STAGES OF FORMATION
Formation is a process of progressively taking on the mind and heart of Christ and the spirit of Saint Jeanne Jugan.
Generally, single, Catholic women 18-40 years of age who love God and wish to serve the poor may be accepted into our formation program.
Those over 40 who desire to share in our life are encouraged to consider membership in the Association Jeanne Jugan.
1. INITIAL DISCERNMENT
A young woman visits one of our communities and spends time with the Little Sisters in prayer and service. She may volunteer on a regular basis.
2. FORMAL DISCERNMENT
More time spent with a community of Little Sisters and a formal live-in experience in one of our homes give a young woman exposure to our life in its fullness – prayer, community and mission.
A time of transition, lasting about 9 months. Includes several months spent in one of our Homes where the postulants share our daily life before moving on to the novitiate.
After several months postulants enter the novitiate and officially become members of the Congregation. The novitiate is an intense two-year period of prayer and study during which the novices deepen their relationship with the Lord, their understanding of consecrated life, and their love of the Congregation.
Each year the novices spend several weeks in one of our homes to gain direct experience of our mission. The novitiate culminates in profession of the vows of chastity, poverty, obedience and hospitality for two years.
5. TEMPORARY VOWS
Each new Little Sister is sent out on mission to one of the homes of the Congregation, where she participates fully in our life. This period includes an additional year of doctrinal formation, called the Juniorate, and the possibility of further training in the care of the elderly. At the completion of their first two years of vowed life, the young Little Sisters remake their vows, usually for an additional three years.
6. SECOND NOVITIATE
Before pronouncing perpetual vows, each Little Sister spends a year of “second novitiate” at our motherhouse in France. This time offers each one the grace of living where Saint Jeanne Jugan spent the final years of her life.
During this time each Little Sister becomes more penetrated with the attitudes of our Mother and the spirit of our religious family.
The second novitiate culminates in perpetual profession, after which each Little Sister may be sent anywhere in the world!
Each Little Sister pursues a personal program of ongoing formation.
“Joyfully undertaken and faithfully lived, this gift of ourselves – which embraces our whole existence – enriches the life of the Church. A vocation is a call which the Lord,
always faithful, renews for us until the end of our life … By his grace, we will always better understand its full significance and will respond to it with deeper maturity and greater love, for the greater glory of the one and undivided Trinity” (Constitutions)