Formation and Discernment

The journey in becoming a Sister of Providence includes several formation steps:

Come and See!

It is a step in the exploration of vocation through the deepening of her baptismal commitment and self-knowledge. The candidate is accompanied by a Sister of Providence. When she feels ready, she can ask for a community experience with the sisters.

The candidate begins as a prenovice

She lives with the Sisters of Providence to become acquainted with their Charism, experience community life and continue her Christian formation. She discerns her vocational call and her aptitude for religious life. The stage generally lasts one to two years, depending on the individual.


My journey began about three years ago, when I first opened myself to hear the call of God to Religious life.  Since embarking on discernment of Religious Life, I have experienced many emotions and many graces.  I have grown in my faith and my ability to hear God in the silence of my heart.

I still find it hard to believe that it was only a year ago that I attended the Summer Live-In at Providence Center in Edmonton.  This was a grace filled time for me and I remember telling Sister Mae on the final day that I didn’t want to leave as I felt so at home.  I finally felt a great sense of peace about my call to Religious Life.  Following the Live-In, I continued with an extended Come and See at Providence Residence in Calgary.  This gave me the opportunity, support and time needed to truly discern whether God was calling me to join the Sisters of Providence.

On August 8th, 2018 in a beautiful, simple entrance celebration I became a candidate of the Sisters of Providence.  Surrounded by the love and support of my new family, the Sisters, my parents, Doug and Candice, my sister, Kimberly, and her family I began a new phase of my journey.  I am so grateful to our loving, provident God for all he has gifted me, for each person who prayed for me and helped make my day special and for this community.  I look forward to the future and growing in my vocation with the Sisters of Providence.

-Serena Chappell

Then she enters the novitiate

During the novitiate, the novice receives an integral two-year formation. One year emphasizes canonical formation – in which she develops her knowledge of theology, history, spirituality, the evangelical counsels, the Constitutions and Rules of the Sisters of Providence, the practice of prayer and discernment, etc. The other year is dedicated to apostolic formation and the novice is engaged in active ministry. In the course of her novitiate, she studies a second or third language and is initiated into social, political, cultural, economic, and environmental realities that affect our world. She begins to develop her abilities, integrates the Charism and Mission of the Sisters of Providence and learns how to strike a balance between her personal life and the demands of her ministry and consecrated community life.

The novice becomes a Sister of Providence by pronouncing temporary vows

She pronounces the vows of chastity, poverty and obedience. Temporary vows are renewed periodically during a maximum nine-year period. A temporary vow sister continues her discernment by engaging in ministry, ideally in contact with the poor. At the same time, she may also continue her studies. She is encouraged to live an experience in a cultural context different from her own.

Finally, the sister pronounces her perpetual vows

She professes the vows which give expression to a commitment for life.

soeur Margarita

Perpetual Vows of Sister Margarita Hernandez, SP