Candidates to the Poor Clare, contemplative, enclosed way of life have a deep desire to dedicate their whole being to God in a way of life which is characterized by poverty, prayer, community, silence and solitude as an expression of their desire to live for God alone.
They should meet the following requirements:
- Between 20 and 50 years of age
- Have a high school education
- Be free of financial and moral responsibilities
- Have good physical health and be socially and psychologically well-balanced and mature
- Applicants must be US citizens
Come and See:
This is a time of initial contact with the vocation directress. You will receive an initial form to fill out so as to become better acquainted.
If the general vocation requirements are met, the one year aspirancy period begins. It is during this time that you can come for a live-in for one to three months so to experience the daily rhythm of religious life and to test your call. If all goes well during the live-in phase, then an application is filled out and necessary documents are submitted.
After the application is processed, you will be given a list of items to bring. The postulancy lasts one year, and the applicant will live with the nuns and experience the religious life throughout the liturgical year. At the end of the year, then the applicant can request to become a novice with the approval of the community.
The postulant will then be clothed with the habit of the Poor Clare nun, and wear a white veil to signify that she is a novice. She become a member of the community as a religious sister. This phase lasts two years with the second year being the canonical year. It is during this time that novice will study the Rule, Constitutions of the Order, Church documents, and customs.
At the end of the two year period, the novice may request to make her first vows with the approval of the community. It is during the Mass that the novice will pronounce her simple vows and become betrothed to Our Lord. She will receive a blessed black veil and become a professed nun in the community. It has been the custom of our Order to have the period of temporary profession as three years. However, with the new Vatican document, Cor Orans, that was promologated on May 15, 2018 that time has been extended. It will probably be about 5 to 6 years.
Solemn or Perpetual Profession:
At the end of the temporary professed period, the sister can request to make her final vows with the approval of the community. Extern sisters have the option of making perpetual simple vows rather than solemn vows. During the Mass, the sister will pronounce her final vows until death, and become a Bride of Christ forever. She will receive a crucifix ring at this time which she will kiss each time she enters the chapel to adore and praise her Beloved Bridegroom.
Just as in life and in our work one never really stops learning or striving to do better. It is all the more imperative to grow in knowledge and experience so as to better serve the Lord and those that he places in our life. This the purpose of ongoing formation. The Lord is calling us to be holy – to be saints!
“God would never inspire me with desires which cannot be realized; so in spite of my littleness, I can hope to be a saint.”
― Thérèse de Lisieux, Story of a Soul: The Autobiography of St. Therese of Lisieux
If you are interested in learning more about our Franciscan contemplative way of life, feel free to contact the Vocation Director.
(978) 683-7599 or use our Contact Form.