Steps 2B a DSMP

First a young woman contacts the Sister who serves as Vocation Director of the religious community. She communicates with this Sister, who will offer help and guidance. She may visit or participate in a "Come & See" Retreat as she begins the first steps of discernment.

After a young woman has made this initial discernment through prayer and guidance she asks to enter into the formal formation process of the Daughters of St. Mary of Providence. This begins a time of deepening the call that she felt. There are a number of stages (listed below) through which she passes as this call is heard and understood with greater clarity. With each stage of formation she seeks to become more and more like Christ, growing in union with Him, taking on His mind and heart.


This is the first phase of the initial formation during which the candidate deepens one’s Christian life, experiences community life and commits oneself actively in the life of the Church, as she begins to become acquainted with the spirit of the Congregation. She is oriented to her new surroundings, becomes familiar with the ministry of the house and follows a schedule that includes prayers in common, study and ministry in the house. The focus in this stage is that of human formation and verification of God’s call through a deeper personal relationship with Jesus Christ. This first phase is a minimum of six months.


“The Postulancy offers the candidate adequate time and place for a gradual human, emotional and spiritual development” (DSMP Constutions #70). This stage of formation does not have a fixed duration. A minimum period of one year is suggested. This stage is an opportunity to deepen the sense of being called by God and it is an invitation to respond to this call through conversion and a willingness to be formed, as the Postulant seeks to grow in living an authentic Christian life, in preparation for the experience of religious life.


Novitiate: This two year period has as its goal the growth in discipleship of Christ and an understanding of the spirituality of the Daughters of St. Mary of Providence. Novices spend time in prayer, study and experiences in the various ministries of the Sisters. The study is aimed at learning more about the spirituality of the Founder, St. Louis Guanella, the rule of the DSMP Sisters, the history of the Congregation and growth in knowledge of oneself, one's relationship with Jesus and with others.

Twelve months of this time are called the canonical year and are spent in the novitiate house. This time includes additional times of silence, prayer and formation study. In the second year, apostolic and formative experiences may be provided in Communities of the Congregation to foster growth toward a harmonious unity of life .

At the end of the Novitiate, the novice prepares to profess her first Vows of Chastity, Poverty and Obedience for a period of one year. These are referred to as TEMPORARY VOWS.


Juniorate: This period of time lasts from five to nine years. As a Junior Sister, who has made her first Profession of Vows, she is committed to deepen her own maturation, integration and formation in view of perpetual (final) profession of the Vows of Poverty, Chastity and Obedience. She enters fully into the life of prayer and ministry of the community and seeks to solidify the foundation she has gained, as she experiences the responsibilities of the life with the Sisters.