Second Notebook – Notes 108-111 (for paragraphs 541-550)
108. The Postulancy is the first probation period in the Congregation. During this time the candidate gets to know better the Congregation of which she wishes to become a member, and the Congregation likewise gets to know her.
109. After the period of postulancy, the candidate makes an eight-day retreat. During the clothing ceremony she receives the religious habit and new name and begins her novitiate. This is a further stop to test whether the religious life is for the candidate; and at the same time, the candidate has the chance to better know the Congregation of which she is to become a member.
In the Congregation of Our Lady of Mercy the novitiate lasts for two years. The first, known as the “canonical,” is dedicated to the deepening of the spiritual life and convent practices. During this time the novice cannot attend formal schooling, spend time in studies, or perform any absorbing tasks.
During the second year of novitiate, the novices may, in addition to their religious practices, study or work under the direction of the professed sisters.
If, after this period, the Congregation and the novice are satisfied, the novices makes a profession of vows for one year, renewing them for the next five years annually. During this time, the professed sister may leave the Congregation or be dismissed. If all turns out positive, the professed sister is allowed to take perpetual vows (Const. Congr.).
110. In the Congregation of Our Lady of Mercy the sisters take simple vows. In the Congregation proposed by Sister Faustina, the sisters would take solemn vows.
111. Office – a liturgical prayer of the Church consisting of psalms and versicles. All sisters have an obligation to say the Office.