The process of becoming a religious brother and sister varies from community to community. However, the following stages are generally in place to help form the woman or man and confirm that his or her vocation lies with the community.
Postulancy (1-2 years): During this time, which begins with one’s entrance into the community and lasts for a short time, the young woman or man participates in the life of the community. They learn how to live in community with the other members, what the daily life and work consists of, and how to grow in their faith alongside the community. The postulancy is intended to allow someone to become a part of the community without making a serious commitment; they are free to leave without obligation.
Novitiate / Taking habit(1-2 years): A novice is still able to leave the community at any time, but has now made a step towards permanent membership. If the community is habited they will wear the community’s habit as a sign that they are separating from their former family and friends to focus on their spiritual growth and new life in the community.
Temporary Profession (3-6 years): When a novice makes their first vows they make a temporary commitment to live as a religious as part of the community, vowing to live out the Evangelical Counsels of poverty, chastity, and obedience for a set period of time. They grow closer to the heart of the community and use the time to discern whether they are being called to spend the rest of their life as a member.
Final (Solemn) Profession: While the formation process never truly ends, a brother or sister who makes Final Vows is committed to remaining a part of the community as a brother or sister for the rest of their lives. They do so freely and with the confidence that it is their true vocation.
Being a sister or brotherReligious brothers and sisters do something radical with their lives...simply because of their love for Christ.
Religious communitiesSeveral religious communities have a strong tie to the Diocese of Lexington.