If you are not a competent English speaker, Pre-Candidacy is a period when you study English. Studying English is very important and must be a priority, with perceivable improvement in speaking the language. If necessary, you may be supported by the Institute in order to do this and, depending on circumstances, you may be asked to give up your job. If there are other pre-candidates, you would usually live in a group. If not, you would have regular contact with the sisters. This time also gives you a chance to know more about the Institute as well as giving the Institute time to know you a little better.
If it seems right (to you and to the Institute) to go ahead, you apply to become a candidate. This means that all the information from your original application, plus letters of recommendation from the sisters’ Admissions Advisory Committee, and from the Vocations Director, with your own letter of request, is presented to the Province Leader of the Australia and South East Asia Province who, in consultation with her Council, makes the final decision regarding admission to Candidacy
Candidacy (1 – 2 years)
Being a candidate means that you would continue to study English but you would live in community with some sisters to see if this way of life suits you. You would give up your job and you would take a much closer look at the Loreto Sisters’ life, work and spirit.
- Having a Candidacy director who will walk with you in this spiritual search
- Experience of living in a community.
- During this stage you would have some psychological testing.
- Study of Mary Ward, some scripture and basic theology, etc.
- Some Candidacy study may be done in Manila
If and when it seems right (to you and to the Institute) you apply to begin your Novitiate.
Novitiate (2 years)
The novitiate lasts two years offering a solid time of spiritual preparation, supporting you as you grow in understanding yourself and your call, and laying a deep foundation for total dedication. The Province novitiate is currently in Manila in the Philippines.
There is much instruction on prayer and on the Loreto way of life under the guidance of the novice director. At all times as a novice you are encouraged to consider your growth as a person — in self-acceptance, in contributing to community life, in relating to others with an ease and readiness which is vital to your own happiness and effectiveness as an apostle in the years to come.
- The first year of novitiate focuses on your inner spiritual journey and relationship with God. It can involve opportunities to experience areas of social outreach.
- The second year is dedicated to developing an active, apostolic spirituality. At the end of two years, should you wish and it is considered appropriate, a novice will take vows.
The heart of the novitiate experience is the making of the thirty-day retreat. This time is devoted to the Spiritual Exercises of Saint Ignatius and is usually about half-way through the first year.
Temporary Profession (6- 9 years)
At the conclusion of the two years of novitiate, if both Loreto and you are satisfied that you are really being called to the Loreto vocation, you take your First Vows (simple vows of poverty, chastity and obedience for a limited period, usually for one or two years at a time.)
In Temporary Vows, you continue to have special support and guidance, and live as a fully committed member of the group. During this time, you may be called upon to have a variety of ministries and experiences of community. You may also undertake further studies.
When you make your Final Profession, you have decided to make a life commitment. This is a decision made in consultation with those who have supported you in your journey. You have had time to explore deeply your personal, spiritual, psychological and professional maturity and have reached a truthful outcome that is right for you. You are happy and at peace with this choice.
Throughout your vocation, your personal, spiritual and professional growth will be encouraged. You will have the chance to experience many areas of the Loreto Sisters’ works and will be supported by a community of Loreto Sisters, friends and colleagues all working together with a commitment to Gospel values and the enduring vision of Mary Ward.