Different stages of SCJM formation
It might interest you to know the different stages of our formation:
It is a time when the young women come to know the Congregation through contacts made with the sisters or through life shared in a SCJM community. Through this mutual relationship they are able to discern their vocation and to verify if they have the necessary qualities and aptitudes to begin the process of formation in the SCJM Congregation. During this period some of them may be either working or studying but they maintain regular contact with the aspirant Mistress.
Postulancy is a period when the aspirants who entered into contact with the Congregation continue the process of discernment of the authenticity of their call to religious life, their choice, aptitudes and suitability for the life of the Sisters of Charity of Jesus and Mary. “It is a time for progressive spiritual and psychological adaptation with a view to entering religious life”. It is normally for one to two years.
The Novitiate is a stage of probation and formation and it marks the entry into religious life. It initiates the novice to the essential demands of religious life and the life of the Congregation. It allows the novices, in dialogue with the mistress of novices, to discern whether her aptitudes for the life of a Sister of Charity and her underlying motivations will enable her to find happiness in responding to God’s call.
Normally the Novitiate has duration of two years: the canonical year and the pastoral year. The pastoral year provides various activities and experiences for the novices to participate in the life and mission of the Congregation.
The Congregation has novitiates in different countries. In addition, we also have two Inter-Provincial Novitiates: the Inter African novitiate in Mali and the Inter Asian Novitiate in the Philippines. They are started to promote the spirit of solidarity within the Congregation and its multi-cultural and missionary dimension.
At the end of the novitiate, after a process if discernment if the novice is ready and the Congregation finds her suitable, she makes her First Profession.
Juniorate is the last stage of initial formation. It is a period when the young sisters become active members of a regular community, where they live out their commitment through the three dimensions of the life of a Sister of Charity of Jesus and Mary and bear genuine witness to the Gospel values through the quality of their life and ministry. It allows the young sisters to grow in their consecrated life as SCJM women, to be fully engaged in the life and mission of the congregation and to continue forming themselves to commit themselves finally through perpetual profession. The duration of the juniorate varies from 3-6 years and may not exceed 9 years. At the end of this period of preparation, the young Sister makes her Final Commitment as a Sister of Charity of Jesus and Mary.
During the course of her juniorate, if the young Sister finds it difficult to live this way of life, she is free to leave after having discerned it with those responsible for her in the Congregation.
The on-going process of formation is a life-long process where we continue to search, to discern and to determine our call to the radical following of Christ in the given circumstances of today. The goal is to prepare ourselves to become mature and integrated women who embody the charism and the gospel values as fully and as totally as possible in our own uniqueness. It enables us to be rooted in Christ and to commit ourselves to the mission of revealing God’s merciful love, as fully fledged members of the Congregation, with a preferential option for the poor of our times, to whom we are sent. The Formative journey is a progressive journey of TRANSFORMATION of the whole person, heart, mind and spirit.