Steps in the Process

Basic requirements to become a Sister of Charity of Leavenworth

  • Women, age 20 to 45
  • Free of all debt (with the exception of educational loans)
  • Willing to enter into discernment with an open heart and mind

Steps in the process of becoming a Sister of Charity of Leavenworth (SCL)

This time offers the opportunity for a woman who is interested in the Sisters of Charity of Leavenworth to explore her vocation seriously, and for the SCL Community to consider the woman as a future member. This is ordinarily a nine- to 12-month process that involves a formal connection with a local community of Sisters and conversation with the Vocation Office. For persons who are seriously considering entrance into the Community, an opportunity to live with Sisters in community is encouraged. Such a “live-in experience” provides a short (ordinarily a week) experience in community living and apostolic work.

When a woman is accepted into the Sisters of Charity of Leavenworth, she enters a 10- to 24-month Candidacy. This is an ongoing, integrative process to help the individual learn about the history, mission and charism, and understand and experience the lifestyle of the Sisters of Charity of Leavenworth. This may involve living in one or two formation house settings and work outside of the Community.
At the end of the Candidacy and with the recommendation of the Candidate Director, the Candidate petitions to enter the Novitiate. The year-long Novitiate is a time of initiating and deepening an understanding of the essential components of religious life. This is a period of pastoral formation and guidance, theological study and intense preparation for the vowed life. This year takes place on the Mother House campus in Leavenworth, Kan.
Following a time of prayer and reflection, the Novice discerns her readiness to profess vows. The time of temporary vows is a three- to six-year period of apostolic, communal and spiritual growth during which the Sister prepares for her final profession of vows with the guidance and support of the Community.
A simple vow ceremony during the Mass of Profession marks the final profession of vows as a Sister of Charity of Leavenworth.

FAQs about religious life

What is special about the SCLs?
We are a Community that is committed to the Gospel values of living. Formed in the tradition of St. Vincent de Paul and St. Louise de Marillac, we strive to live intentional lives. Grounded in prayer, we say YES daily to the vows of poverty, chastity and obedience. Modeling community living, we radically support one another in our daily lives and ministries.
Would I have the opportunity to interact with sisters/discerners from other communities?
Yes, we offer the opportunities to connect with other Sisters of Charity communities and various women’s religious communities that have discerners or women in formation. This allows the discerner to meet other people who, like you, are exploring religious life. These encounters take place in the form of service, education, spiritual and social settings.
Do I have to have a college degree to join the SCLs?
No, but you are required to have some work experience past your high school years.
Can I be divorced and enter into discernment?
Yes, as long as you have completed or are working on the annulment process.

More questions about the SCL Community