Stages of Formation

Clare, the delicate eighteen year old, fleeing home on the night of Palm Sunday 1212, set off without hesitation on the adventure of a new experience, believing in the Gospel as Francis showed her, and in nothing else.
—St. John Paul II

Becoming a Poor Clare

The stages of formation prepare a young woman for a life of vowed consecration to God as a Poor Clare nun.  This period of growth and transformation takes place gradually within the unfolding days and seasons of the liturgical atmosphere that shapes our life.

Step One: Postulancy
After entering the enclosure, the postulant is introduced to our daily schedule, our customs and the history and spirituality of our Order. This period of orientation helps the young woman to prayerfully discern her calling and adjust positively to life in the monastery.
Step Two: Noviceship
The noviceship begins at a private ceremony with the reception of the holy habit and religious name. These years are a time for the novice to intensify her love for Christ and to grow in her understanding of Gospel living as she studies our Rule and the vows.
Step Three: Juniorate
After professing her temporary vows, the junior sister begins to enter more fully into the life of the community in a variety of ways. She takes her turn leading the Divine Office and other prayers, and receives more responsibilities in her areas of work, whether in the kitchen, sewing, gardening or anywhere else obedience may call her.
Step Four: Solemn Profession
At the Mass of solemn profession the sister vows to live as a Poor Clare for “the whole time of her life,” and receives a silver ring and a crown of thorns, symbolic of her union with Christ Crucified. This commitment makes her a witness of Christ’s redemptive love for the world.