discernment process for the Sisters, Servants of the Immaculate
Heart of Mary includes three initial phases: Come and See, Pre-Candidacy
and Candidacy. Each of these stages is designed to provide interested
women with an introduction to the religious life and the Congregation
and to help them to discern their readiness to begin the next phase.
Sister Rose Bernadette Mulligan, IHM Vocation Directress, assists
those women who participate in this process in discerning God's
Come and See
Women who have expressed an interest in learning about the IHM community participate in Discernment Retreats at the Motherhouse and/or local convents. These days of reflection focus on the importance of listening to God's call and discovering the many ways that God speaks to us. In addition, those who participate have the opportunity to spend time with the Sisters.
The IHM Pre-Candidacy Program is for women who have expressed a
desire to discern a vocation to the IHM Congregation. It lasts from
one to three years depending on individual circumstances. Its purpose
is to assist young women in discerning a particular call to the
IHM Congregation. During this time, the young women meet personally
with the vocation directress on a regular basis, participate in
discernment/retreat weekends, and visit IHM convents in order to
interact with the Sisters and to experience some apostolic work
Pictured at left is Sister Mary Jo Ely who assists Sister Rose with Vocation Discernment.
program is designed for women who have expressed a desire to make
application to begin the IHM Postulate. The Candidacy Program lasts
six months to one year before the woman's admission into the postulate.
It provides her and the Congregation with the opportunity to make
an informed decision regarding her entrance into the postulate.
In addition to the discernment activities and experiences of the IHM Congregation of the Pre-Candidacy Program, the young woman is encouraged to develop and to deepen her practice of prayer, reflection on the Word of God, attendance at Mass, and adoration of the Blessed Sacrament. She is also encouraged to continue her studies especially in the area of Faith Formation. She seeks the advice and support of an IHM Sister (Sponsor) and participates and/or assists IHM Sisters in various types of service.
Application to the Postulate may occur anytime after participating in the Pre-Candidacy program for at least six months.
Sister Rose Bernadette Mulligan, IHM
Office of Vocations
Villa Maria House of Studies
1140 King Road
Immaculata, PA 19345-0200
phone: 610-889-1553 ext. 1975
Discernment | Formation Process
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