Women Religious Communities – Joining

The process of joining a religious community actually takes some time and involves several stages. While these vary from community to community in name, length of time, and format, the basic stages include:

Candidate or Postulant: Candidacy or Postulancy is the period where an individual observes and participates in the life of the community from the inside. Once the community agrees to accept her as a postulant, the candidate lives and works within the community. This period enables the candidate/postulant to experience the life of the community while at the same time allowing the community to see whether she shows promise in living the community’s life. A person may be a candidate/postulant for one or two years.

Novice: The novitiate is the next stage of formation. This is a special one-to-two-year period that marks a more official entrance into a community. Novices spend time in study and prayer to learn more about themselves, the community, and their relationship with Jesus. At the end of the novitiate, novices prepare for temporary promises, or vows.

Vows: Promises of poverty, celibacy, and obedience may be taken for one, two, or three years, depending upon the decision of the individual. These promises are renewable for up to nine years. As soon as the time of temporary vows has been completed, the individual can make their temporary vows permanent by making final vows, that is promising to live out their vows for the rest of their life. In some religious communities members who have made temporary vows are known as “Junior Professed” and those who have made permanent vows are known as “Perpetually Professed.”

Religious Name: Sr. Bethany Kowal
Baptismal Name: Bethany Kowal
Date of Birth: May l9, l984
Home Parish: St Francis Cabrini, Omaha, NE
High School: Mercy High School, Omaha, NE
College/University: Briar Cliff University
Major: Biology and Secondary Education
Religious Community: Order of the Sisters of St. Francis
Address: Mount St. Francis, 390 Windsor Avenue, Dubuque, IA 52001
First Vows: 2015 – After 2 years of being a candidate and one year novitiate
Anticipated Final Vows: N/A
Mission: Rooted in the Gospel and in the spirit of Saints Francis and Clare, the Sisters of St. Francis live in right relationship with all creation
Priory/Provincial House: Dubuque, IA
Formation House: Mount St. Francis, Dubuque, IA

Religious Name: Sr. Mary Consolation of the Afflicted
Baptismal Name: Michelle Heeren
Date of Birth: June 2, 1988
Home Parish: Saint Mary – Remsen
High School: Saint Mary High School, Remsen
College/University: Briar Cliff University
Major: Theology
Religious Community: The Institute Servants of the Lord
Address: Community Immaculate Heart of Mary, Juniorate House of Studies, 1326 Quincy Street N.E., Washington, DC 20017
First Vows: November 1, 2012
Anticipated Final Vows: N/A
Mission: Spouses of Christ and evangelization of the culture
Priory/Provincial House: East Harlem, NY
Formation House: Juniorate House of Studies, Washington, DC

Religious Name: Sr. Teresa Immaculate
Baptismal Name: Brigitte Boever
Date of Birth: April 29, 1988
Home Parish: Sacred Heart – Spencer, IA
High School: Spencer High School
College/University: Benedictine College
Major: Religious Studies and Vocal Music Performance (1 Year)
Religious Community: Community of St. John Semur (France)
Address: N/A
First Vows: March 2012
Anticipated Final Vows: 2016
Mission: Evangelization Work
Priory/Provincial House: Vichy, France
Formation House: Princeville, Illinois

This section is dedicated to the women who are native or have other strong connections to the Sioux City Diocese, are presently in the process of joining Women’s Religious Communities, and have not yet made permanent vows. If you know of a woman from the Diocese of Sioux City who is presently in the process of joining a religious community and is not listed in this section, please inform the Diocese of Sioux City’s Office of vocations at: vocations@scdiocese.org