Stages of Formation
We strongly desire to renew constantly our response to God's call, throughout the different stages of our personal growth and through the transformations of the world in which we are involved... Constitution no. 38
If, after a time of contact with the Helpers, a woman wishes to further explore this call, she enters into a period of Candidacy. As a candidate she will have the opportunity to experience the Helper way of life, either living in community or closely affiliated to a community. During this time, she will have spiritual accompaniment with a Helper to enable her to further reflect on her vocation and to discern whether her aspirations and aptitudes lie in the Helper way of religious life. This period is flexible and can last from 1-2 years. If it is mutually agreed, then a candidate will continue on the Helper journey, she will begin the Novitiate.
This is a time to deepen self-awareness and her personal relationship with God through the practice of spiritual discernment and reflection. The novice will have regular times of prayer, become familiar with the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius, experience community, undertake apostolic work, live according to the spirit of the Vows and assess whether she can live within the traditions and Constitutions of the Helpers. The novitiate lasts for 2 years after which time the novice can request to make first temporary vows.
The Sister makes Temporary Profession to follow Jesus Christ through committing herself to living the vows of celibacy, poverty and obedience for an initial period of one to three years. The duration of Temporary Profession is six to nine years, during which time the sister is fully engaged in the mission of the Institute alongside any necessary studies.
At the time of Final Profession the sister commits herself to follow Jesus Christ within the Helper Institute. Our formation continues throughout life, with time for spiritual renewal, personal development and specific ongoing training relating to the mission.