Monastic Formation

“Therefore we intend to establish a school for God’s service.”  (RB Prologue 45)

Stages of Monastic Formation


A period of initial seeking, discernment and getting acquainted with the community.


9 month to 2 year period of time when one lives with the community, experiences the common  life, and continues her ministry while discerning her call to monastic life under the guidance and instruction of the formation director.


12-18 month period dedicated to immersion in the monastic way of life under the guidance of the novice director. This is a time of prayer, study, discernment and reflection as one continues to listen to God’s call. Temporary monastic profession is made at the end of this time.


3-6 year period of integration of the monastic life and ministry, as one continues to discern God’s call. One is this time by the scholastic director. Perpetual Monastic Profession is made at the end of this time.

Perpetually Professed Monastic

The monastic commitment is threefold. The monastic woman promises stability, conversatio (fidelity to the monastic way of life), and obedience for the rest of her life.

The Monastic Commitment

“Let us prefer nothing to the love and Christ, and may Christ bring us all together to everlasting life.” (RB 72:11)


Through stability, the monastic woman is empowered to remain rooted in God’s love in solidarity with her sisters in community.


(Fidelity to the monastic way of life)  Conversatio celebrates our human incompleteness and the potential in us to change and be transformed through the daily give and take of the common life.


Obedience calls us to “listen with the ear of our hearts” (RB Prologue 1) to the voice of God in Scripture, the Rule, our Prioress, one another, the world around us, and in our own hearts. Monastic obedience requires the faithful, daily response of the monastic woman to this Voice.

For further information contact Sr. Patricia Kirk, OSB