Joining Us

Who is eligible? Women up to 35 years old, practising their Catholic faith, docile to the Holy Spirit, and willing “to prefer nothing to the love of Christ” (Rule of St Benedict).

How does one become a Benedictine nun? There are various stages:

Getting acquainted: a young woman comes to experience our way of life, she visits the community, initially staying in our retreat house and then coming inside the enclosure for a closer look.

Postulancy: the period of postulancy is flexible, adapted to the person’s needs. The purpose of this period is for the candidate to experience the monastic life gradually before making the formal step of becoming a novice.

Novitiate:  begins with a ceremony in which the postulant receives the monastic habit and receives a new name.  It is two-year period of formation in human virtue and the monastic life.  Topics of study include monastic history, monastic and religious life, the Holy Rule, the psalms, Scripture, chant and Latin, and an introduction to doctrine.    For St Benedict the concern should be whether the novice is “truly seeking God.” 

First Profession: (usually lasting for three years): during which a young nun gradually assumes more responsibility in the community.

Solemn vows:
when she gives her whole self to Christ in the monastery.  St Benedict says that the monk, when he makes his vows, is to place his vow chart on the altar at the Offertory, to be offered along with the sacrifice of Christ, to the Father.  So in a very real sense, the daily offering of the Mass is a renewal of our self-offering at monastic profession.

Are you now alarmed by the immensity of what the holy vows require of you?  You need not be alarmed.  What you have promised is indeed beyond your own weak human power.  But it is not beyond the power of the Almighty – this power will become yours if you entrust yourself to Him, if He accepts your pledge of troth.  He does so on the day of your holy profession and will do it anew today.  It is the loving heart of your Saviour that invites you to follow.  It demands your obedience because the human will is blind and weak.  It cannot find the way until it surrenders itself entirely to the divine will.  He demands poverty because hands must be empty of earth’s goods to receive the goods of heaven.  He demands chastity because only the heart detached from all earthly love is free for the love of God.  The arms of the Crucified are spread out to draw you to His heart.  He wants your life in order to give you His.

St Teresa Benedicta of the Cross (Edith Stein), d. Auschwitz, 1942
Benedictine Vows