In her journey of faith a woman seeking membership in our Priory enters into a program known as Initial Formation. Its purpose is twofold: first, to provide time for the prospective member to assimilate our life, our spirit and our way of proceeding; and second, to enable both the Priory and the prospective member to decide, under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, whether she is called to express her baptismal commitment as a perpetually vowed member of the All Saints Sisters of the Poor.
The Priory in its Initial Formation Program provides a time of prayer, study, ministry, community experience, support, guidance, and periodic evaluation. The woman eligible for participation in the program brings experiences of growth as a human being, as a woman, and as an active member of the faith community of the Catholic Church. In addition to her personal gifts and limitations, she also brings a desire to live the evangelical counsels in community. Initial Formation is an opportunity to study, in the light of the Gospel, the requirements of vowed religious life. Particularly, Initial Formation allows the woman seeking membership, time to reflect upon her attraction to and compatibility with our charism as it is lived in this Priory.
INQUIRER: a beginning interest in the possibility of joining the Community
ASPIRANT: a period of getting acquainted, and of discernment of God’s call to this individual.
CANDIDATE/POSTULANT: a time for transition from life in the world to life in the Priory, learning more about the Community, and further discernment
NOVICE: During the first year the emphasis is on the development of the inner life, and during the second year experience of the works and ministries of the Institute is added to the program.
The spirit of this holy vocation is to serve God joyfully in obedience and self-sacrifice. She offers the works of her hands in union with the adoration of her heart to Christ our Savior (cf. The Rule).
TEMPORARY PROFESSION: By the public vow of religious profession, the Sister assumes the observance of the three evangelical counsels, Poverty, Chastity and Obedience for three years.
PERPETUAL PROFESSION: Again by public vow of religious profession, the Sister assumes the observance of the three evangelical counsels for the rest of her life. She is consecrated to God and is fully incorporated into the Institute (c. 654; cf. The Rule).
ON-GOING FORMATION: The Sisters are to be conscientiously attentive to their on-going spiritual, doctrinal and practical formation throughout their lives. The Prioress shall ensure that suitable opportunities and resources are available for this purpose (cf. c. 661).
Religious life is a process of continual conversion that does not finish in the years of formation, but must be maintained and must grow more every day.
(Constitutions, Article 262)
In the years following final vows the sisters continue to study and to grow in the richness of religious life until the final encounter with Christ the Bridegroom.