The novice is
and way of life.
religious community. The leader
of the community lives there, and
usually the community’s administrative offices are located in or near the
A man or woman taking part in the
initial stage of entering a religious
community. The novice is typically
involved in discernment, preparation, and formation activities, including study of the order’s charism,
history, constitution, and way of life.
This period usually lasts from 12 to
24 months and is called the novitiate. At its end, the novice can go on
to take temporary vows of poverty,
chastity, and obedience.
Although people use the terms nun
and sister interchangeably, technically a nun belongs to a contemplative order, lives in a monastery, and
devotes the majority of her time to
prayer for the good of the world. A
sister who is not a nun belongs to an
apostolic religious community, that
is, a community that is involved in
Learn more about #252 at VocationNetwork.org
places in a variety of ministries, like
preaching, teaching, service, and
other forms of witness among the
people with whom they live.
Monastic communities fall some-
Monasticism centers on community
where between apostolic and clois-
tered. Monastic men and women
place a high value on prayer and
living in community life, but many
are also engaged in active ministries.
life, work, and common and indi-
The principal home for a women’s
Learn more about #085 at VocationNetwork.org