Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Steps to becoming a Benedictine Sister Part Four: Novitiate

The novitiate is a two-year process.  The first year is dictated by Canon Law and is known as the novice's Canonical Year.  At the time of her investing, the novice receives the title of "Sister" and is referred to by her religious name. She becomes dependent on the monastery for her needs.  Her time away from the monastery is limited and she immerses herself even more deeply into classes such as the study of the Holy Rule, the Benedictine vows, Scripture and various other classes.  Her time is spent working in the monastery and corporate ministries.  The novice continues to meet weekly with her formation director.  

During the second year, the novice works part-time outside of the monastery in addition to her duties inside the monastery.  She continues her class work and prepares for her monastic profession.  When the novice decides she is ready to take the next step she discusses it with her formation director and then follows the process of talking to the Prioress, the Monastic Council and finally the community.  Once again, this is an important aspect of the process as all are on the journey together with each person.

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