In response to my "Great News" post on Religious Life Rocks Jenny KT commented and asked the question: "What's up with three years?"
Very good question!
Ok...I have just been approved for 1st profession which puts me in the category of temporary vows. I am still in the initial process of joining the community. This time of formation allows me to be a "full member" of the congregation AND continue the discernment process to see if this religious life thing continues to be a fit for me.
When we begin the process the community gets to send in letters and recommendations about you. I also had to pick 5 people to do a formal evaluation of me. I submit an extensive self-assessment and my novice minister evaluates me as well. All of this is collected and a group of sisters (whom are kept anonymous) make up what's called "The Review Board". They read through everything and make recommendations on whether or not I should be accepted for vows and also identify areas of strengths and areas of growth for me as I continue to integrate into community. This recommendation and all of the materials then go to the Provies who read through everything and discuss. They make the final decision...gotta love the Provies. All of this process is quite affirming...not scary...affirming!
We can request 1st vows for 1, 2, or 3 years. I requested for 3 because I AM READY. I mean I AM R-E-A-D-Y. It's like this: 1 year...and you barely get into it and then you are going through the process again. 2 years seems too short, but 3...it's like "vow me baby" and I can just live!
Plus...I'm just at this really good place with my discernment. I know this is where I am called, I am at home, and it is in such a grounded place that I requested to make vows...3 years seems like the right thing for me. I'm glad the Provies agreed.
So now you ask, "So 3 years...then what?"
Well...three years and then I can either request final vows (FOR LIFE! LIFE! LIFE! LIFE! LIFE! LIFE!) or renew for up to 6 more years until requesting final vows. It's a process....we keep discerning. If you ask me today what I'm thinking...I think next stop LIFE ladies! But that's getting a little ahead of myself.
So that's why "3 years"...