Formal Application to the Community – Candidacy
The next step in becoming a nun is to make a formal application to join the community. Sometimes this is call the pre-novitiate or postulancy. The Ursulines now refer to the woman as a candidate so we call this step in the process the candidacy. The candidacy lasts between six months and two years. You could compare this to “being engaged.” This is a time of serious planning with the intention of actually entering into the novitiate.
How is this done? You start by writing a letter stating your desire to join the community. The vocation director will also make arrangements for you to meet with the leadership of the community.
What makes this stage different from Precandidacy? The most important difference is that you live with the community, either at the Motherhouse or in a local convent. You are expected to participate in all aspects of the life of the community.
That being said, a candidate is not yet a member of the community. She is responsible for all her own expenses during candidacy.
The candidate has the opportunity to really live life as an Ursuline Sister. The candidate joins in the community’s prayer life, both common prayer and Eucharist. She continues to nurture her own personal prayer and relationship to God. Hopefully, the candidate gradually makes the transition to interdependence and accountability in a communal setting. She develops a rhythm of prayer and ministry along with all the small responsibilities of living with others.
Candidacy can end at any time if either the candidate or the Ursuline Sisters decides to bring it to an end. If she wants to move on, the next stage is the novitiate.