Becoming a Sister

Here are some questions which you may have about the life of a sister:

I’ve thought about being a sister. What should I do?

If the idea of being a sister keeps coming to you, then it’s important to explore whether religious life is for you. Ask for God’s guidance. Spend time with sisters. Join them for meals and prayer. See how they live and minister. Ask them questions about why they chose this life. As you listen to their responses, do you feel drawn to this life?

What do we mean by God’s call?

God calls each of us to a way of life which will lead to our happiness. However, this call from God does not come on your cell phone. Rather you “discern” God’s call. Discernment is a process of prayer, reflection and sometimes consulting others in order to see where you are drawn, to discover what you want to do with your life. It emerges from close attention to what your heart is saying to you. Coming to this awareness takes time.

Do Sisters pray all day?

Daily prayer is a priority for us. We set aside time for our own personal prayer and time for community prayer. Prayer inspires us, brings us new insights and supports us in difficult times.

Couldn’t I minister within the Church without becoming a sister?

Yes, today there are many more opportunities to be of service in the Church without being a sister. But religious life is more than ministry. Sr. Sandra Schneiders, IHM, describes it as the “God-quest” the concentration of the whole of one’s life on the one thing necessary which is union with God.

Isn’t it hard not being married and having your own children?

We do realize that we have made a sacrifice in not having our own families. But our commitment to God and the following of Christ is a stronger reality. We do have close friends, family members and other Holy Union Sisters who support us and care for us. Because we know that it is God who call us to this life choice, we gladly respond to the invitation to give our lives completely and totally to God.

Will I be able to study or take classes in the future?

Sisters have the opportunity to continue their education. We take opportunities to attend workshops, professional training and lectures on topics that interest us. New members who have not had classes in theology are encouraged to take classes in Scripture or Sacraments.

Will I have a choice about the areas of ministry where I would like to serve?

A sister looks for a ministry that is in keeping with abilities, educational background and skills. She enters into a dialogue with the leadership of the province to assist in this choice.

Can I maintain relationships with family and friends?

Yes, you are encouraged to keep these relations and continue to be in contact with family and friends. They are an important part of your life and you need to stay connected. And they need you, too!

Here are some basic questions to ask yourself in the process of discernment:

  • How do I seek God in my everyday life?
  • What do I desire for my life? What do I long for? What am I searching for?
  • Do I know what my purpose in life is? For what do I have passion?
  • Do the needs of the world concern me?
  • What kind of clues has God given me as to the life choice I am called to live?
  • Am I happy to be with others and when I am alone?
  • Do I know my gifts, my interests, my talents, my limitations, my likes and dislikes? What would I bring to community and ministry?
  • Do I see myself as serving others? How?
  • Do I have healthy relationships? Do I seek opportunities to be of service to others?
  • Am I able to process my thoughts and feelings?

You may find this prayer helpful in discovering your vocation.