JOIN US IN MISSION
"Religious Life is an alternative life-form in the Church,
a particular way of living the common Christian vocation.
While not superior to other life-forms,
it is nonetheless distinct and specific."
Helen Russell, CSJ: Vocation Director
After teaching elementary school, Helen began pastoral ministry in Parry Sound, Ontario and later in Keewatin-The Pas, Manitoba,
where she worked with aboriginal people. She became pastoral assistant at The Pas cathedral and assumed the role of diocesan contact for Development and Peace. She has a degree in Pastoral Studies and
has served on the Leadership Team. She is currently working to
promote justice, peace and ecological programs at Villa St. Joseph
Retreat Centre in Cobourg, ON
Becoming a Sister of St. Joseph ? What do I do? Where will I go?
Just briefly, the various stages of the Formation Program in our Congregation include:
1. Inquiry Stage:
2. Candidacy Stage:
- A woman meets regularly with the Vocation Director and an
experienced spiritual director to discern the possibility of a call to the
- She attends vocation retreats, attends congregational events, and
learns about CSJs.
- She expresses in writing a desire to become a Candidate.
3. Novitiate Stage:
- The woman enters into a 6-month to 2-year period of living with a
community of Sisters, where possible.
- She continues her place of employment, pays room and board, and takes
responsibility for her financial needs.
- The candidate strives for greater personal growth and insight through spiritual
direction, personal prayer, spiritual reading, and other workshops and classes
that further the 'God-quest'.
- She meets regularly with a Candidacy Director and expresses in writing a desire to enter the Novitiate.
4. Temporary Profession:
- This is a two-year period during which time the woman lives one year with CSJ novices in a Federation Canonical Novitiate and one year with Sisters in our local novitiate house.
- She resigns her employment and enters more deeply into our congregation's life of prayer, study, mission and apostolic activity.
- She meets regularly with a Novice director and prepares to profess vows of poverty, chastity and obedience.
- She expresses in writing a desire to make Temporary Profession.
- This is a three to six-year period of temporary vows in the congregation. It a time of continual discernment and affirmation of a woman's call as a Sister of St. Joseph.
- She lives in community and shares in the CSJ mission of prayer, study and ministry.
- She meets regularly with the Director of Temporary Profession and prepares for life commitment as a Sister of St. Joseph.