STAGE OF FORMATION

We are called to be witnesses to the Gospel in a dialogue which is open to present-day realities and we desire to be close to those who suffer. Our formation raises awareness of all that can give hope to our wounded world.

As part of an International Congregation, our mission crosses many cultures and our formation enables us to experience this diversity.

Our formation throughout life calls us to continually deepen our faith life, to develop our personal gifts and to evaluate our attitudes in the light of the Gospel so that Christ may be reflected in our actions.

The Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius are at the heart of our formation. They enable us deepen our encounter with Christ and to grow in the inner freedom which allows us to hear the call to serve and which gives us the courage to respond. The founding intuitions of Eugenie Smet, are integral to our formation. We want to be faithful to them and to be attentive to developing their richness in a creative response to the needs of our times.

Stages of Formation:

Candidacy

If, after a period of contact with the Helpers, a woman wishes to further explore this call, she may enter 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 Direction with a Helper to enable her to further reflect on her vocation and to discern whether her aspirations and aptitudes lie in this form of religious life. This period is flexible but can last from 1-2 years. If it is mutually agreed that a candidate continue on the Helper journey, she will begin the Noviciate.

Novitiate

This is a time to deepen self-awareness and the 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 according to the traditions and Constitutions of the Helpers. There is usually an international experience and an opportunity to meet with novices from other countries. The noviciate lasts for 2 years after which the novice can request to make first vows.

Temporary Profession

The Sister makes profession to follow Jesus Christ in celibacy, poverty and obedience, for a period of one, two or three years. The duration of Temporary Profession is six years during which time the sister is fully engaged in the mission of the Institute either through a specific work or studies.

Final Profession

After six years the sister makes Final Profession to follow Jesus Christ within the Helper community. Our formation continues throughout life, with time for spiritual renewal, personal development and specific ongoing training relating to the mission.

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