Any interested woman who feels drawn to religious life is encouraged
to write, telephone, or visit the monastery. She is very welcome to speak to the nuns, ask any questions, and pray in
the church. There is no age limit.
If she lives too far away for a day visit or wishes to spend a longer
time exploring her calling, she may stay a few days as a Guest/Retreatant in the Guest-wing, with no obligation or pressure
The term "Enclosure" tends to be misunderstood, so it is important to
clarify what it means as far as vocations are concerned.
The enclosure consists of the larger part of the monastery and garden
where the religious community live and work. This area is strictly private, for the nuns only, and no one is allowed
to enter the private enclosure unless it is essential (maintenance, repairs, etc.).
"Outside Enclosure" is anything beyond the enclosure door where the cloistered/enclosed nuns
don't normally go, even if it is part of the monastery building, e.g. the guest-wing; reception rooms; the front door; and
the Public Church. The cloistered/enclosed nuns can meet visitors in a room called the Parlour, where the visitor enters
from one side and the nun from the other, to talk through a grille.
The extern sisters live inside the enclosure with the cloistered nuns,
but do certain duties outside the enclosure, e.g. answering the door; greeting guests; duties in the public side of the church.
They also go out in public for certain reasons, e.g. necessary shopping and posting letters.
This convent offers two ways of living the Poor Clare Colettine life.
Both are valid and recognized types of religious life.
There are Cloistered Colettines (enclosed) and Extern Colettines (not
The formation (training) for both is the same. The only variation
will be in some work duties. So, during formation, if a person is unsure of what vocation she is called to, she may
try both types to help her decide.
A person in formation may choose to leave at any time.
The postulancy lasts for a year and is an introduction ot the Poor Clare
An enclosed postulant will spend this time inside the enclosure.
An extern postulant will spend the first six months inside the enclosure.
During the second six months, she will start learning how to assist the extern sisters in some of their duties outside the
The postulant will be asked to bring a pair of sandals, any brown clothing
and any white blouses that she has. A brown sleeveless dress and a brown veil will be provided.
The novitiate consists of one "canonical year" completely within the
enclosure, even for extern sisters. It is a time of restricted contact with the world, for studying and deepening the
prayer life in preparation for the vows.
An extra year may be added, if it is felt that the novice requires more
time at this level. If she does have a second year as a novice, the extern novices will have duties outside the enclosure
with the extern sisters.
A novice will receive the habit of the Poor Clare Colettines and a white
veil, but there will be no knots in her cord-belt.
A Junior Professed sister receives a black veil and makes vows for three
years. As she makes her vows, she ties knots in her cord-belt.
The extern sisters make three vows of Poverty, Chastity, and Obedience.
The cloistered sisters take those same three vows and an extra vow
At Final Profession, a ring is placed on the finger of the sister to
wed her to Our Lord. She is then a full member of the community, and forever a Bride of Christ.