Saturday, June 15 2024

Formation Program

From our baptism, God has been active in our lives, calling each of us. As RSHM, we recognize God’s invitation to a radical commitment to follow Christ through vowed life lived in community. The essence of our formation is our response to this invitation. Formation is a life-long process, extending throughout our lives.

We are an international congregation with sisters serving in a variety of ministries in 13 countries. We view internationality as a gift that enables us to reach beyond national boundaries to serve wherever there is a need. Thus, an experience of living with sisters from many countries in our Institute’s international bilingual novitiate is part of our formation program.

Stages of Formation:


  • You will meet and have ongoing discussions with our Director of Vocations.
  • You will probably also be mentored by a spiritual director who will help you understand God’s call for you.
  • You will have opportunities to get to know the RSHM and for them to get to know you.


  • While you maintain your current employment or education, you will move into and share the daily life of a local community.
  • You will come to a greater understanding of the RSHM mission and spirit as you continue to discern God’s call and your response.
  • In preparation for your time in our bilingual Institute novitiate in Brazil, you will begin your study of Portuguese and English.

Novitiate: (2 years)

  • Living in the International Institute novitiate in Brazil, you will be part of a multi-national, bilngual community of professed sisters and novices who may come from the United States, Latin and South America, Europe, and Africa.
  • The first novitiate year is devoted to a study of the mission, history, and spirit of the RSHM Institute, a study of the vows, and the deepening of your own prayer and spiritual life.
  • During your second year, you will have the opportunities to experience a variety of ministries.
  • At the conclusion of the novitiate, you profess your vows of chastity, poverty and obedience as a Religious of the Sacred Heart of Mary.

Temporary Profession: (approximately 6 years)

  • During this time, you may live and minister in your country of origin and /or in other parts of the Institute.
  • You will learn to integrate prayer, community life and ministry, and will continue to study RSHM history, Constitutions, and other documents.
  • As you deepen your relationship with God and with the Institute, an RSHM will “accompany” you, assisting you in journeying towards a perpetual profession.
  • At the end of this period, you will being the process of preparing to make your perpetual vows, which are both a culmination of your initial formation and the continuation of your life-long formation.