“The primary objective of the formation process is to prepare people for the total consecration of themselves to God in the following of Christ, at the service of the Church’s mission. To say yes to the Lord’s call by taking personal responsibility for maturing in one’s vocation is the inescapable duty of all who have been called. One’s whole life must be open to the action of the Holy Spirit, traveling the road of formation with generosity and accepting in faith the means of grace offered by the Lord and the Church."
Apostolic Exhortation Vita Consecrata, 1996
Bl. Pope John Paul II
The two-year novitiate begins with the canonical year, which is devoted to a deepening of prayer and spiritual instruction. Second year novices may engage in apostolic activities, but may not be responsible for full time apostolic positions.
Novices study the vows in detail, Holy Scripture, religious/spiritual life, Church History, and the spirituality of the Sisters of St. Joseph the Worker. The novice is gradually guided in the development of an intimate union with Christ from Whom all her apostolic activity flows, and is helped to grow in a warm fraternal charity with her Sisters. At the completion of her novitiate, the novice binds herself to God by the profession of temporary vows in the congregation.
The postulancy is normally a six to ten month period depending on the candidate. The postulant studies religious/spiritual life in general, including the Essential Elements of Religious Life, the Catechism of the Catholic Church, and the Constitution of the community. No secular studies are taken, and no studies, including religious ones, are taken for credit. She lives the SJW life under the direction of the Postulant Directress.
During the time of temporary profession (3-6 years), the Sister may engage in religious, apostolic, and professional studies and activities. She is helped to broaden her understanding of the religious vocations. The temporary professed Sister begins a serious preparation for Perpetual vows in prayer and retreat about four to six weeks prior to Profession Day.
After completing the period of initial formation, each Sister by prayer, study, and reading continues to discharge her lifelong obligation to advance in holiness, learning, and professional competency.