Formation of Sisters
After a woman expresses a desire to learn more about our community, she may make a vocation retreat within the monastery, praying, living and working with the sisters in the novitiate and with the community.
When a candidate is accepted as a postulant, she embarks on a six-year formation process. The first step is the postulancy, which lasts from six months to a year. Should she and the community desire it, the postulant then becomes a novice, receiving the habit with a white veil. The sister is a novice for two years. At the end of the two years of novitiate, the sister asks for the grace of First Profession. The first vows are made for a period of three years. At this ceremony the newly professed is given the profession Cross but continues to wear the white veil.
The postulants, novices and temporary professed follow the daily schedule of the community. They participate in the Eucharist each day, and sing the Liturgy of the Hours five times a day. They also make one hour and a half of mental prayer and a half hour of spiritual reading each day. The sisters in formation engage in some of the work of the community and join the professed sisters for recreation twice a day.
In our monastery the postulants, novices and temporary professed receive the same formation. Together they study the Constitutions of the Order, the three religious vows: poverty, chastity, and obedience, and the customs of the Monastery. They also take courses in Liturgy and spirituality with emphasis on the spirituality of Saint Francis de Sales, our Founder. As part of their formation, the postulants, novices and temporary professed have personal conferences once a week with the Directress of Novices.
The sisters in Temporary Profession live in the novitiate for two years. During the final year of Temporary Profession, the sister lives in community under the direction of the Superior of the Monastery. At the end of three years, the sister again makes request of the Superior and the Community to be allowed to make Perpetual, or Solemn Vows, as a Visitation Sister. At her Solemn Profession the sister receives the black veil, the sign of perpetual profession.
If you feel Our Lady is making a “secret visitation ” to your heart and that you wish to learn more about our Visitation Community, please contact the Superior, using the general information mailing address located in the contact section of this website