will include classes and instruction that will give you a deeper knowledge and understanding of your life as a Sister of Bon Secours. You will also be able to study sacred scripture prayerfully so that the Word of God may become a motivating force in your daily life and work. You’ll study the mysteries of Christ in the Church, the principles of religious life, the vows as well as the history and spirit of Bon Secours.
The Novitiate phase ends with you formally requesting to make our temporary profession as a Sister of Bon Secours. Your vows are made during a Liturgy celebrated with the sisters, your family and friends. At this time you receive the Bon Secours sign of commitment that all professed sisters wear.
Temporary Profession of Vows
Temporary Profession of Vows is an exciting time when you live your life and mission as a Sister of Bon Secours, participating fully in vowed membership, ministry and/or academic preparation. You’ll be learning how to balance the challenges of living in community and more fully integrating your deeper spiritual awareness and understanding God’s calling into your daily life and ministry.
You’ll live as the Sisters live. You’ll make time for prayer and reflection. You’ll share household duties with the other Sisters you live with including cleaning, shopping and cooking. You’ll work daily in your ministry. Evenings and weekends may find you relaxing at home, attending an event that relates to your ministry or participating in a community celebration or gathering that may mean traveling to another community for a Come and See vocation weekend or other event.
You’ll attend the General Assembly when all of the Sisters come together annually to discuss where they are as a community and where they’re going. You’ll have time for retreats and will be encouraged to attend workshops and take classes in theological and scriptural studies, spirituality and human development, or advanced curriculum to augment your chosen profession.
Temporary profession by vows are always made or renewed for a clearly determined period of time, usually until final vow. The total period of temporary profession is not less than three years, nor longer than six. It is a balanced period of living community life, ministry, prayer, and study as needed; a time for you to penetrate more deeply the demands of the Gospel and your vocation in order to integrate them into your life in a concrete and responsible manner.
At the end of this phase of formation, you’ll spend two to three months in intensive spiritual preparation to prayerfully prepare for making your final vows. You’ll formally request permission to become a nun.
Perpetual Profession of Vows
This last phase of formation begins and ends with a joyous celebration as you freely give yourself to God. As a vowed member, you will continue your growth and development of the ministerial, personal and communal life of a Sister. You will be encouraged to pursue theological and spiritual studies. You’ll continue to discern how God is calling you to use your professional gifts and talents in ministry.
Through the love of the Father
present in the Sisters of Bon Secours,
we are called
by God and sent by the Church
To help people to wholeness;
To alleviate human suffering in all forms
especially in the poor and dying;
To help others to an awareness
of the redemptive meaning
of suffering and death—and to an
awareness of their relationship
with the Father.
By…Reproducing in ourselves
Christ always aware of the needs of others.
The founding charism animating the first group of Sisters of Bon Secours is alive and present in each member of the Congregation today.
Through our healing and compassionate presence we express our charism by who we are as well as by our ministry. We are contributing to the transformation of the world:
* Engaged in evangelization.
* Accompanying the poor and oppressed in their struggle for liberation in all its aspects.
* Healing injustices by denouncing its causes in our respect for the dignity of the person.
* Bringing to all a message of hope, particularly to the poor and dying, revealing to people that there is a God who loves them.
We welcome others to share our life and collaborate with us in building up the kingdom of God.
We are women of prayer, supported by faith communities, and in our prophetic stance we bring a radical, innovative response to those in need. We have the courage to stand up for our convictions.