Discerning Your Vocation

God has a unique vocation for all of His children. The Hospitaler Sisters of Mercy have a unique vocation. We are called to works of mercy through a special vow of hospitality.  We work with the sick and frail elderly, abused and neglected children and in many other ministries throughout the world

Understanding your vocation is a process of prayer, reflection and discovery called discernment.

Quiet Reflection

When you feel God’s calling, take time for quiet reflection.  Listen for God’s voice. Allow his Spirit into your heart.


Consider how God is calling you to live and what He is asking you to do.  Research religious orders and contact their Vocations Director.  


Spend time with religious communities.  Go on retreat. Meet members of their community and visit their ministries. The Hospitaler sisters of Mercy are always happy to share their lives.  We have many ways you can get to know us, and share with you the joy that we experience in devotion to our Lord, and to those we serve in his name.


Above all, pray.  Ask God to open your heart to His will.

Formation Path

Becoming a Hospitaler Sister of Mercy involves several stages.  During each of these steps, we pray, reflect and grow closer to God.

Aspirancy is a 1 year period when a young woman considering religious life, comes to know the religious order, community life and activities.  An aspirant is rooted in the Catholic faith.  She has the right intention, good health, pleasant nature and sufficient maturity to shoulder the burdens of religious life and the particular activities of the community. During this period the young woman will live with the Hospitaler sisters of Mercy, she will wear a uniform.  She will spend her time in both religious studies as well as being offered other educational opportunities. 

The Postulancy is the 2nd stage of formation. During this 1 year period The Postulant has shown growth and improvement in her vocation. She deepens her prayer life and learns to live piously. She will complete further religious studies as well as gaining a deeper understanding of the Congregation, and the various types of ministries offered by the Hospitaler Sisters of Mercy.  The second year is devoted to  missionary training and experiencing opportunities to work in various type of ministries the order provides. During this time the postulant continues to wear a uniform.

The Novice wears a uniform and medal of a congregation.  She is under the guidance of a mistress.  The Novitiate lasts two years.  The first year is dedicated to prayer, meditation, Bible study, theology, and studying the rule of the congregation.  During the second year, the Novice may engage in outside apostolic work such as teaching, serving in the parish, and can be assigned to other communities within the congregation for additional experiences. Three months prior to completing the Novitiate, the candidate applies for her first vows.

The Novice pronounces her vows in the Church in the presence of the Mother General along with two witnesses and the faithful. She receives the religious habit and the constitution. During this 6 year period, the novice will renew her Temporary Vows yearly. A Sister in Temporary Vows is assigned to a particular community and is under the supervision of a superior.  During this time a sister will work in a particular apostolate. She will develop her prayer life and her relationship with God through days of reflection and annual retreats.  The Novice will also return to school to gain the formal education needed to work professionally in her ministry.  Some examples of studies might be nursing, social services, education, nutritional studies, or other areas of studies which will allow the novice to meet her Vow of Hospitality.  

During the Novice’s final year she will travel to one of the two International training centers established by the Hospitaler Sisters of Mercy.  During this year the Novice will complete her religious studies  and gain the experience living in a communal setting with other Sisters for various nations.  This is also a special time to devote to spiritually preparing for the professing her Final Vows.

The Sister commits herself totally by pronouncing her vows for her entire life.  She pronounces her vows with free will and signs her vows in the church.  Mother General accepts the Sister into the congregation as a fully pledged member.

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