I recently shared the happy news that I have been accepted to candidacy with the Daughters of St. Paul, a congregation of women religious who proclaim the Gospel using modern media. I’m thrilled and honored to be moving into their convent in St. Louis on October 1 to begin my formation journey alongside Paz, who is also beginning her candidacy that day. Please pray for Paz and me as we go on this adventure with Jesus!
That news sparked a lot of questions among my extended family and friends, so I thought I’d answer those here.
Does this mean you’re disappearing?? Can we stay in touch??
I am not disappearing! The Daughters of St. Paul are nicknamed the #MediaNuns for a reason: their mission is to use the modern media to reach the people of God where they are. So I’ll still have my phone, laptop, social media accounts, email, etc. The way I’m using it will change as I learn from the sisters how to use these things in a holy, edifying way. But don’t worry, staying in touch with family and friends is definitely encouraged! And letters are more than welcome, too.
Can we visit???
Community schedule permitting, friends and family are certainly welcome to visit. Just ask. 🙂
If someone other than my friends and family has found this post, a young woman who maybe wants to come check out the Daughters of St. Paul for example, then check out this page!
What’s candidacy?? What’s formation?? Explain this nun language!
You could say “formation” is the process of becoming a nun, but it’s really about growing to be the full person God called you to be—as a human being, as a Christian, as a consecrated religious, as a Daughter of St. Paul.
Candidacy is an optional, preparatory first stage of formation that’s pretty flexible and individualized. There’s no set time frame, but it’s usually up to a year. It can be lived either independently or in community while a candidate prepares to enter postulancy, which is the first “official” stage of formation. Paz and I will be living our candidacy in the postulant community in St. Louis.
You can read about the other stages of formation here. (I linked to the sisters in Australia because they have a good page about this, but don’t worry, I’m not headed to Australia… at least that I know of… anytime soon! For the U.S. sisters, postulancy is in St. Louis and novitiate is in Boston.)
So do you get a weird outfit??? Do we call you Sister now??? What’s the deal???
I’m just plain old Catherine wearing plain old civvies until further notice! If I become a postulant, God willing, that’s when I’d start to wear the postulant uniform. (Think sweater vests and skirts. Get hype, my Catholic school days are back!)
The title of “Sister” comes with novitiate, which would be after postulancy.
Religious names (i.e. the option to go by “Sister FirstName ReligiousName”) and habits (i.e. the outfit you’re thinking of, with a veil) come with first profession of vows, which is at the end of novitiate.
So, long story short, you are a long, long way from having to call me anything but Catherine. 🙂
What are you gonna do all day??? Pray???
Well definitely a lot of prayer, yeah! Here’s what a typical day in the prayer life of a Daughter of St. Paul looks like. As for the rest of the day, women in formation usually split their time between classes and working in the mission. And with the Daughters, the “mission” could look like a whole lot of things.
You can also check out this video about the Daughters of St. Paul community in St. Louis to get a sense of what the sisters’ life and ministry is like there.
Do people seriously still do this???