While entering a novitiate may seem a big step, it is a natural next step and
something that one is ready to take. It is a way of allowing the person to see if
Dominican life ‘fits’, with no commitment either on her part or on the part of our
Novitiate is a graced time. At the deeper heart level, it is a time to experience an
inner quiet that allows further questions to surface and to be examined. It is a
period of growing and deepening in one’s relationship with God, of falling more
deeply in love with God, for asking ‘who is God to me and who am I to God’, and
for discerning if it is in this way of life that one can be one’s best self and live as
God desires.
On a practical level, novitiate is a time of initial formation. It offers the person the
time and opportunity to experience living in community; to discover how it is for
her to live with others; to live the evangelical counsels of poverty, chastity and
obedience; to learn how to pray alone and in common; to participate in some of
our Congregation’s ministries; to undertake some study of aspects of our
charism and our history; and to learn how to hold each of these aspects of life as
a Sister in a healthy balance.
Ours is a two-year novitiate, a period of discernment for both the person and for
our Congregation, particularly her formator (novice mistress) and the novitiate
community, those sisters who live with or know her best.
If this discernment leads the person to take another step, she writes to our
Congregation Prioress and asks to make First Profession.