How do I know that God is calling me?
For many people "the call" is a growing awareness that becoming a religious is what will bring them most joy and a sense of fulfillment in their lives. They may realize that a life of service is for them the best use of their gifts and talents. For some "the call" is sudden and for others it is a gradual process.
Where are you located in the United States and Canada?
How do I become a Religious of the Sacred Heart?
How do I know whether I have a vocation to the Society of the Sacred Heart?
Relationships lie at the heart of who we are and how we live. When you ask about full membership in our community, our way of assisting you is to introduce you to Religious of the Sacred Heart (RSCJ) in an area close to where you live. You will be assigned a mentor will talk with you about our community spirit and mission, and welcome you to our communities for prayer, dinner, and social gatherings so that you can grow in your understanding of who we are. Throughout this process the Vocation Director for the United States Province will also assist you in whatever way is helpful. If you discover that you feel at home with us, you might want to consider initiating the process of becoming an RSCJ. The discernment process is directed by the Vocation Director.
How long does it take to become a full member of the Religious of the Sacred Heart?
As with all relationships, developing a relationship between you and the Religious of the Sacred Heart will take time. The process of becoming a full member usually takes nine years and is divided into three stages: candidacy (one year), novitiate (two years) and professed of temporary vows (at least six years). From the moment you become a candidate, you will be welcomed as a member of the RSCJ community and begin to share fully in our lives.
Aside from this province, where else in the world do Religious of the Sacred Heart serve?
Worldwide, we number about 1,800 and serve in 41 countries on six continents. Our members around the world speak more than 25 different languages. Visit our international website for more information about the broader commuinty.
Could I ever work in another country?
As members of an international community with a mission of discovering and revealing God's love, we are deeply committed to strengthening relationships with people of other cultures and faiths. With this goal in mind, young professed RSCJ are expected to spend several months living and working in another country prior to making their final vows in the Society. They also live for approximately five months in Rome with an international group in the last stage of preparation for final vows. Further, serving outside the United States, in one of the 41 countries in which our sisters live and work, is a possibility after you become a full member of the Society.
Can I continue to do the work that I am currently doing?
We believe that a woman is most effective in ministry when she draws on her unique gifts, education and experience. In some cases, a woman may continue in the profession she chose before entering. In other cases, a woman may find herself called to a completely different kind of work. As a Religious of the Sacred Heart choosing how to live out your commitment, you will be expected to take into account the demands of the gospel and the needs of the world in relation to the mission, vision, and needs of the Society. Like our founder, Saint Madeleine Sophie Barat, we believe that God lives at the heart of humanity in the sufferings, joys, fears and dreams of people everywhere.
Does your congregation wear a habit?
Religious of the Sacred Heart wear ordinary clothes, native to their country, and a logo pin and/or profession cross that helps to identify them as members of the Society. We feel that this gives us a greater opportunity to be “inserted into the world” as Vatican II requested of us.
What do the initials “RSCJ” stand for?
The initials stand for Religieuses du Sacré-Coeur de Jesu. We were founded in France and this is our French name. We refer to ourselves as Religious of the Sacred Heart.