First Steps

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Where do I begin? So you think you may be called to religious life, and you’re ready to explore the possibilities. Wonderful! We’re excited to share with you the many helps and programs that we offer for women, like yourself, who want to know more about religious life.

If you’re a single Catholic woman, age 18–40, or a high school girl, 15–17, you’re welcome to inquire about religious life and our Benedictine community. On these pages, you’ll find lots of information to help you along the way. Know that we’re here to walk with you. We’d be happy to answer your questions, send you information and a DVD about our community, and welcome you to our monastery for a visit.

Inquiry Stage

The Inquiry Stage is the first step in your decision-making process—your discernment. This stage is open to women and girls ages 15–40. You’ll learn more about monastic life and how our monastic community is different from other religious communities that are apostolic, contemplative, or cloistered.

Here are some ways to keep in touch with us during the Inquiry Stage:

  • Receive our vocation newsletter called God’s Time.
  • Keep in contact with the vocation director through letters or electronically.
  • Have a Sister Prayer Partner.
  • Attend our Come & See events, or visit at other times if the scheduled dates don’t work.
  • Receive a visit—the vocation director will let you know if she is traveling near your home.

Here’s what we can do for you during the Inquiry Stage: 

  • Regularly keep in touch throughout your journey. 
  • Tell you about our community through phone calls and mailings. 
  • Invite you to visit the monastery for a Come & See Weekend/Week. 
  • Provide prayer support by matching you with a Sister Prayer Partner
  • Recommend recent articles and books to help you become more knowledgeable about religious life and our Benedictine values. 

Here’s what you can do during the Inquiry Stage: 

  • Stay in communication with us to the degree you are comfortable. 
  • Make an effort to keep in contact with the vocation director and visit the monastery. 
  • Continue gathering information that will help you with your discernment.
  • Ask any questions about our community or religious life.
  • Indicate, on a yearly basis, your level of interest in continuing as an inquirer with our community. 

 

Affiliate Stage 

The Affiliate Stage is for women 18–40 who have been in regular communication with our community and who want to discern more seriously the call to monastic life as a Ferdinand Benedictine. This deeper step in your discernment will include all the “perks” offered in the Inquiry Stage as well as other possibilities. A woman in the Inquiry Stage may ask to move on to the Affiliate Stage, or the vocation director may suggest moving to the Affiliate Stage to someone who has been in regular contact for a while.

Here are some ways to keep in touch with us during the Affiliate Stage:

  • Use the ways listed in the Inquiry Stage.
  • Receive occasional phone calls from the vocation director.
  • Be a part of our Companion Program.
  • Receive a visit—the vocation director will make every effort to come visit you.

Here’s what we can do for you during the Affiliate Stage: 

  • Offer support through regular communication with the vocation director and sisters. 
  • Provide additional educational and discernment opportunities, including Come & See Weekends/Weeks and the Companion Program.
  • Guide you through the steps of application if you request entrance into our community. 

 

Here’s what you can do during the Affiliate Stage: 

  • Make your request to enter into more serious discernment with the Ferdinand Benedictines. 
  • Participate in the Companion Program
  • Meet regularly with the vocation director and visit the monastery.
  • Stay in communication with other sisters in the community to the degree you are able and comfortable. 
  • Discern with the vocation director your readiness to begin the application process.