Do you wear habits?
Our constitutions describe our attire as being “simple and expressive of our vowed life.” Our constitutions call us to wear the formal brown dress or suit and the congregation cross on specified occasions. Some of our Sisters wear the brown habit and veil daily; others prefer more contemporary dress.
Is there an age requirement?
This is flexible but in general we recommend ages 20-45 for entrance.
Is there any educational requirement to become a Sister?
Because God’s people deserve the best service that we can offer, we need to be fully prepared for our chosen ministry. We expect at least a high school education with the willingness and capacity to engage in further education.
What about college loans and other debts?
Educational debts and student loans are considered separately, but debts other than student loans must be satisfied prior to candidacy, if possible. However, we encourage women to not let financial debts prevent them beginning the discernment process.
Do I have to be Catholic?
Yes, to be a professed Sister, you will need to be a baptized and practicing Catholic. If you are in the inquiry process (RCIA), you can begin the initial conversations regarding membership.
How often can you visit your family and friends?
It is always a challenge to balance our responsibilities to our prayer, ministry, community and vow of poverty with our desire to spend time with family and friends. Visits typically are shorter and more frequent when we live close to our family. When we live at a distance, our visits are less frequent but longer.
Would I have to move from where I live?
We are frequently called to minister in different locations as the need arises. During the first year as a novice, you would participate in a Collaborative Carmelite Novitate.
Do you have your own spending money (cars, bank accounts, vacations)?
We have the opportunity each year to budget for our needs, both personally and professionally. These matters are covered in the annual budget, which must be approved by congregational leadership. The vow of poverty that we take as professed Sisters determines that everything we have is held in common. We are committed to simplicity of life, and share with one another the basic necessities of our common life.
Do you accept people who have been married?
Yes, we do accept women in our congregation who were formerly married. You would need to produce the necessary documents establishing that you are canonically free to enter religious life; death certificate of spouse, or civil divorce decree, and decree of nullity.
Do you have to be a virgin to become a sister?
No, a woman is not required to be a virgin before becoming a sister. She does, however, need to demonstrate that she is able to live healthily and happily as a celibate woman before serious consideration of entrance.
For the “Top 10 Questions Parents Often Ask about Church Vocations” contact the National Religious Vocation Conference at 773.363.5454 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org