The discernment process for the IHM Sisters includes three initial phases:

  • Come and See
  • Pre-Candidacy
  • and Candidacy

Each stage is designed to introduce interested women, ordinarily ages 18–35, to religious life and to the IHM Congregation, and to help them to discern God’s call.

Come & See

Women discerning God’s call are invited to “come and see” our life through various events.
By “coming and seeing,” a discerner is able to:

  • Pray with the Sisters
  • Listen to God’s voice in the quiet of prayer
  • Experience living community life
  • Serve with the Sisters in our ministries
  • Meet other women who are discerning religious life
  • Meet our newer members who have taken the step of entering into discernment as postulants and novices.

If the thought of religious life has “crossed your mind,” join us for a retreat or service experience.


The IHM Pre-Candidacy Program is for women who have expressed a desire to discern a vocation to the IHM Congregation. It typically lasts from one to three years.

The purpose is to assist young women in discerning a particular call to the IHM Congregation.

During this time, young women meet with the vocation directress on a regular basis, participate in discernment/retreats, and visit IHM convents in order to interact with the Sisters and to experience prayer, community life and apostolic work with them.




  The candidacy 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 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 IHM Pre-Candidacy experiences, the young woman is encouraged to develop and 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 community life and service.