Come and See

When John the Baptist introduced Jesus to his disciples “Behold the Lamb of God” they were impelled to follow Jesus, curious to learn
about Him. They followed, keeping their distance. Jesus did the first move, turning around and asking them “What is it you seek?”
Rabbi, where do you live? “Come and see” was Jesus’ simple reply. The seekers had the courage to follow his invitation and stayed
with Him. We are all called and invited to find out who Jesus is. We all have an individual vocation which encompasses our whole lives:
the people we are, the choices we make and the lives we live. Each of us has a special path to follow in life!

Many of the stories in the Bible are about individuals who have been called, who have been invited to come and see. People such as
Abraham and Sarah, Moses and Myriam, Ruth and Judith, Mary the mother of Jesus, the apostles and the women in Jesus' company.
They heard God's call and responded to the promptings of the Spirit. God's is inviting you today to come and see... what might be in
store for you. If you are considering religious life, come and visit us. We invite you to set aside some time for reflection and to experience
our way of life.We also invite you to participate in the "Come and See Retreats" at the Convent of the Holy Spirit Missionary Sisters.

The goal of formation in our Congregation is our growth and constant maturing in the following of Christ along the way of the
evangelical counsels as Servants of the Holy Spirit. We are to become increasingly capable of fulfilling the mission of the Congregation:
to proclaim and witness to the saving love of the Triune God among all peoples. (Const. 501)

We welcome women between the ages of 20 and 40 who:
Feel called by God to a religious - missionary life;
Enjoy good physical and mental health;
Are able to help others and who are open to personal and professional growth;
Want to share their lives and faith with other women who have similar goals.

For us, Holy Spirit Missionary Sisters, formation is a continuous process of encountering our God and responding to God's
creative Word. Therefore, our missionary formation is a life-long journey of conversion and transformation in Christ. While the
transformation is primarily the work of God's Spirit in us, it demands our personal response. Our formation process enables
us to know Christ more deeply, to grow in the capacity for greater self-giving. We seek to develop and use all our God-given
talents in the service of others.

Phases of Formation

Formation in our Congregation is a life-long process of conversion and transformation in Christ. All of the various phases of formation
are to be seen as a whole, with particular emphases and goals for each phase.

We can differentiate six phases of formation:

The Vocation Awareness Phase involves being in communication with the S.Sp.S. vocation director for a period of at least three months.
During this time:

  • You will be encouraged to continue your growth in developing a life of prayerful reflection.
  • You will be asked to get in touch with your attraction toward religious life and with your reasons for desiring to become a missionary.
  • We will ask you to explore your inclination and capacity to serve others such as being involved in parish activities or other charitable works.
  • We will also encourage you to ask questions about us, Holy Spirit Missionary Sisters, our lifestyle, our mission, and our formation process.

The Affiliate Phase offers you the opportunity to discern your call to religious life.

  • Develop a more personal relationship with us
  • Meet periodically with our vocation director
  • Participate in retreats and live-ins
  • Spend time in one of our small communities
  • Learn about the spirit and ministries of our community

The Pre-Novitiate Phase is essentially a time of self-discovery and God discovery.
During this year, you will:

  • Live in our house of formation with a group of sisters
  • Prepare yourself for your future missionary service through study or work experience
  • Learn about the spirit and charism of our community
  • Receive personal guidance to help you make a mature vocation choice

The Novitiate Phase is a two-year period of intensive spiritual preparation for your total dedication to God through religious profession.
You will be given time and space to:

  • Deepen your personal relationship with Christ
  • Experience alternate times of solitude and missionary service
  • Develop your relationship with God through study of scriptures,theology, and the spiritual life
  • Deepen your understanding and experience of poverty, celibacy and obedience through intense prayerful reflection
  • Learn how we, as missionaries, live our dedication to Christ and His people

Temporary Profession takes place at the end of the novitiate.

  • You will spend some time in study and time in ministry.
  • You will have the opportunity to experience missionary service in a cross-cultural situation.

Perpetual Profession is the major decision that takes place after six years in temporary vows. It is fortifying you for the journey of
constant conversion and openness to the Spirit.

We are all God's children. Developing a special relationship with our loving God is the real purpose and goal in our lives. There can
be no doubt that a person's self fulfillment and ultimate happiness greatly depends on this relationship with God. It can be a religious
missionary vocation which a woman may choose. In our journey of faith, we may have many ways to respond to God's invitation to a
creative life. In the Catholic Church we have traditional tried and proven ways of responding to God: Married love, dedication in single
life or religious/vowed life. In our case, we invite young women to a religious missionary life in our missionary congregation.
Some initial questions to consider when seeking out religious life...

  • Do I recognize God's loving, healing, forgiving presence in my own life? And am I challenged to reflect God's love to others?
  • Do I have an interest in, or a commitment to, making Jesus known to those who have not yet heard of Jesus?
  • Do I have an interest in, or a commitment to, working for the full development of the peoples of the world?
  • Do I have an interest in, and the ability for, serving people in a way that enables their growth?
  • Do I have an interest in, and the ability for, going beyond my own language and culture?
  • Do I have an interest in, and the ability for, dialoguing with people of other faiths and convictions?
  • Do I have the largeness of heart to live in inter-cultural communities?

If you have answered "YES" to some of the previous questions, you might want to search and inquire what that could mean in your
life with God. God calls us each by name, seeking to make us whole and happy in each stage of our life. Our task is to listen well, to
trust and to respond with attentive love to the Holy Spirits' promptings. What counts on the way of discernment is your faithfulness
to the gentle whispers of the Spirit as well as to the sometimes shocking thunder awakening you to your truth. God's voice is
persistent; God's love is constant.
If you are interested to know more about religious life,
send us an email or write to:

Office of Vocation Ministry
319 Waukegan Road, Northfield, IL 60093
Ph: 847-441-0126 ext. 704
Discernment Prayer

What a day in the Convent looks like?
  • Morning Prayer
  • Eucharistic Celebration
  • Breakfast
  • Meditation (Each sister schedules the best time for herself)
  • Work
  • Dinner
  • Work
  • Evening Prayer
  • Supper
  • Recreation (Sisters may choose other times for recreation)

Faith sharing groups meet once a week (Each group choose day time and place).
Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament: (First Friday and Third Monday of each month).
Private Recollection: Once a month
This is the community schedule. Sisters who have a ministry outside of the community may have a different schedule according to her responsibilities.

What do women - religious missionaries do?
We make use of our gifts of imagination in order to employ our knowledge, skills, love, wisdom, courage, strength in hardships, creativity,
and our spontaneity in the service of others. We are long-life learners, dedicated to the Lord, always nurturing the great desire to make God's love known, everywhere, all the time and forever.

How do you go about "making disciples" as Jesus told his followers to do?
There is one basic condition that assists us and is common to us all. Through baptism each person is called to be a disciple of Jesus. In and with the Spirit we bear witness and nurture that call into full discipleship, our own and that of others.

Do missionaries travel a lot?
Some Sisters do; they receive an appointment to take care of a ministry in another country. Some, due to their administrative position, travel to many countries. Other Sisters who never leave their native country feel no less being a missionary than those who have served or are serving in other parts of the world. They assist through their prayers, thoughts, and concerns, “traveling” the whole globe.

Do you ever feel homesick?
This depends on the individual. There are times when you miss your family and friends. However, we do visit our families, are present for special occasions, and can receive visitors.