BECOMING A MEMBER OF THE SISTERS OF THE HOLY CROSS
The road to becoming a Sister of Mercy of the Holy Cross begins with the call of God and the decision to answer this call in our community. Women who are interested, go through a formation period consisting of several steps.
In the various phases of formation, sisters called formators are entrusted with the task to accompany the women on their way of faith and vocation and to introduce them into our community:
A woman who has decided to take up our form of life, gets to know our community during the time of candidacy. Her vocation and her reasons for her choice of Religious Life are clarified. The duration of the time of candidacy depends on the individual development of the candidate and on external circumstances.
Postulancy is a further step in the process of growing into our community. In this phase, the postulant learns to become more consciously aware of God’s call and her answer, to involve herself in our form of life and to evaluate her suitability for it.
During the time of novitiate, the novice deepens her relationship with God. She recognizes her vocation to live in our community more deeply and learns to get to know herself better. She allows her heart and mind to be formed by the charism of the community and continues to grow ever more deeply into the form of life of the Sisters of Mercy of the Holy Cross.
The conclusion of the novitiate is the celebration of First Profession, when the sister binds herself to this form of life, to God in this community for a limited time
The basics of religious life which were studied in the novitiate are deepened further in the Juniorate. At this time, the sister grows more concretely into our form of life, she experiences everyday life in a local community and in our mission. In this, the community supports her.
In the Juniorate, the sister is strengthened in her vocation to follow the compassionate and crucified Jesus, and encouraged to continue growing both spiritually and as a human person. The community takes responsibility for an adequate theological and professional continuing education.
The duration of the Juniorate is normally five years. This duration may be extended and the sister continues to be bound by temporal vows. In her Final Profession, the sister confirms her total surrender to God and the people.
PLACES OF FORMATION
The formation or a life as a Sister of Mercy of the Holy Cross takes place in the provinces and vicariates:
The formation of future sisters in the provinces of Western Europe (Mother Province Switzerland, Baden-Württemberg, Italy and Middle Europe) takes place at this time in a common place of formation in Hegne/Germany, in the province of Baden-Württemberg.
The provinces of Croatia, the Czech Republic and Slovakia have their own places of formation in their provinces.
Places of formation in India are in the provinces, Northeast India, and South India as well as Central India together with the Mid-Indian Province. The place of formation in the Vicariate of Taiwan is in Taitung.
Places of formation are in different communities in the Vicariate of Uganda.
The place of formation for the Vicariate of Brazil is in Salvador/Bahia.
THE SPIRITUAL JOURNEY
Even after our Final Profession, we are and remain persons in search of meaning. Ongoing formation is meant to help to make our entire life become a way towards human growth and maturity, and also to a pilgrim way of faith. It is our aim to keep our charism alive among us as individual sisters as well as in community. This calls for constant alertness and attention to the Holy Spirit in our personal history, as well as in the challenges of our community in Church and society.
What is of help to the individual sister is very diverse. What is common to all of us, is our life out of and with the Word of God and the deepening of our biblical and theological knowledge. We are helped to do this by using the possibilities for professional, spiritual and personal ongoing formation offered to us. We are also strengthened through:
- personal and community prayer;
- times for prayer and reflection, Liturgy of the Hours, retreats;
- being with and for each other in the community, the place of constant development;
- the awareness that we are in a constant process of becoming, even in ordinary everyday life with its experiences, burdens and challenges.