Answering God’s Call
We are each called in some way to do God’s work, to use our individual gifts to make the world around us a better place. Responding to a call to religious life, however, is a vocation unlike any other. Dedicating life in service to God requires discernment, deep contemplation and, eventually, a commitment to vows that will continue to shape the contours of one’s life, both in the religious and secular worlds.
The path to religious life is not complicated, but it is complex. For women who thirst for spiritual growth — who are committed to becoming closer to Christ — the first step is to determine if religious life is the right path. Through deep reflection and contemplation, those called to explore religious life strive to understand the very foundations of their spiritual selves and determine their vision for living in service to God. Deciding upon pursuing religious life is but the first of many steps on a lifelong journey.
The Society of Helpers get to know women exploring religious life through traditional means – word-of-mouth, personal networks and serendipitous meetings – as well as through modern channels. By communicating our mission, Ignatian spirituality and independent, international ministries through advertising spaces in religious publications and on the internet, we are able to communicate with a world of women seeking possibilities in religious life. This phase includes exploring options and getting acquainted with our religious communities through digital conversations, in-person meetings and attending events hosted by the Helpers.
This phase offers candidates and the Helpers the chance to get to know each other better by spending more time together. During this time, pre-candidates may become candidates and join one of the Helper communities to determine compatibility. Successful consideration phases evolve into candidates beginning their novitiate.
The Helpers take simple vows of poverty, chastity and obedience. Lasting one to three years, these temporary vows are symbolized by the novice receiving a small Helper Cross to represent the young sisters’ formal entry into the community. During this time, new sisters focus on their ministries and deepen their spirituality with journey companions who provide guidance and feedback. Typically received six to nine years after the first vows are taken, final vows include a ring ceremony and a large Helper Cross to symbolize the commitment to the community and their ministries. To learn more about religious life and the Helpers communities around the world, contact us today.