International Novitiate
at the Sisters of the Holy Cross

Is God 
calling you?

Do you feel a strong desire to serve others, to find God through prayer and to live a vowed life in community? If so, please contact one of our vocation directors in your country for more information.

The International Novitiate at Saint Mary’s, Notre Dame, Indiana, helps prepare new members for life and service to God's people in communities around the world. It also reflects the Congregation’s identity as a richly diverse international and intercultural community of women. 


What is a novitiate?

A novitiate is a house of formation where new members of religious congregations get to know God, their community and themselves better. Our two-year novitiate program provides new members with a common novitiate formation experience and connects them with their peers from around the world. Learn more about the process of joining a religious community.


What do the novices do?

Novices learn about and reflect on spirituality, prayer and community history, and participate in faith formation by becoming familiar with Scripture, Catholic doctrine and the sacraments. They also engage in personal prayer and spiritual direction. Novices provide liturgical ministry at the Church of Our Lady of Loretto and visit the Congregation’s senior sisters. They form community together—planning and leading community prayer, cooking meals and leading community meetings. They also spend time acclimating to the area and culture by attending workshops and serving others in the South Bend, Indiana, community.

Why is the novitiate at Saint Mary’s?

We believe that its location at our motherhouse is a great benefit. The presence of our senior sisters provides added support, enrichment, and examples of religious and apostolic commitment for new members. There also is a strong presence of the Holy Cross family—brothers, sisters and priests—in the South Bend area. In addition, the local civic community is vibrant and multicultural, providing varied ministry opportunities and rich spiritual, cultural and academic resources and experiences.


Why is internationality important?

Blessed Basil Anthony Moreau, founder of the Holy Cross congregations, wanted his members to go out to the world with the message of Christ. The Sisters of the Holy Cross serve on four continents and in eight countries. In turn, our International Novitiate reflects the reality of our increasingly intercultural and international Congregation.

Joining a community

Do you think you have a call to the religious life or want to know more about the Sisters of the Holy Cross?