In general, applicants are accepted  after they have been in contact with the community for a sufficient time to allow both the individual and the community time to experience one another. Applicants will become postulants for a period of six months.  During this time, formal classes are begun in preparation for their religious life.   Postulants do not yet wear the habit (garb) of the Sisters, but wear a simple garb as directed by the formation manual.


After the first six months, the postulant may request admission to the Novitiate. If the request is granted by the community chapter, she is accepted as a Novice in a private ceremony and is clothed in the white habit and a white veil. The Novice may choose to keep her baptismal name or a name of a patron by which she is to be known in religious life.  The novitiate of eighteen months will include study of the Benedictine Rule, Constitution, Scripture, Liturgy, Church Fathers and other classes on meditation, and developing the spiritual life.

Temporary Vows

After the Novitiate is completed, the Novice may request permission to make temporary vows.  If the community accepts the Novice by vote of the chapter, the Novice is allowed to make temporary vows for one year.   Temporary profession is renewed annually up to the time of perpetual vows.  The specific vows made by Benedictines are Obedience, Poverty, Celibate Chastity, Reformation of Life according to Monastic Principles, and Stability in the Community.

The Life of an Olivetan Benedictine

While progressing toward full membership in the Olivetan Benedictine Community, the individual takes part in all aspects of community life. This includes daily meditation, Mass, Liturgy of the Hours, Lectio Divina, and the daily schedule of activities.

Perpetual Vows

Perpetual vows are made no less than after four years of temporary profession, and no longer than after nine. If the Junior Sister petitions and the community chapter approves, she is allowed to make perpetual vows.  Perpetually professed Sisters wear a gold ring. By perpetual vows, the Sister embraces a lifelong commitment to following the evangelical counsels and fidelity to the monastic observance.