The five stages in becoming a Sister of Mercy are pre-candidacy, candidacy, novitiate, temporary profession and perpetual profession.
On feeling drawn to this way of life, you contact a Vocations Director (see Contacts) and begin a journey of exploration through accompaniment and dialogue. This is a mutual ‘getting to know you time’ for both the pre-candidate and Vocations Director during which they explore whether or not religious life would be life giving and fulfilling for the candidate. This time can last from one to two years.
At this time the candidacy stage begins formally. You participate fully in the life of the community and take part in prayer, ministry, meetings and other facets of community life. All these help you and the community to discern your next step as you grow in knowledge and understanding of one another. This time can last from 9 months to 1 year.
On completion of candidacy, you are received into the novitiate. This is a two-year period. It is a time of withdrawal, reflection and study during which you engage in a more intense process of discernment which focuses on Mercy Spirituality, the Life and Charism of the foundress Catherine McAuley, the Mission and Ministry of Mercy and the Vowed Life. You may do some initial theological studies and some ministry placements during this time.
To read about some of our novices, click here
Temporary Profession Of Vows
On completion of the novitiate you become a Sister of Mercy by professing the vows of celibacy, poverty, obedience and service of the poor, sick and neglected. Temporary vows usually last for a period of three to six years during which time you continue to discern God’s call. Through mutual discernment you reach greater clarity around vocation and so can develop greater freedom to respond to God.
To read about some of our temporary professed Sisters, click here
Perpetual Profession of Vows
Profession of perpetual vows completes the stages of incorporation. A Sister of Mercy freely, joyfully and publicly promises God and the church to persevere in the Congregation for the rest of her life celibately, obediently and simply in the service of the poor, the sick and neglected.
To read some of the life stories of our sisters click here