Stages of Formation
1. The Association ~ takes place before the formal entrance, as the woman comes to the community seeking information regarding the life of the Benedictine community. The associate’s place of residence is arranged on an individual basis. The association may be discontinued at any time, or it may culminate in the request for admission to the postulancy. During this time the associate is financially independent.
2. Live-In Associate~ an optional opportunity for a woman to live with the community for an extended period of time, while remaining financially independent. They can keep their current employment and volunteer in community ministry. They are expected to follow the community schedule as best as possible. Acceptance into the Live-In Program requires an application, letters of reference and a behavioral assessment test.
3. The postulancy lasts for several months, normally not exceeding two years. The postulant resides at the monastery and attends the Liturgy of the Hours there. She is financially independent.
4. The Novititate ~ this is a stage for intense prayer, study and preparation for Monastic Profession. It should last twelve months, not to exceed two years according to the prescriptions of Canon Law. The novice resides at the monastery and is engaged in prayer, lectio divina, classes, spiritual direction, and community service. During the time of novitiate, the novice designates an administrator for her property. Before profession she signs an agreement which attests that her maintenance, education and other benefits are sufficient and just compensation for her services. This agreement is witnessed, notarized, and filed in the monastery.
5. The Scholasticate ~ this is a stage when one makes her three years vows lasting three years not to exceed nine years. She continues to study and deepen her understanding of monastic life. The scholastic resides at the monastery.