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The Process of Becoming a Sister


A woman interested in becoming a sister must first contact S. Kathy Slesar, Vocations Director by calling 262-898-4083 or filling out our inquiry form.



The application process begins after you have spoken with our Vocations Director.  The process could take a few months as there are multiple steps in the process.  After all of the steps are completed (physical application, interviews, etc.), the executive Committee determines if the applicant will be accepted into candidacy.



Upon acceptance into the congregation, an applicant becomes a Candidate and is formerly accepted in a Welcoming Ritual (Rite of Welcome).  The woman will meet with a formation director and they will discuss and establish her entry date.

The period of candidacy is ordinarily not less than one year nor longer than two years.  A decision to terminate candidacy can be freely made by the candidate, or by the executive committee in consultation with the formation director.


The goals of Candidacy are:

  • To learn more about life in a vowed community, and the Racine Dominican community in particular
  • To assess her capacity and desire to live as a member of the Racine Dominican community
  • To allow the community to ascertain her capacity to live and minister within the Racine Dominican community
  • To experience community living with the sisters
  • To further develop theological study
  • To continue to develop self awareness
  • To provide opportunities for service and responsibility


The structure of the candidacy program includes:
  • Participation in formation-sponsored activities
  • Time set aside regularly for prayer and reflection
  • Meeting with the formation director on a regular basis
  • Full participation in the life of the local community
  • Participation in the life and events of the broader community, such as community meetings, assemblies, funerals, etc.
  • Volunteer service at Siena Center and in the city
  • Involvement in inter-community programs
  • Study program – dependent on the needs of the individual candidate





The Rite of Entrance into the Novitiate occurs upon completion of candidacy and with formal acceptance from the executive committee with the recommendation of the formation director. 


The novitiate stage is a two year immediate preparation for living as a vowed member of the community.  One of these years, considered the canonical year, is devoted primarily to prayer, study, reflection and experience in community life and ministry.  The design of the other year is directed to what is needed for the completion of each individual novice’s preparation.  The novitiate preparation is tailored to the novice’s specific needs and interests. 

During this phase of the process, a sister will often resign from previous employment in order to fully immerse into the community and lifestyle.


A decision to terminate participation in the formation program can be freely made by the novice, or by the executive committee in consultation with the formation director.


Temporary Profession/First Vows

Upon completion of the novitiate and after mutual discernment by the novice and the community, the novice may request to be incorporated by profession as a member or the congregation.

Profession is celebrated publicly.  The vow is received by a member of the executive committee or by their delegate in the name of the congregation and the church, with an expression of the mutuality of the c commitment.  The written form of the profession is signed by the person making the vow, the person receiving the vow, and two witnesses.  Sisters are given their community ring at this ceremony.

The total period of temporary profession is to be at least three years and is not to exceed six years.

A sister will now resume or begin a ministry

During the years from her initial to her permanent profession, a member is assisted by a mentor, a permanently professed sister who will maintain a continuing relationship with her to:

  • Reflect with her on issues such as community living, mission and ministry, spirituality, personal growth and study;
  • Facilitate and review with the executive committee the evaluations of her local community;

  • Facilitate and participate in her approach to permanent profession.

The sister will participate in a mentor program where she will be given a mentor and a mentor group with whom she meets with monthly to discuss how she is acclimating to life within the community.  This program ensures that sisters have a support system in her first years as a professed sister.


Permanent Profession/Final Vows

After dialogue with her local community and mentor, a sister in temporary profession who wishes to begin the process which will culminate in permanent profession, makes a formal request to the executive committee.  The executive committee responds to her request.

Upon making her Permanent Profession, a Sister will be fully incorporated into the community, she will continue her ministry.

If you are interested in learning more about becoming a sister, check out the following pages:

A day in the life of a sister

The process


Meet some of our sisters