Becoming a Sister of St. Joseph of Orange is a gradual process of understanding and deepening commitment. It begins with a phone call, letter or e-mail to the Vocation Director who will clarify your questions about religious life. Later, you will meet with the Vocation Director regularly to discuss religious life and see if your talents and aspirations coincide with our particular mission. This time of inquiry and examination lasts six months to a year. Once accepted into this first stage of Formation, the process continues as follows:
During this “come and see” period, which lasts approximately one year, you will live with Sisters in a local community and participate in their activities as you gradually make the transition into the Congregation.
This is a two-year period of “incorporation” when you will live with and be dependent on the community. The novitiate prepares you to be a vowed member of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Orange. In the first year, you will deepen your relationship with Jesus through prayer, solitude, religious studies, reflection on our spirituality and limited involvement in our ministries. The second year broadens your understanding of apostolic religious life and further interiorizes Congregational values by integrating prayer, community and ministry.
As a transition from novitiate to temporary profession, you will make temporary vows of poverty, chastity and obedience. To vow poverty is to depend on God, sharing all things in common. To vow chastity is to love as Jesus loved. And to vow obedience is to listen to God within one’s self and the community, to be attentive to the needs of the Church and world.
During the five to six year period of temporary profession, you will live in a local community and pursue a full-time ministry and/or study. This phase will prepare you for the transition from a temporary vowed member of the Congregation to a perpetually vowed member.
After the period of temporary profession, you make a lifetime commitment as a fully vowed and involved member of the Congregation.
The Sisters of St. Joseph of Orange are called to identify with the self-emptying love and obedience of Jesus Christ. It is in being drawn into the mystery of Christ’s death and resurrection that we die to self and live in God and for others. We are also called to develop a deep relationship with the Persons of the Trinity and with Jesus, Mary and Joseph.
We honor God the Father by desiring always to respond to the Divine gift of life; the Son by seeking to imitate his humility and self-surrender; the Holy Spirit by desiring to realize and express God’s love in our lives. As far as possible, we imitate Jesus in his untiring zeal to bring about the kingdom of God; Mary in her constant fidelity to the Holy Spirit; and Joseph in his generous and unpretentious service.
Mother Bernard Gosselin, our founder, upheld the congregation’s foundational heritage of profound humility and cordial charity in all relationships. To this heritage she contributed a pioneer spirit of bold faith, foresight and flexibility as gifts for the mission of Christ.
The spirit and spirituality of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Orange informs the Congregation of its mission and ministry. The life and works of our Congregation are directed to a single end: The union of ourselves and all people with God and with one another in and through Christ Jesus. This purpose requires of us docility to the Spirit, profound humility, and zeal which is characterized by gentleness, joy and peace.Our mission as Sisters of St. Joseph flows through the purpose for which the Congregation exists: We live and work that all people may be united with God and with one another. It is rooted in the mission of Christ, the same mission which continually unfolds in the Church, “that all may be one, as you, Father, are in me and I in you. I pray that they may be one is us…” (John 17:21).
To bring about this unity, we search out and undertake any spiritual and corporal work of mercy that may be within the power of the Congregation. We encourage and assist those who desire to follow Christ more closely, and we work to alleviate the conditions which cause ignorance, poverty, suffering and oppression. We are identified in ministry by our compassionate presence to critical needs for unity and reconciliation among the persons with whom we live and work. It is the totality of our life that we witness to God’s unconditional love and fidelity. What we do in ministry is shaped by what we experience in intimacy with the Lord and in community. Our work is not separate from our life with God and our life together.
We live with...
Women in love with God and attentive to the needs of the world
Praying and serving in ministry together
Sharing a common purpose and vision
Creating relationships that endure
Loving the world as a generous response to God’s love for us
Relating with those who work for unity and reconciliation
Partnering with people who desire to reach out to those in need
Participating in the mission of Jesus
Witnessing to God’s abundant love
Putting our faith into action
Welcoming the stranger
Becoming the face of God’s mercy
Rejecting Racism prejudice, racism and division
Living simply, identifying with the poor
Working in solidarity with others for a just world
Receiving all with Thanksgiving
Identifying with Jesus in self-emptying love
Dying to self, living for others
Responding to God’s love by giving our life
Serving the dear neighbor without distinction
Tearing down walls that divide
Building bridges that unite
Strengthening relationships that heal, reconcile and embrace
Exploring the Call
A reflection/education series
Each formal gathering is two hours and is accompanied by a handout for further reading and reflection. The sessions consist of prayer, input, and questions / discussion. If you are currently meeting with a Vocation Director, we recommend that you share the information with her for discussion.
Are you curious to learn more about the life of a Sister?
Do you feel called to be a Sister of St. Joseph of Orange?
If you wish to explore more, you can arrange a visit. Please contact:
Sr. Karin Nuernberg, CSJ