Five Formation Steps

Five steps to an intentional and patient transition into religious life.

Formation is an intentional and prayerful process to experience religious life. Women spend six to seven years gradually walking through the five steps of religious life with the Sisters of St. Mary of Oregon.

Step 1 – Spend time with us

Sisters at Gala
Sisters Rita Rose, Juana, Thanh, and Juanita enjoy attending the VCS Gala together.

The first step is to spend time with the Sisters.

All women who are feeling called to religious life are encouraged to contact us and come explore life with us in community, prayer, spirituality, and ministry.

Step 2 – Become a Candidate

Second step is to become a Candidate.

A candidate spends six months to one year living in community with the Sisters. She builds relationships with the Sisters, serves alongside them and prays with them while receiving encouragement and instruction.

A Sister holding a candle during Mass.

Step 3 – Become a Novice

Srs. Thanh and Charlene
Sr. Thanh receives encouragement from Sr. Charlene

The third step is to become a Novice.

As a novice, a woman spends two years in deep prayer and study learning about the depth and breadth of the vows to live in community and preparing for ministry with the Sisters of St. Mary of Oregon.

Step 4 – Temporary Vows

The fourth step is Temporary Vows.

Once a woman professes her temporary vows, she spends the next five years living in community under her temporary vows of poverty, chastity and obedience. At this point, she is sharing in the full ministry of the Sisters and discerning her lifetime commitment to religious life with the Sisters.

Temporary Vows
Sisters Charlene Herinckx and Maria Tran are all smiles during a reception.

Step 5 – Perpetual Vows

Sr. Alison Green makes her perpetual vows.

The fifth step is Perpetual Vows.

After a woman lives the vowed life for five years, she is prepared to make her commitment permanent as a Sister of St. Mary of Oregon who lives simply and serves God joyfully.

Ready to learn more?

Connect with our Vocations Director, Sister Charlene Herinckx at [email protected], to learn more about discernment and to request prayers from our Sisters about your calling.

Sisters Clare Vandecoevering, Julie Doan, Theresa Ann Bunker, Patricia Lulay, and Juana Gutierrez have a laugh together during Jubilee.