What is Monastic Profession?
First Monastic Profession
First monastic profession follows the novitiate stage. This three-to six-year period is a time of growth and immersion into the Benedictine way of life as a sister, during which you will participate in community ministry and be guided to deepen your spirituality and integration into the community.
Perpetual Monastic Profession
Perpetual monastic profession embraces our permanent commitment to obedience, stability and fidelity to the monastic way of life.
Obedience is our promise to be faithful listeners. We listen to the voice of the Spirit in Scriptures, in the Rule of Benedict, in the prioress, in one another. We are guided by the question of what is truly best for ourselves, and for the community. Then, we seek to respond with generosity and courage.
Stability is our promise to live the Benedictine life together in celibacy and monastic poverty. Rooted and strengthened by our lives in this community, celibacy enables us to devote our time and energy as Christ, in the service of others. Celibacy allows us to share ourselves fully with the world. Monastic poverty asks that we live simply, balancing our wants and needs.
Fidelity to the Monastic Way of Life is our promise to work through life and life's changes with God at the center of our lives. We seek to be faithful to this way of life … and this life transforms us when we are faithful to it. It transforms us so that we turn to God in the midst of everything that happens in our lives — in joy, in pain, in everyday events. It transforms us during communal and private prayer, so that we can deal with the everyday experiences of life.
The ritual for monastic profession dates back to the early church and its main elements are much as they were described by St. Benedict in his Rule written in the sixth century.