Pre- Candidacy or Affiliation
Once you have found a community that suits you and that is open to having you join them, the next step is Pre-Candidacy or Affiliation. This would be similar to “going steady” phase of dating. As you listen to God’s call and discover the many ways that God speaks to you and as you spend time with the Sisters, you may discover the tug and pull for something more. That tug and pull calls you to the next step in becoming a nun.
Each community has some variation about this stage, but, in general, the Pre-Candidacy or Affiliation program lasts from one to three years. The purpose is to you to discern a particular call to a particular community. During this time, you will meet personally with the vocation director on a regular basis, visit our convents in order to pray with the community, interact with the Sisters and experience some ministry with them.
The Vocation Director is a member of the community that you are considering joining. Her job is to help you get to know the community and to help the community get to know you. She’ll be the one that leads you through all the formal steps of becoming a nun. While you are relating with the vocation director, you are not under any obligation to stay with us. You may decide to look into other communities or to date someone.
Among the things you will discuss with the vocation director are these topics:
- Your spiritual life
- Your general health
- Financial matters (e.g., do you have debt? Do you own property?)
- Possibilities for ministry
The vocation director will lead you through all of these things and is there as your advocate. She’s there to encourage you, challenge you, and pray with you. Although she is the official link to the community, you are encouraged to befriend others in the community.