Pre-Novitiate is a time of "asking" what it means to be a religious, what it means to be an SCC. It is the preparation for the novitiate during which the candidate and community mutually discern the vocation. Pre-novitiate has two stages.
During the first stage, the candidate keeps contact with the community and receives spiritual guidance. When she feels a readiness to live in closer contact with the community, she writes to the provincial superior to request admission and provides the necessary documents. With this step, the second stage begins.
As a Postulant the woman lives in community and, through this experience of communal spiritual life, clarifies her motivation further and makes the gradual transition to religious life. This stage normally lasts 6 months to two years. Through a specific program of prayer, study, conferences and personal guidance she is exposed to the spirit of Blessed Pauline and the spirit of Christian Charity. Postulants may take college courses at ACS or may be assigned to a local mission for service.
The provincial superior and her council accepts postulants into the novitiate who show a readiness to continue to grow and who give well-founded evidence of their suitability for our congregation. In addition to the canonical requirements, the following conditions are expected: good health; a certain degree of human and Christian maturity; sufficient intelligence and practical judgment; basic emotional stability, and the ability to live peacefully in community.
Novice centers on prayer and preparation for the time in which she will profess the vows of chastity, poverty and obedience. This stage is a two years. Novices are instructed in the Constitutions, practical aspects of living the vows and the total spirit of the SCC community. Experiences of service and presence in the local communities is part of the preparation. In the second year the novice spends several weeks living in a local community.
After making her vowed consecration for one year a Sister continues the formation she experienced in the Novitiate, through further opportunities to study and live her religious life, deepen in prayer, train for a specific community work and prepare for a permanent commitment through perpetual vows after 6 years. The Temporary Professed Sister will have the experience of a variety of local missions and return to the Motherhouse for occasional weekend gatherings with other Sisters in temporary profession.