||A candidate is one who is in the first stage of becoming a member of
a religious community. This period of initial formation usually last for
a period of six months to two years.
||All baptized persons are called to be chaste, caring and responsible
in their love for each other. By the vow of celibacy a person chooses not
to marry and refrains from sexual activity as a means of freeing themselves
for sharing love in service to others and to witnessing to the coming of
God's kingdom. Men and women who vow celibate chastity commit themselvesto
love in a single-hearted way, letting God's love for them and their love
for God be the center and source of their love for others. They witness
to others the way God loves us: freely, unconditionally, and faithfully.
The vow of celibate chastity frees a person to be creative, and to use
their energy for loving in a life of service. Prayer, community, and friendship
are supports for the person who is called to live the charism of celibate
||A charism is a gift of the Holy Spirit given to an individual or to a
community of person to be used for the good and service of others, and
to help to bring about the Reign of God.
||Contemplation is the prayerful awareness of the Presence of God in the
depths of oneself, in others, and in the world. It is the ability ot see,
with eyes of faith, all things in God.
||A contemplative person is one whose life is guided by their awareness
of God's Presence. A member of a contemplative religious community while
not engaged in direct service to others prayers for others and witnesses
to the coming fulfillment of God's love in the world.
||A convenant is a sacred bond which seals a relationship of love between
is the prayerful process through which we try to decide
literally means "service." It refers to specific roles, tasks, and works
of service designated by the Church to assist in the fulfillment of its
of the Church is that for which the Church as been "sent" in the name
and Spirit of Jesus. It is it's purpose, which is to proclaim the Gospel
in Word, in Sacrament, in witness, and in service. The mission of a religious
congregation is the more particular purpose for which a particular group
of persons is "sent" in the name of the mission of the Church. It is
that group's expression of a part of the whole mission of the Church,
for which that group exists.
the obligaion of evangelization and spreading faith to the people who
do not know Christ is part of the vocation of every Christian disciple,
some persons are called in a unique way and make it the task of their
lives to "preach to the nations." A missionary is a person who chooses
to undertake missionary work in a native or foreign place, and is sent
by the Church to be a minister of the Gospel. A missionary can be a priest,
a vowed religious, or a lay person.
||A mystery is a reality or truth imbued with the Presence
is a person who has begun in a more formal way, life in a particular
congregation. This time in intial formation, called the Novitiate, is
a time of intense spiritual formation. It is an opportunity for the novice
and the community to better grow in an understanding of their vocation,
both to the vowed way of life, and to the particular community the person
is joining. The novice is introduced more fully to prayer, study of sscripture,
liturgy, the history and theology of vowed life, an understanding of
the Church, and study of the history and charism of the religious community.
Some communities have a one year period of novitiate; others have a two
||The word obedience means "to listen". All baptised persons are called
to listen in order to know God's Will, God's desire for their lives. And
to really listen means to live according to what one hears. Every person
is called to hear and to do the Will of God. Persons who make a vow of
obedience commit themselves to listen to God's Will revealed in a special
way in the community to which they belong, in order that the community
can carry out its mission in the Church. A community of vowed religious
men or women choose leaders, sometimes called superiors, to guide the community
in this process of listening to and being faithful to God's Will, which
||All baptized persons are called to a reverent appreciation and use of
creation. Those in vowed religious life make a vow of poverty, free committing
themselves to live simply in spirit and in fact, to share all things in
common, and to use what they have for carrying out their mission in the
is a person who is in the initial affiliation process, preparing to join
a particular religious community. During this timethe person and the
community discern the person's call to the community, and become acquainted
with each other.
refers to the act of making vows. By profession, sisters, brothers or
religious priests commit themselves to live the vows of celibate chastity,
poverty and obedience, making a total consecration of their lives to
is a word used to describe an attitude of seeing reality from the perspective
of the action and Presence of God and of responding to God's Presence
and action by the way one lives.
the baptized share a common relationship with God, all are religious.
However, some men and women choose to live a particular lifestyle called
"religious life." These persons join a community of people who live out
a specific charism, patterned after the life of the community's founder
or foundress. Religious make vows of celibate chastity, poverty and
obedience, live together in a community, and commit themselves to prayer
formation, the processs through which we are all transformed into Christ,
begins in Baptism and continues through the whole of our lives. "Religious
formation" refers to that particular time in the life of a person preparing
for the ordained and vowed ways of life during which they are initiated
into that particular way of life. It is a time of more intense and concentrated
"training" for ministry, and for living a particular lifestyle in the
is a lay woman who is a member of a religious community of vowed women
in the Church.
is created by God out of love, and is called to live in relationship
with God by loving God, self, others and all of creation. In Baptism
and Confirmation all Christians are called to follow Jesus Christ. This
call to follow Jesus leads people to various paths in life: single life,
married life, diaconate, vowed life of a sister, brother or priest, and
diocesan priesthood. These are the particular ways Christians live out
the call to holiness and service.
||A vow is
a deliberate, free, public and solemn promise. Married persons make vows
to commit themselves to love each other. Religious sisters, brothers
and priests make vows to God to commit themselves to live wholly for
God, by loving God and serving God's people.