CMC Holy Queen's Province Changanassery
The first stage of the religious formation is the Candidacy period, when new members are welcomed into the community, live with our sisters, experience the prayer and ministry of the sisters. Those with S.S.L.C shall do the Plus Two course before Aspirancy. The candidacy period usually lasts from one year to three years.
The length of Aspirancy is for one year. Here the candidates learn more about community and are led through a programme of prayer, spiritual reading, and a very general introduction to religious life. During this time those in charge get an opportunity to study the candidates closely with regard to their motivation to religious life, intellectual capacity moral and spiritual qualities, physical, mental and emotional setup and natural tastes and aptitudes. Aspirants are doing their formation in Wardha formation House.
Postulancy is a period of preparation for religious life. The aim of the postulancy is twofold:
1) To promote a human and spiritual maturity of the candidate that will make her aware of God s call and dispose her to make a progressive transition from life in the world to the life of novitiate.
2) To allow the authorities to know the candidate and judge whether she has the human, emotional and spiritual maturity needed to assume the obligation of religious life. Emphasis is placed on the candidate's total development so that she is prepared to make her choice freely and responsibly. Each candidate is guided and encouraged to deepen her religious knowledge and interior life. The postulants spend eight months in the formation house under the leadership of a mistress. Then about four months they go for exposure programmes of real-life experience in the apostolate and community life . There They have the opportunities to involve in various apostolic works of the congregation.
The fundamental period of religious formation is the novitiate. In our congregation the novitiate lasts 2 years, the first year the canonical year, being designated for intensive spiritual formation. The novice mistress guides the formation process and instructs the novices in subjects such as interior life, knowledge of the congregation, its history, spirituality, constitutions, rules, and apostolic works.
After the first year of novitiate, the novices go for a regency in our convents and begin to work in the various fields of our apostolate together with professed sisters, as part of their training. During the final two months - before the first profession of the vows of obedience, chastity and poverty - the novice returns to an intense period of prayer and recollection.
The goal of the Juniorate is the unfolding and deepening of the temporarily professed sisters vocation by practical life experiences and helping her on to maturity. Programmes during this period should provide the sister with solid spiritual and doctrinal formation which is of prime importance, together with professional studies, community experience and apostolic involvement. As a preparation of perpetual profession all the temporarily professed sisters shall make one year of common Juniorate.
Final Profession and Ongoing formation
After a period of six years in temporary vows and following a period of preparation and prayerful discernment sisters make Final Profession. Continuing formation is important because religion is not simply called and consecrated once. Formation has to be effected in a consecrated person through her life time, through constant study, exercise and formation. The call of God and the consecration by Him continue throughout life to its final consummation, when the religious meets the Lord definitively in death." (Essential Elements, 44)