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Sisters of Bon Secours -- God's Call to Serve Begins Here

Becoming a Sister

With each phase of Formation you gently build toward your future with the Sisters of Bon Secours



Candidates and Novices share a lighter moment together.

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.


Sisters sharing at the end of the day in the Novitiate House

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 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.


Medallion worn by all professed Sisters of Bon Secours

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.

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