Formation Experience

Entering into Religious Life



Initial Inquiry

We offer a unique beginning phase within which we invite any single young woman who feels called to missionary life to enter into communication with the community, first through calling the telephone number of the Vocation Directress in her country followed by an informal visit. (See list of Numbers in the Vocation page on this website.)  Over time you will be encouraged to engage in informal chats and correspondence with other members of the community. The Directress will support you as you explore other congregations and communities and other ways of service within Christian vocation.

If you are still in college you will be encouraged to continue your studies while you continue to correspond and on occasion visit the community. The directress will guide you as you spend quiet time in prayer and reflection and will offer various materials for you to read relevant to your interests. This period lasts for about six months. If at the end of that time you feel drawn to find out more about being a member of the community you are invited to a Pre-Candidacy program.



This begins a one-year period of a formal communication with the Sisters while you continue to live in your current residence. It is a time to help you gain a better understanding of the community and to measure the comfort level one feels with the idea of being a part of it. Throughout this year, guided by a sister designated to support you, you are given the opportunity to deepen your Christian faith and to deepen your understanding of yourself.

Better self-knowledge leads to a better understanding of where God is calling you to. Your sister guide shares with you the stories of the congregation, history, origins and places the community members have served in ministry over the years. She helps you to cultivate the art of listening intentionally within yourself to hear where God is leading you.

In addition to your guide, you will be sponsored by a Holy Rosary sister’s community who invite you to know and understand their way of life. They will visit you and your family and invite you to visit them from time to time. Once a month you will be invited to a pre-candidacy gathering. This year’s activity is gauged to fit your needs and to work within the context of your life at this time.


The interested candidate begins a two-year program living in residence with others of like mind in a home specifically established for this purpose. Women accepted into the program are generally within the 21 to 30 year age range. They have been a part of the Catholic Church for a minimum period of two years. Many have college and work experience before joining the community. There are three candidacy residences at this time in Kenya, Brazil and Cameroon. Core elements are in place in each country specific to their geographic area.

 New candidates are normally placed in a residence within the area they are from. As a candidate you are given the opportunity to work in ministry for a prolonged period of time. You may work with the poor and disadvantaged in a country; in refugee camps; small Christian communities; Christian education; health care; social justice; environmental development or other ministerial works depending on your particular gifts.


For a period of approximately two years you enter into a deep spiritual experience, developing a close personal relationship with Jesus Christ. This relationship becomes central to your life as a religious missionary woman. It energizes you and gives meaning to your missionary activity. The novitiate program includes aspects of human development, theological development and Scripture.

When ready, you are called upon to experience a ministry outside of your country and culture, where you will serve the needs of the poor and marginalized in one of the thirteen countries the Missionary Sisters of the Holy Rosary serve. 

One of the strengths of the novitiate experience is the intercultural/international mix of the women within the community and within the peoples you serve. You are given the opportunity to challenge yourself to know and understand the people and their heritage and to broaden your world view.

In simple terms…
Called by God:
to act justly
to love tenderly
to walk humbly with our God

Prophet Micah Ch. 6:8


Vowed Religious: First Year of Profession
If at the end of the 2 year novitiate program, you feel God is calling you to religious life you become a vowed Missionary Sister of the Holy Rosary called to share the Good News with the poor in the spirit of the founder, Joseph Shanahan. The vow you take is your first profession of vows within which you commit your life to live by the vows of Poverty, Chastity and Obedience.

At some point after first year professions a year is spent in sound theological study in an international/intercultural setting. The venue for this experience is the Tangaza Theological University in Nairobi, Kenya.


Final Profession

Within three to nine years of first profession, you may request to make a life time commitment to the missionary way of life. You will then make a commitment of perpetual vows.

As a vowed Missionary Sister of the Holy Rosary you will work in one of the many ministries referenced within this web site.

Visit also on this website  the “Explore Mission” which will give you more insight into Mission through the stories of Holy Rosary Sisters on Mission.

Walk with Us