Our Style of Formation (Project of Formation)
The primary objective of formation is to prepare the person called by the Lord to pronounce her “yes” ever more freely and fully, taking upon herself the joy and the struggle of daily faithfulness to the project of God, that is revealed to her gradually.
Stages of Formation
I) Come and See program
Girls who have the desire to begin their journey of formation are invited for a period of three months to experience the life they want to embrace. This is usually after completing High School. After three months, the girls go back home and are asked to apply to be admitted as Postulants
The young woman that has very closely examined her vocational intention and desires to begin the formation in our religious life is accepted in the postulate. This is the time in which the young woman is helped to discover the deepest reasons of her own vocation, to mature the clarity of the call of God, to give her response through the experience of prayer, fraternal and apostolic life. Postulants wear a gray or blue skirt, white blouse and a San Damiano crucifix. During this period Postulants have lessons on Holy Scripture about vocation in the Old and New Testament, Vocation of the Founders, Brief history of the missions of our institute, study the constitution, documents of the church, Liturgical formation, Franciscan sources, and inter personal relationships.
This is the beginning or starting point on which the rest of the journey of religious life is based, like the roots of a tree or the foundation of a house. For this reason the young woman begins this formative stage only when she has firmly decided to take up our form of life. The young woman takes a personal responsibility to the demands of following of Christ chaste, poor and obedient in total self-giving according to the charism of our Institute. Novices wear a gray habit without a veil and a San Damiano crucifix. During this stage the Novices have lessons on the image of Chris in the Gospels, Franciscan sources, our Rule and the current constitution, texts from constitution of our Founders, Church documents, and Church documents on religious and missionary life and a deeper understanding of prayer. The Novices are sent into different communities to experience community life for a period of three to six months.
Juniorate is the formative period between simple and final profession. It is characterized by the experience of consecration to God as a consecrated Franciscan missionary sister of Assisi, in profession of the evangelical counsels and in the sign of fraternal life. Above all, community life is very important during this stage. This period offers to the sister and to the very Institute the possibility to verify the consistency of life based on the choice made, in view of final profession. During this stage, the young sister, while continuing in the already set up journey of faith, deepen and strengthen their formation in order to come to a greater awareness of their own religious identity, in order to assume the mission of the institute with ever more responsibility. After a period of three to a maximum of nine years, the young sister can apply to commit her life to God for life. Junior sisters like finally professed sisters wear a gray or black habit with a crucifix.
V) Finally Professed Sister
At this stage the young sister continues the journey of faith as one who has given her life to God for life. The journey of formation continues to help the sister integrate creativity with faithfulness because religious vocation demands dynamic growth and fidelity in the concrete circumstances of life. This requires a spiritual formation which gives special attention to the daily events in personal life as well as in the life of the world.