When the journey of vocational discernment reveals a certain security, and the youth, (maybe you who are reading) desires to experience our way of life more directly, Aspirancy follows.
The Aspirancy can be done in the convent or by having frequent direct contact with the sisters.
During Aspirancy the youth is helped:
<> to discover and develop the qualities and the human virtues needed to undertake the religious life. This includes concepts relating to sexuality, emotions and human relationships.
<> to deepen the Christian formation by living fully the commitments and duties received at Baptism.This includes serious living of the Sacraments especially the Eucharist and Reconciliation.
<> to arrive gradually to the knowledge of the Charism of the Congregation and be ready to share and live it. This includes awareness of Who we are as Franciscans and Daughters of our Founders especially the Venerable Mother Margherita DeBrincat.
Therefore the Aspirant is :---
++ accompanied spiritually by a sister in charge.
++ encouraged to participate in moments of prayers, recreation and relaxation, together with some kind of apostolic experience.
After this period, the youth is admitted in the formal Initial fomation through Postulancy
The Postulancy is the first stage of the initial formation. The youth who has verified her vocation during the Aspirancy , begins this period which can last up to two years.
During this period the postulant lives in the convent with other youths who are either postulants or novices, together with the sister in charge and other sisters forming the fraternity.
The general aim of the postulancy is to evaluate human and christian maturity in the youth, ability of free, personal and responsible choices, motivations and attitudes towards religious life.
Therefore the youth, who is now a postulant has to make use of the following means :
to participate in the daily mass and moments of personal adoration in front of the tabernacle;
personal and community fraternal dialogue;
participation in the activities of the fraternity;
develop and maintain a good relationship with the proper family;
The Postulancy is carried out with certain flexibility, according to the needs of the youth: age and maturity, character and tendencies, cultural adn religious preparation etc.
Before starting the novitiate, it is advisable that the postulant returns to the family environment for some time. This short period is considered as a moment of discerniment.
The Novitiate initiates the life within the Congregation. It shows the true and proper beginning of the consecrated life, which gradually leads the Novice to identify herself as a Franciscan Sister of the Heart of Jesus.
During this stage the novice :
a) allows herself to be transformed in a fire of love to be more close to Our Lord as a result of the free given vocation as a gift of His Love.
b) strives to know herself better.
c) becomes able to love everyone in Christ.
d) lives a joyful life in a spirit of service.
Above all, the novice lives with the spirit passed on to us by our Foundress the Venerable Mother Margherita who states : You are right to be happy my dear daughter, be filled with love and joy because the Sweet Lover to whom you are going to be bound is profigious in His richness. Rejoice, love and pray, and above all be united with Your Spouse. (MM,Letter 105)
The Juniorate is a period of formation during which the young Sister, with the Profession of the Temporary Vows, lives an authentic experience of the consecrated life.
This phase of formation, which covers the time between the Temporary(first) Profession and Perpetual Profession, has its aim to foster in the Junior the faithful living of the Vows of Chastity, Poverty and Obedience by the help of the sisters in the fraternity.
The Juniorate lasts for five years, during which the Junior renews her vows every year until arriving to the Perpetual (Final) Profession.