What is a vocation and how is it different from a career?

A vocation is the way of life we pursue in order to live out our baptismal call to be a Christian in the world. Our career is how we use the gifts and talents which God has given to us. Many young adults, when considering religious life, think they must choose EITHER a religious vocation OR a career. THIS IS NOT TRUE! You can become a sister AND a doctor; you don’t have to choose between the two.

If I am thinking about being a sister, can I still date?

The process of becoming a sister involves several steps. During the early stages, when you are just beginning the discernment process, it is acceptable for you to also be dating; the vocation of marriage may also be one of the vocations you are discerning. Once you have progressed to where you are living in community with us, it would no longer be appropriate to also maintain a dating relationship, although you may have friends who are male.

Do I have to wear black and white dresses and cut off my hair in order to become a sister?

The Constitutions of the Presentation Sisters say that we wear a simple dress in order to model a life of simplicity. Some members of our community choose to express this simplicity by dressing in black and white, while others simply dress in a manner that reflects their personality and needs. In addition, as a Presentation Sister, you will be called to live among those you serve. To do that, it is often beneficial to dress in a manner that is similar to the dress of those you serve. Cutting off your hair is not a requirement for entering our congregation.

Do all the sisters live at one convent?

Presentation Sisters are an active apostolic community. This means that we discern our call to service first and choose our living arrangements to fit with our call to ministry. Many sisters will live in small groups of two or three or four and some sisters will live alone (for example, a sister working in a rural parish) while meeting regularly with a group of Sisters. About 40-50 of our Presentation Sisters live at our motherhouse in Aberdeen. Some of them are retired, others work in community leadership, and others work at Presentation College or Avera St. Luke’s Hospital in Aberdeen. Many of us live in regular houses or apartments near our place of ministry.

Do sisters sit in church all day long and pray?

The schedule of an individual sister is determined by her ministry and her local community. Certainly, as a sister, you reserve time for personal and communal prayer as well as attending daily Mass. You also have the responsibility to see that your ministry work is completed in a timely fashion. However, there is still time for friends, family and community life.

If I become a sister, will I ever see my family and friends again?

Sisters are certainly allowed to visit with family and friends. You do have a responsibility towards your community members and to the people you serve; however, spending time with family and friends is seen within the context of your whole life in community.

Do I have any choices once I become a sister?

Becoming a sister does not mean you abdicate your personal authority to choose. Instead, you place your choice-making within the context of what is good for you and the Congregation. During your lifetime as a sister, you will have many choices to make, and you will learn how to listen well to the Spirit, to your own inner voice and to the needs of the community when making those decisions.

Will people think I cannot find a husband if I choose to become a sister?

Most people will understand that you’ve chosen to become a sister because it is the vocational calling you heard from God and tested out in your own life, not because you couldn’t find a husband. In addition, the commitment of someone who chooses to become a sister on the rebound from a failed relationship is not likely to stand the test of time.

If the life of a Presentation sister is for me, what are the signs?

If you are a Catholic, single female under the age of forty-five who is generous and enjoys helping others. People who know you say you have the qualities to serve others as a sister. Being a sister captures your imagination, even if you know little about it or feel some resistance. You want to give your life to a cause bigger than yourself. You want to pray better and to live a real life of faith.

Why be a Presentation sister?

We need women to walk with the poor and help change unjust structures. Presentation Sisters are leaders in shaping Christian communities and influencing the mission of the Church. We share a common vision with our sisters in community and mission.