Thursday, June 5, 2008

Steps to becoming a Benedictine Sister Part Five: First Monastic Profession

Temporary vows is a period of time where the woman lives the Benedictine way of life as if she were bound for life. She practices and commits herself to the vows of obedience, poverty, celibacy, stability and conversion of life. She continues her personal and spiritual growth and deepens her personal incorporation of the monastic values as she prepares for perpetual vows.
The temporary professed sister works full time outside of the monastery and strives to live a balance life between the demands of her ministry and of the monastery.  She continues to meet with her formation director, usually on a bi-monthly basis, for spiritual direction and instruction. Classes remain an important part of this process as her studies prepare her for future goals.  After a period of time deemed appropriate by her formation director and the Prioress, usually about five years, the temporary professed sister begins to make plans for monastic profession. She must follow the same admissions process as in her novice year to move on to the next step. She also attends BSWR (Benedictine Spirituality Workshop and Retreat), which is held annually for women preparing for final vows. It is a three week intensive workshop and retreat experience which she attends one year prior to her perpetual vows.  After the approval of the community, the sister may profess her perpetual vows where she makes a life commitment to God and to the community.

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