How do I become a Daughter of Charity?
The life of each Daughter of Charity is centred on a young woman wanting to give herself to God, through living in community and serving the poor. The initial desire of the young woman may not be expressed as such at the outset. God calls each individual in His own way and gradually by the light of the Spirit, the path becomes clear. (C.49). you will find a more detailed account of the journey to becoming a Daughter of Charity on this website.
What do I learn when training to be a Daughter of Charity?
Getting to know the co- founders of the Daughters of Charity of St Vincent de Paul. They are St Louise de Marillac and St Vincent de Paul, two French people.
The Formation of Members:
Formation comprises an initial stage and an on-going stage. It takes into account
• The international character of the Company of the Daughters of Charity
• The demands of inculturation
• The individual progress of each person
The Various Stages:
Initial Vocation Discernment
For initial vocational discernment, a period prior to postulancy may be established
This is the stage where the candidate experiences living a spiritual, community and apostolic life in common. The duration of postulancy is a minimum of twelve months. During this stage she continues
• To discern her vocation
• To deepen her human and Christian formation
• She seeks to discover the Vincentian charism.
The candidate is admitted to the Seminary when both she and the company of the Daughters of charity are morally certain that she
• is called by God
• is ready to take upon herself the life of a Daughter of Charity.
The time spent in the Seminary enables a Daughter of Charity to
• intensify her theological life
• to integrate the values of service, total gift of self to God and to community living
• to familiarise herself with the practice of the vows of poverty, chastity, obedience and service of the poor
At the end of the time in the Seminary, a minimum of twelve months, excluding the times of apostolic experience the sister writes to the Provincial to be sent on mission.
Initial formation continues
Having been sent on mission the sister continues her initial formation. She actively participates in the local community as she integrates, service, prayer and community living. She reflects simultaneously on the vows which prepare her to strengthen her commitment in the company to serve Christ in persons who are poor.
Making vows for the first time
The Sister makes vows for the first time between five and seven years vocation.
Subsequently each year, the Daughters of Charity acquire the approval of the Superior General of the Congregation of the Mission to renew their vows. The annual renewal of the vows
• permits the sisters to strengthen their determination to be faithful to their vocation
• it assures the stability of their service of Christ in the Company
• it implies a free act of will, inspired always by love