If you are considering this step, the Little Company of Mary can guide you through your many options on the road to becoming a Sister.
Those drawn to a religious life often describe a special concern for the suffering and dying. They also feel courage and a steadfast passion to reach out to others and bring goodness and justice to their lives.
At the Little Company of Mary, we are women called from all walks of life, who freely choose to live within the community. We are bonded by common prayer, a simple lifestyle, a vowed commitment to the vision of our Foundress (Venerable Mary Potter), and the mission of the church.
We live out this mission in different ways.
As an order, we are focussed on working with refugees; in health, palliative and pastoral care; university work; partnership in health projects; providing support for the aged; and constant prayer for the dying.
To guide you through the stages of becoming a sister, we’ve prepared some information below to assist you in making the right personal decision.
Women interested in the life of the Little Company of Mary Sisters (enquirers) are accompanied on their journey and given spiritual direction. This enables reflection and integration of your own life experience. Regular contact with a vocation minister will help you discover how and where the Spirit of God is leading you. We are willing to help with that journey by sharing our mission and how it is lived out as a member of the Little Company of Mary.
When you and the vocation minister agree the call to the Little Company of Mary way of life is appropriate, you are invited to make an application. Now, you will have the opportunity to further discover our lifestyle through correspondence, phone calls, and visits with the Sisters for prayer. We offer ‘Come and See’ days throughout the week for you to further experience the Little Company of Mary. During this time, your vocation minister will be on hand to accompany you through the discernment process.
Once you have completed the application, and been accepted by the region leader to continue in the process, you are considered a pre-candidate.
When the enquirer has discerned that the life of a Little Company of Mary Sister is suitable for them, they begin the Formation process. The first stage of Formation is the Candidacy, a time in which a woman explores and deepens her basic understanding of religious life. This is experienced through living in the community, which will introduce you to the Little Company of Mary charism and spirituality. You will continue to work in your chosen profession during this time. This period of Formation can take from between six months and two years. Opportunities will be provided for you to study scripture, the Charism and history of the Little Company of Mary; experience the Little Company of Mary ministry; meet regularly with a spiritual director; further develop your personal calling; and begin preparation for the Novitiate.
Following successful candidacy, you are received into the Novitiate. This is a more intense period of discernment when you engage in prayer; study the vows; minister with other novices; engage in an in-depth study of the life, mission and spirit of the congregation; and continue to live in our community. The two-year Novitiate includes a canonical year and an apostolic year with more ministerial involvement. Time at the Novitiate is spent at the International Novitiate House in Manila, Philippines. At the end of the Novitiate, those who are successful make Temporary Profession.
Upon completion of the Novitiate, you will become a member of the community by making your First Profession of the vows of chastity, poverty and obedience. Temporary Profession lasts for a period of three to six years. During this time, you are in full-time ministry, or studies, while continuing your discernment. This is a time for continued development, integrating community, prayer, ministry and Little Company of Mary spirituality as you prepare for Perpetual Profession.
After completion of a period of time as a Temporary Professed, you make Perpetual Profession, or Final Vows, as a Sister of the Little Company of Mary.
We are here to journey with you, to listen, and to answer any questions you may have.
Asking questions doesn’t mean you are making a commitment. We are ready to help you discover the next steps in your journey, wherever it may take you. Your privacy and anonymity will always be respected.
If you would like more information about becoming a Sister, we'd love to talk to you.