What do you want to be when you grow up? This is the classic question to children. It was probably easy to answer then, but when we are grown-ups, it gets complicated.
The process of finding out what God is calling us to is not an easy one. Since every person is unique, there are no recipes on how to get an answer. However, in order to find real happiness, we all have to respond to our fundamental vocation to make a positive contribution to building the Kingdom of God on earth.
Consecrated life is a special vocation in which a person offers her entire life to Christ in response to a call from God through the Holy Spirit.
The process of discernment is a very important one. The following are some steps that may help you:
#1. Christian Life
Receiving the Sacraments regularly, caring for the members of your family, getting involved in helping the needs of your parish and the community around you, responding with faith and love to the normal circumstances of life, are simple things that will open a path in your life.
#2. Daily Prayer
Not only the prayers you’ve memorized, but also the very personal prayer, when you talk to God as a friend, telling him what is going on in your life, what are your worries and your concerns, asking questions and allowing time to hear his answers.
Try helping in the parish as a religious instructor, lector, choir member, or youth minister. If you find fulfillment in these activities, it is a good sign.
#4. Spiritual Director
Find a priest or a Religious Sister to share your concerns and ask all the questions you have in your heart. They will be good guides.
Our Vocation Directress
Did you know that, within every person there is an original gift of God awaiting discovery? Your heart was formed by God to love, to transcend, and there is nothing more natural than true love. The Vocation Directress, Sr. Ines Aparicio, FMH, will help you open your heart to the will of the Father, and grow in a Marian attitude of availability in order to discover the beauty of God’s plan for your life.
If you are interested on how we live our Religious Life, it would help to arrange a visit, with the Vocation Directress, to what we call “Come and See.” This is an experience in which you will do what the Sisters do, for a short period of time.
Requirements for Admission
- Good physical and psychological health
- Freedom from all impediments
- Appropriate basic cultural formation
- Sufficient knowledge and acceptance of her own reality
- Enthusiasm for Religious vocation
- Ability to form interpersonal relationships
- Openness to sisterly sharing
- Age between 18 and 35
Formation is a dynamic process that leads candidates to the Religious Life to value, integrate, and unify desires, capacities, and energy in the preference for Christ, according to Saint Anthony Gianelli’s spirit. Formation starts with the human dimension, develops in the spiritual dimension, and its final goal is the union with God through the practice of the evangelical counsels: poverty, chastity, and obedience.
The Pre-Postulancy is intended for young women who, docile to the action of the Holy Spirit, express the desire to discern God’s plan for their life within our religious family. It is characterized by a powerful experience of Christian life. This period normally takes place in one of our religious communities in the USA. Duration varies according to the candidate’s formation needs, from a few months to a year.
During postulancy the candidate gradually confirms that her life has significance only if it is open to follow Christ. In a climate of faith, prayer, sisterly communion, intense sacramental life and missionary spirit, the young woman strives to explore more deeply the concrete demands of baptismal consecration. She becomes aware of the values of the Gianellian religious life and prepares for entry into the novitiate. Duration goes from one to two years according to the formative requirements of the candidate.
The 2-year Novitiate, which marks the beginning of life in the Institute, is the core of the formation process. The novice gains a clear awareness of the divine vocation and the demands that preferential love for Christ brings with it. Deepening of the Institute’s Charism and spirituality shapes her mind and heart, and helps her to acquire her new identity as a consecrated woman. She experiences the way of life of the Daughters of Mary, and accepts the challenge of joining her personal Charism to that of the Institute. At the end of this stage, after a silent retreat, the novice professes the vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience.
In this stage of formation, the newly professed religious is called to continue her journey of human and spiritual growth, courageously applying her capabilities to the challenges inherent to religious profession. These efforts are made in accordance with the nature, purpose and spirit of the Institute, expressed in the Constitutions and in its traditions. Vows are professed for one year, and renewed annually up to perpetual profession, to be made six years after the first profession. With perpetual profession, the junior is definitively consecrated to God, and fully incorporated into the Institute, with all rights and obligations defined by proper law.