Our Foundress urged us, as part of our mission, to nurture religious vocations. The witness of our lives, after the grace of God, is the most powerful force to accomplish this goal, for through this witness we invite others to “come and see" the works of God.
Initial Formation is time of mutual discernment on the part of the woman and the community. Length of time in each stage varies according to the woman’s individual growth and readiness. Each woman is assisted in her effort to grow and discern with the help of a director who works with her on an individual basis.
A woman who desires to know more about consecrated life, particularly the life of the Incarnate Word Sisters, contacts the Vocation Director. She is invited into active, mutual discernment of her call to consecrated life by participating in days of reflection and retreats, and by growing in relationships with our members.
When a woman shows serious interest in our life and ministry and has completed Requirements for Admission, she can be accepted into the Pre-Novitiate Program during which she continues to discern her call to consecrated life. During the first step of the program she grows in her relationship with God, with the Church and with the Incarnate Word Sisters. The second step is a time of gradual transition into consecrated life.
The novice is recognized as a member of the congregation and therefore receives the title “Sister”. This stage is the “focal point of initiation into consecrated life and ultimately an intense preparation for the profession of vows.” The primary focus is the novice’s spiritual growth and relationship with Christ.
The novice prepares to live more fully the life of a Sister of the Incarnate Word and Blessed Sacrament through study, reflection and living of the vows as guided by our Constitution.
At this stage the novice professes the vows of celibate chastity, poverty and obedience to God in and through membership in this Incarnate Word Congregation. She strives to put into practice the living out of the vows according to the Incarnate Word charism and spirituality.
The temporary professed Sister renews her vows annually until she submits a request for Final Vows.
This is the final step of incorporation of a woman into religious life. At this point she becomes a permanent member of our congregation. She continues to grow in love of the Incarnate Word, to strengthen her relations with all and to expand her capacity to reflect God’s love to the world throughout her life.