Steps on the Journey to Becoming a Sister

Becoming a Sister, (a vowed member of a religious congregation) involves a process of  discernment during which a woman experiencing the call of the Holy Spirit and with the support of a spiritual director and the help of the congregation discovers where God is calling her in life. The process is an “adventure with God” where a woman is enabled to grow ever more fully into the person God created her to be.

A woman who desires to become a Sister of St. Joseph begins the process through contacting the Vocation Director or another Sister. There follows an initial time of inquiry as the woman comes to know the Congregation better. The length of this period of inquiry is variable and is designed to fit each woman’s particular circumstances and needs. At the end the time of inquiry the woman completes an application process guided and supported by the Vocation Director.

Life among us involves a period of initial formation. This formation is designed to nurture human development, deepen relationship with God through prayer, understanding and practice of the vowed life, growth in the gifts and spirituality of the congregation and readiness for full participation in our life and mission.

Candidate Stage

  • A period of time (ordinarily 1-2 years) when the candidate begins to share the life of the Congregation of the Sisters of St. Joseph.
  • A time of continuing discernment with the Congregation as the woman seeks to know more clearly God’s will in her life.
  • An opportunity to deepen relationship with God through prayer, sharing the mission of Jesus,  growing in community living and the spirituality and work of the Sisters of St. Joseph.


  • A two year period of continuing discernment of call.
  • “Sabbath time” – as the woman deepens her relationship with God, intensifies her life of prayer and the living out of the life of a Sister of St. Joseph, learning more of the spirituality of the Sisters and of religious life and fostering human development.
  • The novitiate includes a focused time for prayer, study and reflection with limited ministry commitment.

Initial Profession of Vows

  • Following novitiate, a Sister professes initial vows of poverty, celibate chastity and obedience for a period of three to six years.
  • She shares in full time ministry and/or participates in study and preparation for ministry.
  • This is a time in which the Sister more deeply integrates Gospel values, prayer and action and the spirit and spirituality of the Sisters of St. Joseph into her life.
  • The years of initial profession continue to involve ongoing discernment as the Sister moves toward profession of lifelong vows as a Sister of St. Joseph.

Perpetual Vows

Through a lifelong commitment to live the vows of poverty, celibate chastity and obedience a Sister dedicates herself freely and joyfully to God, to inclusive and reconciling love in community, as together with her Sisters, she serves in the Church and a world in need.

Contact Us

If you are a single, Roman Catholic woman who desires to explore life  with us as a Sister of St. Joseph please feel welcome to contact our Vocation Director, Sister Mary Rowell: or call 905-372-2741. We look forward to hearing from you.