Two New CSJP Candidates

Sometimes it seems like only yesterday that I was welcomed as a Candidate to the vowed life by the Sisters of St. Joseph of Peace.  Then I look at the pictures from that day, and realize that it was almost seven years ago and I have gained a few grey hairs since then!

Today in Rearsby, England, we welcomed two women as Candidates to the vowed life as Sisters of St. Joseph of Peace.  Even though I am separated by an entire continent and an ocean, I was certainly present in spirit ... although truth be told I may have still been asleep at the exact moment of the ceremony of welcome!

I have not yet met Juliana or Katrina, the newest members of our CSJP family, but thanks to the wonder of the internet I have started to get to know them across the miles.  I even have a picture of them from today's ceremony (thanks to Sister Maureen who posted it on Facebook!).  They are pictured here with Sister Laurette, a lovely woman of peace who will be their mentor and director during this time of candidacy. Laurette is holding an icon of St. Joseph of Peace.  When I became a candidate, I too received an icon of St. Joseph and a peace candle.  Both still hold spaces of honor in my prayer space in my room! Even though today's ceremony took place 7 years later and several thousand miles away, we are connected by these common elements of the ritual of welcome.

Candidacy (sometimes called postulancy) is a big step on the journey to becoming a Sister.  It is a time of discernment, as the woman continues to explore her call to religious life in a particular community.  It is a time of transition, as one begins to have opportunities of living in community and experiencing the wonderful mix of prayer, ministry and community life that this entails.  It is a time of growth, wonder, and grace as the woman and the community discern the next step of novitiate together.

Please join me in prayer today and in the coming months as Juliana and Katrina continue on their own journeys of peace with the Sisters of St. Joseph of Peace.

Today is indeed a wonderful day for our Congregation, for Religious Life, and for the Church!

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