Is it normal to feel afraid of losing my identity as I join religious life?
Some people who consider joining religious life may wonder if they will be able to be themselves as they become part of a religious community. The best thing we can offer to the community is to bring our best selves to this commitment. The heart of our quest for God and service in religious life is being authentic. We bring our whole selves, all the gifts we have and challenges we may face.
How will this community be a place where I can feel at home?
When you are new, you may not feel totally at home right away. It takes time. You will realize you are just beginning the process of integrating into a community and making connections and relationships. In each step along the way you will have the opportunity to think, ask questions, pray about, discern and see if this is the right fit for you in religious life and in this community. As you begin to see yourself in this community, the sense of comfort and being at home with others increases.
Where will I live?
Ordinarily the candidate will live in community with other IHM Sisters. The candidate enters into the IHM community lifestyle, prays with the sisters, works with them toward common goals and assumes her share of responsibility in IHM living situations. Not only does the candidate come to know a local community of IHM Sisters, but she is also introduced to the larger community as a participating member in congregational gatherings, as well as inter-congregational gatherings when possible.
Do I have to sign on the dotted line?
There is not any part of this decision that is not accompanied by time for reflection, discernment , consultation and peaceful decision-making. You are free at all times in the process of vocation discernment and decision-making.