The Formation Process
“You asked me, dearest Sister, to describe some of the festivities of my final vows. (…)I cannot think about it without emotion and a longing tear. The first sight of Jesus, the smile on the face of my Bridegroom, his beloved voice – heard for the first time – Oh, what joy, what a wedding feast! Oh, what a moment! “.
– From a letter of Sr. Leonia
Formation of the Little Servant Sisters of the Immaculate Conception is a life-long process and embraces the whole human person.
A young woman, through prayer, regular contact with the congregation and its apostolic works, with the right intention to dedicate herself to God and to serve, free of canonical impediments, with good physical and psychological health and adequate awareness of the duties of the congregation, may be admitted.
It lasts two years. Living and sharing in community with the aim to develop human personality traits, deepen the Christian life, and become acquainted with the principles of the religious and apostolic life in the congregation.
Novitiate – lasts 2 years. The Novice enters more deeply into the life of the congregation through prayer, the study of scripture, theology, history and the charism of the congregation in the novitiate house and in the second year an apostolic activity is assigned, usually in another house of the congregation. The purpose of the novitiate is to learn to follow Christ more closely, to gain knowledge of the requirements of the religious life, to live according to the evangelical counsels, to combine work with prayer and progressively implement the works of the congregation, with gifts and talents in service.
On completion of the novitiate, a sister may apply to make a temporary profession of the vows of chastity, poverty, and obedience. Sisters profess temporary vows usually for 5 years, renewing them every year or several years.
Post-novitiate, continues throughout the period of temporary profession, usually 5 years. This period is to further the formation of the young professed: religious, apostolic, academic and professional, and to deepen the interior life and attain an appropriate degree of maturity. After the Juniorate, sisters may make their perpetual profession. Desirous of serving God forever, they continue to live out their commitment in simplicity, mutual love, and service.
During their entire lifetime sisters have to continue their spiritual, educational and professional formation. This formation has for its aim the continual development of the whole person, so that each sister may live the fulness of her dedication to God, and devote herself to the mission entrusted her by the Church, so that she may be an authentic sign of the kingdom of God on earth.
“May this Holy fire of God’s love, burn even stronger and brighter in your heart, so that any difficulty or anything in the world would ever cool your heart down in this devout endeavor”.
– Bl. Edmund
“My Sister, I am well pleased with your openness and sincerity with which you confessed your lack of peace and longings which have overwhelmed your soul. But that may not disturb you. Ponder upon the voice which you have heard at heart which called you to the service of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Great power and holiness must have been present in this voice since you followed Him without delay, leaving the world behind without regret (…) In order to draw souls to Himself, God is likely to abound beginners with the sweetness of inspiration, elaborating their way as if with flowers. Then it seems as if He abandoned those souls, having changed all sweetness to the bitterness of longing. God acts in such a way to test our steadfastness in spiritual life. He allows souls to struggle and to exert effort until they triumph over temptations and obstacles”.
– Bl. Edmund
Are you interested in becoming a Little Servant Sister of the Immaculate Conception?