What is a Vocation?
How do I know if I have a religious vocation? What do I do if I think I have a vocation? If you can relate to these questions, then you have some serious thinking to do!
The question of "What?"
A vocation is a call from God to dedicate one's life to Him. Not all calls are to the religious life. That is where the process of discernment or "sorting out" comes in. For some, a time away to be silent and alone, and to engage in serious praying, reveal helpful answers. For many, the help of a spiritual director or pastor, may even be more helpful. The important thing is not to ignore the call.
The question of "How?"
How do I know if I have a vocation to the Religious life? Ask questions! Attend vocation retreats! Pray and read the Word of God! Talk to a Sister or Priest ! Keep yourself open to God's inspirations! Even though God speaks uniquely to each person in the depths of one's heart, there are signs of a religious calling that can help you discern if God is inviting you to this state of life.
The question of "What to do ?"
Follow your "instinct" and check out the community and spirituality that attract you. If you are interested to know more about our religious community,contact us.
Religious life is a purposeful life. It is a life inspired by biblical hope and derives its meaning from the life of Jesus and his example. Our present Holy Father Pope Benedict XVI, presents to us the meaning of true hope which embodies our life as Religious, in his recent encyclical "Spe Salvi."
STAGES OF VOCATION
A Vocation is God’s personal call of each of us to a life of total dedication to God through living the vows in community and in service to His people. It is God’s own free choice of each of us prompted by His love.
Aspirancy is the very beginning of all, it is the answer of anyone who are called by Jesus to follow Him. Many are called but few are chosen.
Postulancy is the initial stage of formation and is generally a 6-month experience. This is a preliminary period that precedes admission to the novitiate. It is an evaluative as well as formative period in which the Institute and the postulant are provided time and oppurtunity to know each other. Classes are given on the following: Spiritual life, Community history, Carmelite Spirituality, Catechesis, Community life. If readiness for the Novitiate is ascertained, the Postulant receives her name in religion and prepares for the next phase of formation: the Novitiate.
The Postulant Director meets at least weekly with the Postulant to discuss her progress and difficulties, and to offer guidance.
Novitiate is a two-year period of time during which the Novice explores on a deeper level what it means to be a member of our Congregation. The resolve and suitability of the Novice is further discerned. There is concentration on developing a solid spiritual foundation.
The First, or Canonical Year
The Novice receives the Habit of Congregation (white tunic and a white veil.) The Sister becomes more fully acquainted with the many facets of religious life.
Classes are given on the Rule and Constitutions, the Vows of Obedience, Chastity and Poverty, Scripture, Prayer, Liturgy, Christian Doctrine, Vatican II documents, spiritual growth and development. These classes are given by the Novice Mistress and other qualified speakers.
The Second Year
The Novice continues to learn and live the spiritual and religious aspects of the life of the congregation. She learns more about the apostolate by spending time in one home of the Congregation.
If readiness and suitability of the Novice are ascertained, Sister then goes on to the next step of her religious formation "Profession of First Vows" and receive a black veil that distinguishes the Professed Sister from the Novice.
The Temporary Profession of Vows
The Temporary Profession of Vows is the stage in religious formation during which the newly Professed Sister is assigned to one of our mission houses, where she will gain further experience in integrating the spiritual and apostolic aspect of our lives as Daughters of Saint Teresa.
The Religious Vows are renewed annually before perpetual profession. The Sister continues in the active ministry of the Congregation and resides with a local community of the Daughters of Saint Teresa. The Sister continues to attend formal spiritual programs held at the Motherhouse every month. She strives to grow in union with God and in her gift of self to the Community and the Apostolate.