Formation - The Sisters of Our Lady of Mercy

Formation - The Sisters of Our Lady of Mercy

The Stages of Formation

Postulancy - 1 Year

The postulancy, which usually lasts twelve months, is a period of transition that gradually introduces the candidate to the religious life. The postulants live, pray, and work with the community of sisters in the Boston convent. They have the opportunity to assist in various apostolic works of the congregation. Through internal classes and time for study they also strengthen their knowledge of the faith and the congregation.


Novitiate - 2 Years

The fundamental period of religious formation is the novitiate. In our congregation the novitiate lasts two years, the first year being designated for intensive spiritual formation. The novice mistress guides the formation process and instructs the novices in subjects such as the interior life, knowledge of the congregation, its history, spirituality, constitutions, rules, and apostolic works.

During the second year of novitiate, the young novices begin to work in the various fields of our apostolate together with professed sisters, as part of their training. During the final two months - before the first profession of the vows of chastity, poverty, and obedience - the novice returns to an intense period of prayer and recollection.


Juniorate - 5 Years

The juniorate begins with the profession of vows and lasts over a period of five years. At the end of every year, a junior sister renews her vows for another year. During the juniorate, the sisters fully participate in the apostolic work while continuing their religious formation under the guidance of the junior mistress, who prepares them to profess their perpetual vows. The formation of the junior sisters is intended to deepen their interior life, to bring them closer to the congregation’s apostolate, and to enable them to attain adequate professional qualifications. Five months before making their final commitment, the junior sisters begin the third probation, a time of special preparation for their perpetual profession of vows.


"The bride must resemble her Betrothed" (Diary 268).

"My Heart overflows with compassion and mercy for all. The heart of My beloved must resemble Mine; 
from her heart must spring the fountain of  My mercy for souls..." (Diary 1148).

Perpetual Profession

With the profession of perpetual vows, a sister binds herself forever to Christ, her Spouse. It marks her clear commitment to the ceaseless endeavor to strive for holiness, thus contributing to the development and sanctification of the congregation and of the souls entrusted to our care.


"My spouse, our hearts are joined forever. Remember to Whom you have vowed..." (Diary 239)

"You are not living for yourself but for souls..." (Diary 67)