Frequently Asked Questions
do the initials "OSF" after a Sister's name mean?
"OSF" stands for Order of Saint
do religious communities differ from one another?
There are many
different kinds of religious communities or "orders" thoughout the world. The spirit, charism and origins of each
community are unique. In general, some
are "contemplative" communities whose members are devoted to the ministry of
prayer. They maintain a structured
routine and generally live in seclusion, apart from the world. Others, such as the Sisters of St. Francis, are active "apostolic" communities which
practices ministry among all people.
does one become a sister?
The process of choosing religious
life begins with a period of "discernment" during which one prayerfully
considers the calling to religious life.
After initial contact with a religious community, vocation options are
explored. Once a candidate chooses and
applies to a particular community, a "formation" process is begun. The initial stage is referred to as
"postulancy" or "candidacy." During this
period, the individual learns about communal life, and the ministries and
mission of the particular congregation.
This is followed by a "novitiate" period in which a person is formally
admitted to the congregation. This is a
period of prayer and spiritual study and lasts for a year or more. Upon completing the novitiate, temporary vows
of poverty, chastity and obedience are professed. This is a final period of discernment before
making a perpetual profession of vows.
4. What sort of woman becomes a sister?
There is no real
typical profile of a woman religious.
Some women enter religious life at a very young age, but others commit
later in life. There is often a wide
variety of life and college experiences.
Many have already been active in a profession, career, or ministry. New members have a strong desire to use their
talents and passions in service of the Church and the Franciscan
community. Clinton Franciscans are
driven by our mission of active nonviolence and peacemaking and serve in
ministries involving social work, education, health care, parish life,
can I find a Sister of St. Francis that I knew years ago?
We often receive requests from
people whose lives have been touched by a Sister of St. Francis. Although it is
our policy not to release a sister's personal information, we will do our best
to help you try to connect with someone in our community. Use the Contact Us form or call us at 563-242-7611 and
we will relay it to the sister so that she may contact you.
can I help in some way or be a part of the ministry done by Sisters of St.
Francis, even though I am not a member of the community?
We welcome you to become involved
in the community in many different ways.
Visit the Join Us section of
this website to learn about becoming a Sojourner
or Associate. We also are enriched by relationships with
many Friends and those who
participate in our Advocacy Groups. Many choose to Support
Us financially for which we are also very grateful.