St. Benedict's Monastery on the Red


Stages of Discernment


Becoming a member of a Benedictine monastic community is a process of learning and growing in knowledge of God, self and the community.

A period of affiliation assists a woman in discerning her vocation by visits to our monastery, joining in liturgy, meals and conversation with the vocation director and other sisters. Spiritual direction with a qualified director is recommended during this time.

Postulancy is the period (from 6 months to a year) that begins a gradual incorporation into the rhythm of monastic life. A postulant lives within the community and engages in prayer, work within and outside the community, community gatherings and study.

Novitiate follows and initiates a woman more fully into the meaning and living of monastic life through works within the monastery and opportunities for solitude and study of Benedictine life and spirituality.

Monastic Profession is made when a woman and the community together discern her readiness to commit herself to the monastic life through a profession of stability, obedience and fidelity to the way of life (ongoing growth). After a period of 3 to 5 years in temporary profession the sister and community discern her readiness for life-long commitment (perpetual profession).