The Stages of Formation

The Stages of Formation

We live Benedict’s vision today through fidelity to a tradition that professes obedience, stability, conversion through the monastic way of life…

The pre-novitiate phases are: vocation discernment, residency and postulancy.

Vocation Discernment

Vocation Discernment is a time for a woman discerning a monastic vocation to be provided with vocation information, experiences of community living and opportunities for personal growth. The duration of vocation discernment varies according to the needs, readiness, and circumstances of the individual and community.


Residency is a time for a woman to live within the community and experience its way of life. This time allows for the gradual transition into monastic life. The resident remains financially independent of the community. The duration of residency generally ranges from six to twelve months.


Postulancy is a time for a woman to enter more fully into the community’s life and internalize its charism and vision. The postulant becomes financially dependent on the community. The duration of postulancy is generally nine to twelve months.


Novitiate is a time for a woman to be formed in the monastic tradition in both mind and heart. The usual practice is for the novice to reside at the monastery. The duration of the novitiate is one year. It may be extended as stated in Canon Law.

mary statue

First Profession

First Profession is a time for a woman to internalize and integrate the monastic promises in her daily life. She discerns her readiness to make a life commitment through perpetual profession. The duration of first profession is three to five years. It may be extended as stated in Canon Law.

First profession