Join us as a Sister of Notre Dame
Sisters of Notre Dame are women who desire to grow ever closer to God, and who witness to God’s goodness and provident care through a consecrated life of chastity, poverty and obedience. Centered in Jesus Christ, and united as a community in his love and in the spirit of Mary, we share a life of faith and joyful simplicity, ready to take up our cross daily in love. Consecrated for mission in the Catholic Church, we serve people, especially those who experience poverty in its various forms, through our ministries. Once women have discerned that God is calling them to become Sisters of Notre Dame, they enter an extended time of formation (at least eight years) leading to their commitment to God and the community through profession of perpetual vows.
How do I know God is calling me?
Ask God to guide you. Pray each day to fulfill God’s will and purpose in your life. We don’t always know what that is at first glance. Look at the deeper questions in your life now.
Listen to God speaking in your life. God’s gentle guidance can come in many ways such as prayer, scripture, music, books, dreams, multimedia, events and other people in tune with the Holy Spirit.
Find a good spiritual director or companion. Look for someone who is spiritually connected, someone you can trust who has the ability to listen deeply, someone wise and understanding who can also challenge you to grow. Religious communities, retreat centers, or diocesan vocation directors may be able to help you find a spiritual director.
Trust God. “I know the plans I have for you, “says the Lord, “plans for a future full of hope.” — Jeremiah 29:11
The answers to your questions will come, but not necessarily all at once. Sometimes we have to risk stepping out in faith. Then “trust your visions” and dare to live according to the Spirit’s guidance. God’s abundant love will be with you.
If you are thinking about a religious vocation…
Consider religious life as a real option, just as you would marriage or the single life. This means prayerful discernment over a period of time, not just a quick “No, I could never do that.” It’s important to consider all your options.
Find out about religious communities. Most have websites. Explore this one. You can request more information and also find other links in the Contact Us/Resources section.
Talk to a vocation director. Don’t worry—a good vocation director will not try to “recruit” you. If a person is not being called to a particular religious community, it would not benefit the community to encourage that person to join. A vocation director is there to help. A directory listing of our vocation directors is provided on this website.
Gather information about a community, schedule a visit and get to know some of the members. It may take more than one visit to really get a feel for whether you think you could live in that community. You may want to consider the following:
- Do I feel God calling me here?
- Could I feel at home with people in this community?
- Do I resonate with their mission?
- Can this community use my particular gifts?
Someone who decides to continue the discernment with a religious community has a number of years before making a final commitment. But it doesn’t take that long to feel the sense of welcoming and belonging from the people in it.
To find out more about the Sisters of Notre Dame, explore this website. You can also request more information, or contact a vocation director for assistance or to schedule a visit.
National Novitiate in the US : http://nunsinthemaking.blogspot.com/
National Vocations Website in US: http://snd-vocations.org/