The postulancy is a period from 10 months to two years that assists the candidate in a gradual transition from life in the world to that of the novitiate. “During this period the postulant will be guided to a clearer consciousness of her calling and to a deeper understanding of the significance of her baptismal consecration. She will enrich her human and Christian formation also through the experience of community. Moreover, she will receive adequate instruction in the nature of our Community and of its apostolic works.” (Constitutions and Rules # 86)
“The novitiate is the time during which the novice, under the guidance of her Directress, should come to understand more profoundly her particular call to holiness in the spirit of our Community, to experience its style of life, and to form herself, heart and mind according to its spirituality.” (Constitutions and Rules #88)
During the first year (canonical year) of the novitiate the novice seeks to deepen her spiritual life, and grow in her relationship with Christ. She builds a solid foundation in theological studies grounded in the mystery of Christ, the Church, sacred scripture, liturgy, the Eucharist, and the theology of consecrated life. The novice will also grow in knowledge and appreciation of our Founders through a studying of their lives and the history of the Institute and our Constitutions and Rules.
During the second year the novice will continue studies on consecrated life begun in the first year as well as have periods of apostolic service in our local communities. “Through prayer, reflection, and work, the novice will realize the need for integrating contemplation with apostolic activity. She will learn to give Christ first place in her life. And she will come to understand and to appreciate the value of sisterly love within a community that facilitates her progress and perseverance in consecrated life.” (Constitutions and Rules #91)
The Juniorate is the final stage of initial formation that can last from three to five years. During this time the Junior Sister can complete any academic studies that may have been started as well as become more active in the apostolate of the Institute. The Juniorate “consolidates the spiritual and the doctrinal formation of the Junior Sister with particular emphasis on her professional and apostolic preparation.” (Constitutions and Rules #95)