“The new member is gradually introduced to the life and charism of the Marian Sisters. During the time of postulancy, while receiving basic instruction in consecrated life and Catholic doctrine, the postulant actively participates in a program of human, spiritual, academic and apostolic formation… during this time of transition from life in the secular world, to grow in intimacy with Jesus Christ through Eucharistic prayer, the practice of recollection, generous self-sacrifice, and joyful community life.”
~Marian Sisters of Santa Rosa Constitutions
The day in the life of a postulant can be a beautiful thing. Each day is a gift from the Lord in which we learn more and more what it is to be a Sister. For a general outline of an average day for the Sisters, click here. But, there
are a few differences for the postulants. One day we may be out in an apostolate, but most days we are home in classes and with daily duties around the convent. Regardless of the possible variations, each day is held up by four
main pillars: prayer, duties, community life, and learning.
As you can see on our main schedule, prayer certainly has the pride of place in our lives. This is no different for us postulants! We start each day with a Eucharistic Holy Hour, so no matter what new, challenging, or different thing we will encounter on any day, we have the benefit of quiet time with the Lord. We are also blessed to attend Holy Mass in the mornings as well. The rest of the day until we retire is punctuated with prayer – the formal prayers as you see listed on the schedule as well as personal visits to the Blessed Sacrament and aspirations prayed throughout our duties. Although none of us postulants were unfamiliar with prayer (one does not often come to the convent without some sort of prayer life), we are gradually learning some aspects of how this community prayers. One postulant may still be learning how to chant the Divine Office. Another may struggle some mornings in meditation. But the heart is there and the learning continues!
With a Holy Hour and reception of Our Savior in Holy Communion, all of the Sisters set forth on their duties. The postulants each have a specific duty assigned in the convent itself – kitchen, gardening/maintenance, and sacristy/laundry. So, when you see “Apostolate/Daily Duties” on the main schedule, that is what we are up to! We work in a “simple silence”, meaning conversation is usually limited to what is necessary for the work. One need not
fear to ask for help! But the general atmosphere of silence is helpful to turn even the work into a prayer, an offering to the Lord for His greater glory and the salvation of souls. There is also a gentle learning curve here as well. One
is not always assigned to duties in which they have experience, but with the helpful guidance from our Superiors, humility in asking for help, and abandonment to God’s Holy Will for this task, we will hopefully grow from each
Community life is an important part of the postulant’s day. We spend a lot of time in prayer together, but we also study, work, and recreate together. We are not a group of people who just happen to live together, but this truly is a
family. But this family was called together to live and love in a particular way (see our charism) and so we postulants are continually learning even in the common areas of community life what is means to live as a Marian Sister of Santa Rosa. A small, but telling example is when the main cook advised her new postulant assistant to always think before leaving the kitchen, “Would Our Lady leave it this way?” Simple? Yes, but in it lies the heart of the Marian spirituality of the community.
Finally, learning encompasses a great portion of the average day of a postulant. While we do have formal classes (and we are blessed with very helpful and interesting ones), most of our learning is folded into the living of the
life. Our Superiors and other Sisters help guide us and remind us what this life is about. Or really, WHO it is about. Then, with that focus, we can approach our formal studies and strive to learn what we need to serve God and His people.
By looking at our schedule and getting a peek into what lies behind the schedule, I am sure that you can see a day in the life of a postulant can be quite full! But when everything is focused on the Lord, it is made sweet.