Frequently Asked Questions

  1. What is a Vocation?
  2. What is the process of becoming a Sister?
  3. What does discernment mean?
  4. Who can become a Sister of Bon Secours?
  5. What are the signs of a vocation?
  6. What is required if I choose to explore more with the Sisters of Bon Secours?

  1. What is a Vocation?

    We all have a vocation in life whether it is to marry, stay single, become a vowed religious or priest. And, each one is called, very personally. We are also called to holiness and to be of service to others. Our first vocation is to be our truest selves and to be happy. As we grow in faith, we begin to understand our call in life, usually by God nudging us. My vocation in life may be different to my friend’s.

  2. What is the process of becoming a Sister?

    Inquiry/Pre-Candidate: The first step: become acquainted with us and decide to explore your call. This stage can last between six months and two years. A Sister also introduces you to various aspects of religious life and to the local community.

    Candidate: Once you are accepted and enter, you live in a community of sisters. You fully participate and experience our life, spirituality, tradition, mission, values, community events and ministry. This stage lasts from six months to two years. A mentor guides you in discerning your call to religious life and Bon Secours.

    Novice: Time is set aside from ministry for you to more deeply discern a call, study the charism, history, constitutions, spirituality, theology of the vows, our way of life, and grow in self-knowledge. The novitiate is two years. The second year is for integration while in full-time ministry and living in community. Temporary vows are made at the end of the novitiate.

    Temporary Profession: is a time to fully integrate a life of ministry related to prayer, the vows and community life. This phase lasts between three and six years. Time is given for continued reflection, meeting with a mentor, and personal development. This period ends by making final vows.

  3. What does discernment mean?

    Discernment is a spiritual exercise in which one tries to decide what God is calling one to in a specific instance, and allows one to take a decision freely.

  4. Who can become a Sister of Bon Secours?

    You may think, “I’m not good enough or holy enough.” Relax! Many feel that way when first thinking about religious life. God calls all kinds of people. Characteristics that fit a person considering a religious life are:

    • Love of God and Others

    • Interest and ability in being of service within the Catholic Church

    • Desire for prayer and sharing faith

    • Concern for people who are in need, suffering, vulnerable, sick or dying

    • Generosity of heart and a wholesome attitude

    • Openness to the Spirit and willingness to grow

    • Ability to relate well with others

    • Catholic women generally between the ages of 18-45 and free of marriage bonds

    • Good physical and emotional health

  5. What are the signs of a vocation?

    Check how many of the following statements match how you feel:

    • I’d like to give more and more

    • I have this feeling of being called to do something more than just the routine

    • I see serving other people as life-giving

    • I’d like to have a relationship with God that’s sustaining and reinvigorating

    • I like to share – and would like to share my faith in practical ways

    • I’m restless with my present lifestyle

    • I need more meaning in my life

    If you checked two or more, then you may have a vocation to religious life. But it is not an immediate or simple decision. It takes time and reflection to find out what’s right for you and what God is calling you to do.

    Here are some of the steps you might find helpful:
    • Explore all your options and get information about a variety of possibilities.

    • Find a good mentor, guide or spiritual director.

    • Talk with a Sister of Bon Secours about her life.

    • Pray, alone and with others.

    • Allow your mind and heart to be touched by the Word of God.

    • Develop the art of listening, of being quiet.

    If you get a sense of peace, excitement and joy when you think about religious life, then you may have found the answer.

    For more information contact: or PM us on our Facebook Page Sisters of Bon Secours Ireland.

  6. What is required if I choose to explore more with the Sisters of Bon Secours?

    • A discernment process requires active participation, as well as personal freedom and openness.

    • Prayer and dialogue are also essential.

    • Meet regularly with the vocation directress.

    • Attend Come and See vocation days.

    • Do spiritual reading.

    • Request reading material on the Sisters of Bon Secours.

    • Participate in community events and celebrations as invited.

    • Visit local Bon Secours communities and other gatherings as appropriate.

    • Participate in a live-in experience.

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