A woman who wants to join us is guided through give stages of development:
The Affiliate Program
This is the first step in which a woman discerns whether she wants to enter into a deeper relationship with the Franciscan Sisters of the Poor. Although the woman lives at home during this nine to twenty-four month period, she maintains her work or study schedule while at the same time becoming more involved with events in the Congregation.
The Pre-Novitiate Phase
While candidates continue in their current careers, they are introduced to religious life through a variety of experiences and the work of the Congregation. This includes guidance into a closer relationship with the Congregation through prayer service and community life. This phase consists of no less than six months and no more than two years.
During this two-year period, the Novitiate experience provides a reflective study of the Christian mystery, doctrinal and spiritual foundations of the Christian faith, Franciscan spirituality, and the essentials of consecrated life as a way of Christian living. A full-time commitment is required.
At the end of the novitiate, the young woman is free to make her vows or return to her previous life. If a woman chooses to leave the community, we commend her discerning a religious vocation. We will wish her well and hope that she will continue a friendship with her mentor sisters.
Although this period usually lasts from three to four years, it can be extended to as long as six years. A public profession of vows binds a woman to the Congregation, and she accepts the obligation of observing the Constitutions of the Franciscan Sisters of the Poor.
A woman pronounces perpetual vows of consecrated celibacy, poverty, and obedience. Only then does she share full responsibility for the life and mission of the Congregation. Each sister strives to continue her study of, and commitment to, the Gospel way of life as a Franciscan Sister of the Poor.