Are you thinking about becoming a Cistercian nun?
Criteria: Are you seeking God?
Age: Women who are between 25 – 45 years
Health: The life requires good health both of body and mind
Community Living: We live in a general atmosphere of quiet peace with a balance of solitude and community, the ability to live and work together is essential.
Responsibilities: To be free of debt and responsibilities
An ability to change and grow: To live happily in community requires maturity and a sense of humour
Converts: We welcome converts who have lived their faith for 2 - 3 years within the catholic tradition before seeking monastic life.
From Enquiry to Solemn Profession
Getting to know each other
Write to the Vocations Sister
If after some communications both you and the vocation sister feels that this is a possible vocation to this house then the next step is to visit the guesthouse.
At the end of the visit there will be a clear indication that this may be the place to seek to fulfil God’s call.
If this is for you there will be further visits and an opportunity to discuss the experience and the next stage.
One option might be a live-in, that is a month’s stay living with the sisters inside the monastery. This is a more structured visit; you will gain a fuller experience of life at Holy Cross Abbey. There will be a review at the end of the visit. If the experience has gone well, with both you and the community feeling that God’s call is a Cistercian vocation to this community, this will be said.
Entering the Community and starting initial formation
This is a formal process governed by the Constitutions and Statutes of the Cistercian Nuns of the Strict Observance and by Canon Law.
The stages and time frames
You live and work as part of the community and wear your own clothes. Postulancy is a year to eighteen months.
Receiving the Habit of the Novice. Noviciate lasts 2 years.
Temporary Profession vows are made for three years and the sister is then clothed in the habit of a Junior.
The vows are Stability, Conversion & Obedience which are made for life.
Stability ‘By the vow of stability within her community a sister obliges herself to make constant us of the means of the spiritual craft there, trusting in the providence of God who has called her to this place and to this group of sisters’ (Constitution 9).
Conversion The vow of conversion means fidelity to monastic life; 'a sister who, in the simplicity of her heart, seeks God by following the Gospel, binds herself to the practice of Cistercian discipline. She retains nothing at all for herself, not even authority over her own body. She renounces the capacity of acquiring and possessing goods for herself. For the sake of the Kingdom of heaven, she makes profession of perfect continence and celibacy.’ (Constitution 10).
Obedience ‘By the vow of obedience a sister desiring to live under a rule and an abbess promises to fulfil all that lawful superiors command in accordance with these Constitutions. In thus renouncing her own will she follows the example of Christ who was obedient until death, and commits herself to the school of the Lord’s service’ (Constitution 11).
Holy Cross Abbey