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Hearts of Joy and Gladness

The Noviciate

It does not come naturally of course to put everybody before ourselves. This is an important part of the formation program during the six years of preparation in the Noviciate.

The purpose of the Noviciate, by which life in the Poor Clares begins is to give the novice a greater understanding of their religious vocation and of the vocation to our order in particular. During the Noviciate, the novices experience the manner of life in the Poor Clares and form their minds and hearts in its spirit.

Prayer is the expression of love and faith. It is as essential to the Poor Clares as is breathing; thus this spirit of contemplation and prayer flows right through our day no matter what we do. Before individuals may be admitted to the Noviciate they must complete the Postulancy. The Postulancy is one year of preparation for the kind of total giving which will climax in a solemn profession of faith some six years later. During this time, an individual participates as fully as possible in the life of the community, joining the novices and professed Sisters for work and prayer. When the time of Postulancy has been completed, individuals who are judged suitable may after they have presented a written request be admitted to the Noviciate.

The Novice wears a white veil. Upon completion of the Noviciate, the white veil of the novice is exchanged for the black veil of the professed nun. The young Poor Clare assumes her full responsibility as a member of her Order. " Christ has set a seal upon my face that i should admit no other lover but him " sings the young professed Poor Clare. Simple vows are made for a period of three years.

Total Consecration is the taking of the solemn vows of Obedience, Poverty, Chastity and Enclosure. The ceremony takes place in the parish church with great excitement among the people of the parish. The Sister receives the ring as a sign of total consecration.

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