Novitiate is a very special and intense time, usually two years, in which both the novice and the community get to know each other and discover if they are a good “match.”
The novice spends one of the two years giving her full attention to the questions, “Is this my call?” and “Is it worth my whole life?” At the same time, the community considers, “Will this new member help take us into the future, while knowing and understanding our history?”
Because she is not engaged in formal work for the year, she is free to learn the IHM history and tradition from stories told by the elders, as well as through formal study. She may also volunteer in different ministries to test her gifts and acumen in a more radical way than ever before.
She lives with other IHMs and participates in community life and responsibilities. In a home with others, she learns how sisters live. She maintains contact with her family and friends, while giving priority to her new and developing relationships.
Several months before the end of the two years, she will study the vows in depth and reflect on them with professed IHMs whom she admires and from whom she wishes to learn.
If accepted by the Leadership Council, the novice takes the most important step in her life: profession of vows. In this covenant with God she dares to live her life within religious life in a prophetic stance before all.