Are you interested in exploring a vocation as a woman religious?

Volunteer in Mississippi: Please click this link Hands On + Hearts In to see the schedule for this program. Please promote this opportunity among women you know in your areas who might have the gift for religious life / service.

Becoming a Sister

2016-01-19 13.38.25Every person is called to search for God and each person fulfills this call by determining their own vocation in life. To do this takes time. The call to religious life is discerned through conversing with God, with trusted friends and mentors, as well as with persons who are living the vowed life in community. These steps in discernment supply the information necessary for a life choice.

Requirements for Admission

Age: generally between 21-55; exceptions determined through discernment

Education: high school diploma or GED, plus some college and/or work experience

Finances: free of major debt; with sufficient funds to cover living expenses during the time of candidacy; exceptions to this policy determined through discernment

Life Status: a practicing Catholic for at least two years; if divorced, an annulment is required.

For more information please contact us.

Links to Catholic Vocation Websites

Steps Toward Vowed Membership

Affiliate – Get acquainted (6 months to 2 years)

In an effort to become better acquainted with other SLW, the Affiliate works with a contact Sister who helps her meet other Community members both formally and informally at home and in ministries.

Candidate – Live with the Sisters (6 months to 2 years)

sample41-300x132After completing screening experiences, the Candidate moves into an SLW local group and participates in the life and prayer of the Sisters while continuing her current employment.

Novice – Learn and live as a Sister (2 years)

When the Candidate and the Community decide she is ready to move forward, she officially becomes a Novice and is called “Sister.” In her first year of novitiate she studies the history, spirit, Constitutions and vowed life of the SLW with the Director of Novices. In her second year she engages in ministry or in training for ministry and explores her place in the SLW Community and mission. At the end of this time, she professes vows in a public ceremony.

Temporary Profession – poverty, celibacy, and obedience (3 to 6 years)

join_usAs the woman begins her vowed life as an SLW she engages in a Community-approved ministry which fits her gifts and preparation. The Director of the Temporary Professed members serves as a mentor as the woman grows in an awareness of her vowed commitment. When both the Community and the Sister feel she is ready for permanent commitment, she requests perpetual profession.

Perpetual Profession – live the vowed life for her lifetime

The Sister professes her perpetual (final) vows in a public ceremony celebrated with the Sisters of the Living Word, family and friends. During the rite of perpetual profession, the Sister receives a simple gold ring, and is welcomed as a permanent member of the Sisters of the Living Word.

Community Life

“Basic to community is our willingness to love one another, and encourage one another to live the ideals we have embraced in religious life.” (SLW Constitutions, Article 27)

installation-2014-300x128From the beginning of the Community decision-making has been a communal responsibility. The entire membership is involved in major decisions affecting the life of the congregation.

  • Jan-23-Wintering-Sr-Colette-300x288Community life is both a support and encouragement to growth. Each member, through her talents, gifts and weaknesses forms and shapes the community.
  • As a Community we are always looking for possibilities to use our diverse talents within our communal life and with our diverse ministries.


“We, the Sisters of the Living Word, reference all as gift.

We commit ourselves to live simply, trust in providence, joyfully nurture life, and effectively realize our interdependence and mutuality with all of God’s creation.

Rooted in the Word, we are instruments in the transformation of the world for the sake of the kingdom.” (SLW Stewardship Statement, 1982)