All communities of consecrated life have times of formation, which give new members time to grow and become acquainted with this form of life in general and with their specific community. Each community does this a little differently, but most follow a fairly common pattern of formation. Here’s a closer look at our formation as Schoenstatt Sisters of Mary.

The Courses

A course is a group of young women who enter the community together, receive their formation together, and remain spiritually united and connected with one another as a “little family” throughout their lives as sisters. Each course chooses a unique mission that they wish to fulfill as Schoenstatt Sisters of Mary and a unique way in which they wish to reflect the image of Mary – and this becomes their identity as a course. Through the courses our community is able to reflect many and varied aspects of the person of Our Lady. All formation takes place within the course.

A few of our courses:

The steps of formation are as follows:

Candidacy – minimum three months

This period is a time of growth into the way of life of our community and into the meaning of a religious vocation. During this time the candidates receive classes, work in various areas, and have time to pray and relax. Their daily schedule is flexible and open.

Postulancy – six months

During this time the postulants continue to receive classes on our Catholic faith and on Schoenstatt. They begin to follow the daily schedule of a sister more closely and are introduced little by little into some of our community customs. They get to know the community and one another better.

The Solemn Reception

The novitiate begins with the solemn reception of the dress and veil of a Schoenstatt Sister of Mary. The novices process into the chapel in white bridal dresses. Through a solemn rite, they receive the individual parts of the dress, leave the chapel, and return with joy clothed as sisters. They also receive their name on this day.

Novitiate – two years

This period is the actual introduction into the life of a Schoenstatt Sister of Mary. The novices learn about our community history, our lifestyle, our customs, our life of prayer, our mission in Schoenstatt, and many other aspects important to our life of consecration. They also continue to build on their knowledge of our Catholic faith. The course becomes for them their little family within the big community.

First Incorporation

At the end of the novitiate the novices sign their first contract with the community and receive the brooch, in place of the medal and chain they had received in postulancy.

Tertianships – two periods of five months each

The tertianships deepen the foundation of the novitiate in all aspects. At the end of the second tertianship, the sisters sign their final contract with the community, promising their faithfulness forever, and receive the ring as the outward sign of their commitment.

The total time of formation is approximately nine years.