Common Questions about Vocations

The Sisters of St. Margaret The Sisters of St. Margaret | god-1 The Sisters of St. Margaret

What is a vocation?

Many people use the word vocation (from the Latin vocare, meaning “to call”) in reference to the call to be a priest, sister, or brother. However, the meaning of vocation is much broader: every baptized person has a vocation–a call–to love and serve God. Each person must discern how to live out that call. Some feel called to live as single or married laypeople; others choose to join a religious community (as sisters or brothers); still others choose ordination as deacons or priests.

What is a sister or nun? Is there a difference?

A sister or nun is a woman who belongs to a religious order. Many people use the word nun interchangeably with sister, but technically nuns are those who live a cloistered  monastic life, whereas sisters serve in an active ministry. We in the Society of St. Margaret are Sisters: we live together in community but our mission and ministry call us to go out into the world.

Do I have to be an Episcopalian to be a sister of St. Margaret?

Yes, but we have had women join our order who have come from a variety of religious backgrounds. However, a candidate would need to become an Episcopalian prior to applying to our order.

What are the vows you take as sisters?

Sisters of St. Margaret take vows of poverty, celibate chastity, and obedience; that is, we promise to live simply, to live celibately, and to follow the will of God through our community.

What is a vocations director? 

A vocations director is a Sister designated by the Superior to help inquirers discern their vocation and to oversee the application process of new members entering the community. She assists women who are considering the possibility of joining a religious order by providing support, discernment counseling, and information.

What is the process to enter the Society of St. Margaret?

Once a candidate chooses to apply to our community and is accepted, she  begins a formation process starting with postulancy, in which she is introduced to the communal life, ministries, and mission of the community. Following postulancy comes the novitiate, where she is formally admitted to the Society of St. Margaret. The novitiate is an extended time of prayer, study and spirituality, which usually lasts for at least two years. After the novitiate, the novice takes temporary vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience. This period of temporary commitment allows for further discernment before she makes a profession of life vows.

Can married women become sisters of St. Margaret? Women who are widowed or divorced?

Women who are currently married would not be eligible to become a sister in our community. We take vows of celibate chastity, forgoing marriage to live life in community in order to direct our energies to service of the wider world, rather than a family of our own. Women we have been previously married and are now divorced or widowed would be able to become sisters, provided that they do not have any dependents.