Community

Becoming a Sister

Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet direct their whole person and life toward the fulfillment of the mission of Jesus, bringing all persons to freedom and oneness in God. Their public vows of chastity, obedience, and poverty challenge Sisters to live simply, love inclusively, and listen attentively in and among their communities of Sisters, Consociates, family, friends, neighbors, and Earth. Sometimes people experience a call to religious life as something tugging at their hearts or desires. Other times it grows slowly, indirectly, out of a comment or an invitation to consider religious life. It can manifest itself as a sense of joy in certain situations. All of these are valid signs of a call and are explored within the context of community. There are no easy answers when you’re trying to figure out what to do with your life, and it takes a lot of prayer and discernment. It’s a good idea to find a spiritual director who can help you sort it all out, or call our membership office and discuss. In the meantime, here are a few questions to think and pray about.
  • What images do I have in my mind about religious life or being a Sister?
  • How do I picture myself living as a Sister? What kind of work do I see myself doing?
  • Why am I thinking about a religious community?
  • How is my prayer-life? Am I involved in a parish or small faith community? What does it mean to deepen my relationship with God?
  • What am I looking for in community?
  • What is my understanding about my sexuality? Can I be celibate?
  • How do I handle or feel about money/possessions? Can I live within a budget?
  • Does my participation in mission, spirituality, and activities of the Sisters of St. Joseph energize me?
  • How does my spirit resonate with the core beliefs of the Sisters of St. Joseph
Spend some time meditating on these questions. Pray with them. Talk them over with your friends and family, and with your spiritual director. We welcome your call as you consider these questions. Please contact us Jill Underdahl, CSJ, at junderdahl@csjstpaul.org or 651-696-2873.

The Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet commit to continuing Jesus’ mission in the world by responding to the needs of our time. In the spirit of the Gospel, we work toward right relationships with God, persons, creation and Earth.

We strive to foster the common good through advocacy, creative arts, education, healthcare, social service, and spirituality.

Strength for this mission comes from fidelity to community, prayer, our practice of “sharing the heart,” and celebrating the rituals of church and community.

Following are some documents and statements that guide and inspire Sisters in living our mission:

  • Gospels: Early Christian communities’ recordings of Jesus’ mission and teaching.
  • Foundational Scripture of our mission and spirituality:
    Matthew 5
    Philippians 2.1-18 – “In your minds you must be the same as Jesus.” 
    Ephesians 3.14-20 – “Glory be to this Source of Power who in working in us can do infinitely more than we can ask or imagine.”
  • Acts of Chapter set direction for Carondelet Congregation: Call us to Communion with Each Other, Neighbor, Church, and Creation
  • The Constitution of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet directs Sisters’ lives, organization, and membership. The Constitution offers a framework for Sisters to live mission and teaching of Jesus.
  • Consensus Statement of the Sisters of St. Joseph
  • Sisters’ vows are public vows of chastity, poverty, and obedience.

1. Period of Inquiry

This is an intentional time for you and the community to become acquainted with one another. You will receive invitations to community gatherings such as liturgical celebrations, lectures and discussions, prayer days, retreats and social events. You will also regularly meet with others who are learning more about the community. During this time, it is important to meet with a spiritual director.

2. Period of Candidacy

While you continue to work at your place of employment, you will have an opportunity to live, pray and share life with Sisters and others who associate with the community. You will continue to participate in the variety of experiences of prayer, liturgy, learning, and socializing that occur in the community.

You will cultivate a relationship with a Sister who will companion you during your discernment. You will also meet with the Sister-Candidacy program coordinator. You may also live one- to two-years in community.

3. Period of Novitiate

After applying and interviewing for the novitiate program, expect twelve to twenty-four months of deepening personal and communal prayer as well as studying scripture, liturgy, the community’s Constitution, vowed membership, and the social teachings of the Church. You also spend time working in some of our ministries. The novitiate period concludes with the first profession of vows.

4. Temporary Profession

This period begins with the first profession of vows. Continue your communal, spiritual and professional growth over a period of three- to six-years, you and the community continue to discern your calling to make a lifelong commitment as a Sister of St. Joseph.

CSJ Way

Friday, January 19 | 6:30-9pm
In-person at the Carondelet Center and online via Zoom

An information session with the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet, Consociates and other forms of affiliation. Come learn and pray with this community steeped in spirituality and justice. Explore our history and current ministries as well as a wide range of opportunities for deeper connection and growth.

Contact Andrea Pearson Tande at aptande@csjstpaul.org for more information.

Please contact Jill Underdahl in the membership office to discuss your interests and questions.