Becoming a Sister

Are you sensitive to contemporary needs, especially justice and peace? Ever wonder what it would be like to reach out in compassion as a Catholic Sister? Our mission is to:

  • To evangelize and teach,
  • To care for the elderly, the young, the poor, the sick, the lonely, wounded families and immigrants,
  • To work and pray for the unity of all Christians

Would you like to join others who are a presence of Christ in the world through vowed communal life, in a spirit of prayerfulness, simplicity and joy?

If so, we encourage you to inquire about a vocation to religious life. Inquirers are encouraged to meet with any of our Sisters to
learn more about vowed communal life as a Sister of Saints Cyril and Methodius. Inquirers can participate in the following activities:

  • Visit one of our convents for prayer, conversation and a meal.
  • Ask to attend our jubilee celebrations, summer festival, Prayer Outside the Walls and community events.
  • Volunteer for a few hours with our Sisters in a variety of ministries.

Becoming a Discerner

Discerners are encouraged to contact a member of our vocation team to mutually discern religious life. These first steps in discernment include meeting on a regular basis with a member of our vocation team, opportunities for extended visits with the Sisters, overnight retreats and using the NRVC process: God, Grant Me a Discerning Heart. Taking the time to listen to the movement of the Spirit within, to sift through your dreams, hopes and concerns with a vocation team member, will help you to decide if religious life is a vocation you want to pursue in our Community or with over 400 women’s religious institutes. There are many ways for discerners to learn more about apostolic life, missionary life, cloistered life, monastic life and societies of apostolic life without making a formal commitment. Discerning your vocation is a great option for any Catholic making life decisions!

Becoming an Affiliate

After a time of discernment, a woman who is intent on committing herself more deeply to vocation discernment and is drawn to our Congregation’s charism and spirituality may formally ask to enter the Affiliate program. While the Affiliate retains personal independence and responsibility for her own livelihood and concerns, she commits herself to a specific plan of experiencing and sharing in the spiritual, apostolic and communal life of the Sisters of Saints Cyril and Methodius.

When a woman decides to apply for acceptance as an Affiliate, she requests an application packet; shortly thereafter she has a formal interview with the Vocation Director or a member of the Vocation Team. Once the prospective Affiliate’s application process has been completed and the judgment of those involved with her is that she has potential for religious life in this Congregation, she is formally connected to a local convent and a local liaison is named to facilitate visits with the local convent. The Affiliate is welcomed in a simple ceremony at the local mission to which she is connected.

Becoming a Candidate

Intent on testing out a call to religious life as it is lived by the Sisters of Saints Cyril and Methodius, the Candidate is introduced to the spiritual, apostolic, and communal life as it is experienced each day by vowed members of the Congregation. For a period of six months to two years, she receives spiritual direction and instruction, is involved in apostolic activities and learning experiences, and lives in a local community with the Sisters of Saints Cyril and Methodius. The immediate goal of the Candidacy period is preparation for the novitiate. The Candidate is welcomed in a simple religious ceremony at the Motherhouse or the local mission in which she will reside.  The SS.C.M. Constitutions specify that a woman who has been accepted for entrance into the congregation prepares for the novitiate by living with the community as a Candidate for a period of six months to two years.

Becoming a Novice

A Candidate who feels drawn to deeper prayer, a more intense experience of the Christian life and a commitment to our mission and charism makes a written request for admission into the novitiate.  After consultation with those on the formation team, the General Superior reviews and evaluates the candidate’s suitability for the religious life. With the consent of the Council, the General Superior may accept candidates into the novitiate in a communal prayer service called Reception.

The Novice’s most important task is to interiorize—to grasp with her whole being, the solemnity of a call from the Lord to live the religious life.  The novice has already tested out to some extent her ability to live community, minister and pray.  In this stage of formation, however, she concentrates on the interior realities—the movements of grace—which will sustain her in the life she believes she has been called to live. She comes to grasp more deeply the spiritual, eschatological and ecclesial dimensions of the religious life.  She still has to confront the depths of meaning of the vowed life and examine prayerfully and carefully her capacity for a life-time commitment as a witness, proclaimer and builder of the Kingdom.

For the Sisters of Saints Cyril and Methodius, the novitiate is a two-year period of religious formation and preparation for the vows.  This period includes the minimum of twelve months of novitiate training required by canon law and the allowance for the addition of one or several periods of apostolic exercises to be spent outside the novitiate community.  The first year, traditionally called the canonical year of the novitiate, is a more intensely contemplative experience.  The second year of the novitiate is intended as a year of further reflection, study and an opportunity for several short-term experiences in ministry.  These ministerial experiences further acquaint the novice with the scope of the Congregation’s apostolic involvements and allow her to function as one who ministers to others in several ways.  These experiences and the reflection which follows them will help her to form a truly apostolic spirituality. After completing the novitiate, a Sister publicly professes temporary vows for the first time during Mass.

Professing Temporary Vows as a Sister

Temporary profession is a vital phase of initial formation in which the Sister in Temporary Profession, aided by her local community, lives the vowed life according to the constitutions of our congregation. She continues striving for integration of all aspects of the vowed life in faithfulness to a deepening commitment to Christ, to the community and to God’s people. Under the guidance of a Director of Sisters in Temporary Profession and in the care of well-chosen superiors, the Sisters in Temporary Profession are able to learn by experience the value of belonging to a fervent and united community. Daily living of religious life and active participation in the congregation’s apostolic endeavors should impel her to greater progress and strengthen her desire and determination to persevere in her vocations. Temporary profession lasts three to six years, temporary vows being made for a period of one year and renewed annually.

Final/Perpetual Profession

After an appropriate period of temporary profession, a Sister applies in writing to the General Superior for approval to pronounce her perpetual vows. With the consent of the Council, the General Superior admits a Sister to final profession and receives her vows. Professed Sisters customarily renew vows on the 25th of each month because of our devotion to the Incarnation.

Sisters desiring to transfer to the Sisters of Saints Cyril and Methodius

Catholic Sisters who have made perpetual profession in other religious institutes may be accepted as candidates for transfer into our Congregation after a period of discernment. Acceptance into the transfer process requires the approval of the General Superior with the consent of the General Council of both the receiving institute and the institute which the Sister is currently a perpetually professed member. Candidates for transfer will live and minister with our community and will participate in formative experiences. After three years, the candidate for transfer may apply to make perpetual profession in our congregation. Her acceptance is contingent upon her own desire and the approval of the General Superior, with the consent of the General Council.