Tracey Horan knocks on the Providence Hall door, as so many young women have done in the past. The door is answered by Sister Denise Wilkinson, general superior, and many other sisters, who officially "welcome" Tracey.

Tracey Horan knocks on the Providence Hall door.  The door is answered by Sister Denise Wilkinson, general superior, and many other sisters, who officially “welcome” Tracey into the SP postulancy.

What is the first step?

When a woman is accepted into the Sisters of Providence, she enters a 10- to 24-month postulancy period. This period is an ongoing, integrative process to help the woman learn about the Congregation, come to know the mission and charism, and understand and experience the lifestyle of the Sisters of Providence.

Sister Marsha Speth, director of postulants, describes this initial step, “It’s an immersion experience into religious life with the Sisters of Providence.”

Sister Marsha has been in her position for three years now and she has worked with two other postulants before. She will coordinate Tracey’s schedule and her ministry, as well as conduct assessments and conferences with her. “Tracey will be learning everything she can learn about the Sisters of Providence, and that includes learning about community practices, traditions and ministries.”

The components of the postulancy program are:

• prayer, spiritual direction, theological reflections and an annual retreat
• community living in the formation house
• volunteer ministry experiences with many Sisters of Providence
• intercongregational programs
• weekly conferences with the director of postulants
• book discussions
• instructional sessions

For more information, email Sister Editha Ben, vocation director, moreinfo@spsmw.org; or call 1-800-860-1840, ext. 2895; or write the Sisters of Providence Vocation Office, 1 Sisters of Providence, Saint Mary-of-the-Woods, IN 47876-1089.