Affiliacy is that phase of our incorporation process in which a Catholic woman, age 18 or older, indicates an interest in our Ursuline life and begins a period of regular contact with the Ursulines in order to consider more seriously her vocational choice.
During this time, a woman continues to live in her own home and visits the community for a weekend once every four to six weeks. Affiliacy usually lasts nine to 12 months.
A candidate has an opportunity to experience Ursuline life in a deeper way. Living in community, a candidate participates in our life of prayer and ministry. Candidacy, which lasts from six months to two years, is a time to become better acquainted with the spirit of St. Angela and her company of women.
If the ongoing discernment of the candidate—and the community—shows that God is calling her to Ursuline life, she may ask for admission to the Novitiate.
Novitiate is the phase of our incorporation process in which a woman prepares to take vows as an Ursuline Sister. During this two-year process, a novice examines her call to religious life in an atmosphere of prayer. This period allows her to re-orient her life to center on Jesus. Solitude and silence, as well as healthy community living, are essential conditions for a novice to develop her relationship with Jesus and her ability to reach out to others.
The first-year novice participates in a weekly intercommunity novitiate program. The second year of novitiate normally includes formative ministry experiences. Our four U.S. provinces have a joint Novitiate in Chicago.
Following her discernment process, a novice may ask to make her temporary vows.
The period of temporary profession is that phase of our incorporation process in which a sister begins her vowed life as an Ursuline. The focus of this process is a continued response to the grace of God and integration of the various aspects of the sister’s life.
Temporary vows of poverty, chastity and obedience will be made initially for three years and then renewed for two years. The sister continues her discernment process to determine if God is calling her to a permanent commitment as an Ursuline Sister. During this time, the sister prepares for and engages in ministry.