FAQs

What is special about the Sisters of Charity of Leavenworth (SCLs)?

We are a joy-filled Community rooted in the spirituality of St. Vincent De Paul and St. Louise de Marillac and committed to the Gospel values of justice and charity. We strive to live intentional lives of responding to critical needs of people we serve and with whom we serve. Grounded in prayer, we say “YES” daily to the vows of poverty, chastity and obedience. Modeling community living, we support one another in our daily lives and ministries.

What are the requirements to become a Sister of Charity of Leavenworth?

The Sisters come from different family, education, work and ethnic backgrounds. The basic requirements are that a woman be between the ages of 20 to 45 and willing to enter into discernment with an open heart and mind. We also require that candidates be free of debt (with the exception of educational loans).

How does a person know she has a vocation to religious life?

This happens in different ways. Some feel a pull in their hearts to be part of something bigger than themselves. Others feel drawn to community living and lives of service; others to deeper spirituality; and some to all of the above. Sister Vicki Lichtenauer, the SCL Vocation Director, can provide guidance and answer other questions to help in the discernment process.

What are the steps to becoming a Sister of Charity of Leavenworth?
  • Pre-candidacy – This is an exploratory time (nine to 12 months) for the young woman and the Community to get to know each other.
  • Candidacy – Following formal acceptance, the Candidate spends 10 to 24 months learning about the history and spirit of the SCLs and experiencing life in community.
  • Novitiate – With the recommendation of the Candidate Director, the Candidate petitions to enter the Novitiate – a year-long intense preparation for vowed religious life. The Novice lives and studies on the Mother House campus in Leavenworth.
  • Temporary vows – Once the Novice has discerned her readiness, she makes temporary vows of three to six years.
  • Perpetual vows – At a mutually agreed upon time, the Sister makes her final profession of vows as an SCL.

(More detail can be found at Interested in Becoming a Sister)

What do Sisters do?
Today’s Sisters serve in a variety of different ministries based on their education and training; their interests; and “fit” with the mission of the SCL Community. For example, SCLs currently direct an Eco-Justice Center; form a circle of support for women who are trafficked; provide medical care in a clinic for the underserved; work with refugees who have fled to Italy; teach; and do pastoral ministry. See Current Ministries.
What other opportunities exist for a person with like values to get to know or collaborate with the SCLs?
  • Marillac Center, the retreat center located on our Mother House campus, offers a variety of programs, many of them conducted by SCLs.
  • SCLs are part of the core team of the House of Charity, New Orleans, where young women who are discerning vocations and young adult groups can perform short-term volunteer service.
  • SCLs and SCL Associates who share the Community’s spirit can invite other like-spirited persons to consider becoming SCL Associates to share prayer, service and friendship.
  • Persons aligned with social justice concerns of the SCL Community can access resources available at Peace, Justice, Creation.
What is an SCL Associate (SCLA)?
SCL Associates are lay men and women who identify with the characteristic spirit of the SCL Community. Associates unite with Sisters and other SCLAs in their search for the fundamental values of Christian life, especially as that life reflects a counter culture in today’s society. Sisters and Associates share opportunities to enrich their lives through prayer, spiritual formation and networking. Together, they witness and advocate for social justice.
How does a person become an SCL Associate?

SCLs or other SCL Associates invite a person to become an Associate. Through a process of approval and identification of a Sponsor, the individual becomes a Candidate and completes a Come & See Year of formation. Following this, there is final discernment, a formal application, acceptance and a commitment ceremony.

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