How do I begin?
Carefully observe what way your heart draws you and then choose that way with all your strength.
- Hasidic saying
If you are a woman whose heart draws you to reach out in love to others, who is seeking to make God the center of your life, and who wants to do so within a circle of friends in community, please consider joining the Sisters of Charity of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
Becoming a BVM is a time of growing in relationship and a process of mutual discernment. We encourage you to begin this time in the spirit of wanting to deepen your relationship with God, of being open to self-reflection and greater self-knowledge, and creating healthy relationships with BVM Sisters and our Associate community. It is our hope that at the end of this discernment time a decision can be made that is life-giving for both you and the community
Important ConsiderationsIf you are interested in vowed commitment in our community you need to be:
- A single Catholic woman (if previously married, with a Church annulment)
- Who is at least 20 years of age
- Who has had two years of college or work experience
- Who is free of major debt
- Who has been a member of the Catholic Church long enough to understand and appreciate the faith, life and tradition in the church
- Who has the physical and emotional health and energy to be active in ministry and live in community.
Steps on the Journey
The timing and length of the following steps can be flexible. Generally a woman is in contact with the community a year or two before novitiate.
Initially, you would come to know the community in relationship with an Initial Membership Coordinator, BVM Sisters who might live in your area, and if possible with others who are discerning religious life.
As a candidate you would initiate a formal relationship with the congregation. With help from an Initial Membership Coordinator and other BVMs, you would participate in clusters, regional and national meetings.
As a resident you would share in BVM community life and mission by living daily life with BVMs in a local community and maintaining your own ministry.
The Novitiate is a two year experience. The canonical year is a time of contemplation when you would be learning about BVM life and how we live out our mission.
As a second year novice you would continue to deepen and integrate your experience of BVM life and mission as you live in community and engage in ministry and/or formal study.