Candidacy – Come and See
The search for religious life with the Sisters of Sion passes through different stages as it is growing into religious life. These stages differ in their length of time. They can last from 6 months to two years.
In regular meetings you would be in contact with one of our sisters. You might know a sister personally or you could contact a community close to where you live. You would meet with her regularily to share with her your your search and call.
These first meetings will anable you to get to know the community and the sisters. We call this first stage ‘Come and See‘.
Turning around, Jesus saw them following and asked, ‘What do you want?’ They said, ‘Rabbi, where are you staying?’ ‘Come,’ he replied, ‘and you will see’ (John 1:38f ).
This is a stage where you would be living with a Sion community, participating in community gatherings, community prayer, its life and the work of this community.
Postulancy : Lekh lekha (‘Go forth’)
After this first stage of ‘Come and See’ and as a candidate you would enter the stage of Postulancy. In Gen 12:1 and 4 we hear God’s mission for Abram: ‘Go from your country and your kindred and your father’s house to the land that I will show you. Abram responde and did as the Lord asked.
- What does it mean to live each day with God’s call?
- Do I need to hear God’s call every moment, or can I live in God’s presence?
During this stage you would be asked to learn a second language e.g. English. You would also begin to learn about the history and charism of our Congregation and the life of our Founder. You would begin or continue some Biblical studies, some theology and catechetics. Some general human formation will anable you to understand and clarify your vocation.
Living in the novitiate community you would study the vows of chastity, poverty and obedience in link with our congregational charism. In learning about this specific charism you would be studying the constitution of the Congregation, the Congregation’s history, its spirituality and apostolic responsibilities.
Go and Proclaim
The second year is called the “Apostolic Year”. As novice you would be encourage to integrate the studies and spiritual experiences of the past years outside the Novitiate Community. You would do some volunteer work in a parish, in an educational organisation or another institution, which has some connection with the Charism of Sion. This apostolic experience would enable you to find the mission in which you could express the Charism and call of the Congregation.
First Commitment Through the Vows
Vows are both the first stage and the first public expression of the unconditional gift of self, to follow Jesus according to the demands of the Gospel, in consecrated celibacy, poverty and obedience.
At the end of this first formation program you would be invitated to write a letter to the Congregation Leadership Team to get the permission to pronounce your temporary vows. Our congregation has to declare that your personal call to follow Jesus can also become a call to follow Jesus in the Congregation of Notre Dame de Sion. As a newer member you will deepen this commitment in a second period of formation which can last up to six years. This will lead you then into the final vows.
These are the years of personal maturing and integration and by that very fact, of growth in Christ and the spirit of the congregation.
As the sister prepares to live and serve in today’s world, she perceives Gods action in all the realities of her life: community experience, studies, apostolic work and prayer. Her life thus becomes more unified and her response ever more total. Const. 77
Newer members are accompanied during this first period of temporally vows so that each one may grow in her experience of God, her participation in community and in her love and service of others, according to the charism of Sion.
At the end of a period of normally six years the young sisters and the Leadership team together with the Community and accompanying sister starts a process for the discernment for the final commitment in the Congregation.
This commitment is the expression of a single impulse of love in response to God: it demands that we love others as Christ did. Const. 22