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Steps to Becoming a Maryknoll Sister

1. Initial Inquiry

This is who I am. Who are the Maryknoll Sisters?

A woman identifies herself as exploring religious life and as a missionary. She inquires about Maryknoll Sisters and looks at Maryknoll Sisters as one life option.

We begin to know her sense of call, hopes, passions and vision and she begins to know us.

2. Discernment

Might this be the life for me? Should it be lived with you, Maryknoll Sisters?

A woman more intently explores her call by God to religious life, commitment, intercultural community and cross-cultural mission. She considers other life choices and decides to focuses her energy in considering life as a Maryknoll Sister.

Maryknoll Sisters accompany her at this time, considering whether she seems to have a missionary vocation, to be lived for life and in community. The discernment process include visits, gaining information about Maryknoll Sisters history and charism and present call to mission, written reflection questions, writing an autobiography, supplying references, collecting personal and educational documentation, participating in an Intensive Behavioral Interview, and a live-in experience with Maryknoll Sisters. It is also good for a woman to have spiritual direction at this time.

3. Candidacy

I’m willing to take a step…walking with you

Once a woman is accepted as a candidate, a potential member, the woman is welcomed to live with other Maryknoll Sisters in community.

Candidacy includes times of deeper learning the living charism of Maryknoll, of prayer together and personal prayer practices, of theological studies and gaining contemporary understanding of the mission of Jesus and service in ministry. It is a time of continued and mutual discernment of her vocation to Maryknoll.

4. Novitiate

Going even deeper

The novitiate is a special year of prayer and study, exploring what it means to live out the vows of poverty, chastity and obedience, and living in lifelong commitment to God through mission with Maryknoll Sisters.

5. Vows

So I can say YES…

A woman makes a public commitment that she will live a life of poverty, chastity and obedience in the congregation of the Maryknoll Sisters for the service of God’s mission of love.

These vows are made initially for three years. A reflection period precedes the renewal of vows and final vows.

6. Mission

…and can be sent!

Phase involves gathering information about the regions where Maryknoll Sisters serve, particular ministries needed in those places, and consideration of the Sister’s particular gifts.


Maryknoll Sisters Final Vow Ceremony

Vocation Interest