Everyone has a vocation

Do you experience God calling you to religious life?


Every person has a vocation: a calling or mission in life for which they are distinctly suited. Realizing your religious vocation requires a spirit of seeking. You must remain open to discover who you are, what gifts you bring, and how God intends for you to share those gifts with the world around you. 

Two members involved in formation and vocation at Saint Mary's, Sisters of the Holy Cross
Initially professed Sisters gather to share their vocation joy. Saint Mary's, Sisters of the Holy Cross


As Sisters of the Holy Cross, we respond to God’s call to participate in the mission of Jesus, whose life serves as witness to God’s love for all creation. We embrace as our core values faith, compassion, prayer and community, which shape and equip us to discern and respond to the world’s needs. We minister in education, health care, justice work, and many other areas. In our work, and in all relationships, we strive to embody a compassion that reveals and bears the hope that is Jesus Christ. 


Our internationality brings a special richness and challenge to our lives and ministry, as we continually grow in valuing the diversity of our different cultures while living one common mission. Each Sister of the Holy Cross, with her individual gifts, carries out that mission in unique ways. 

Sisters of the Holy Cross carry a banner to celebrate 50 years of service in Uganda

Do you feel a strong desire to serve others, to find God through prayer, to live a vowed life in community?

In accepting the challenge of a religious vocation, we choose to follow Jesus’ example and teachings in how we regard people, possessions and power. Living a vowed life deepens our relationship with Jesus and with others, and assists us in helping others recognize Jesus’ presence in their lives.


Our vow of chastity brings us into a special relationship with God, others and all of creation. We promise to love with an undivided heart and to center all our affections in God. Our life of prayer and mutual support in community sustains us in this devotion and enables us to grow in love, respect and concern for all people.


By our vow of poverty, we do not amass material goods and we commit ourselves to live as those who personally possess nothing, communally sharing what we have and who we are. The simplicity of our lives and our solidarity with those living in poverty reflect our hope for a just world.


Through our vow of obedience, we profess our desire to be one with Jesus in seeking to know and to do God's will. Obedience requires our active participation in decision making. Obedience is rooted in listening. Active participation requires listening deeply to hear how God is speaking to us through those in authority and responding in faith. We live these vows in community and strive for the spirit of union which reflects the love of the Trinity.

If you are interested in a religious vocation
with Sisters of the Holy Cross, contact us.

Sister Sharlet Ann Wagner, CSC (left), speaks with Jenny Cachaya, Newcomer Network’s Navigator Program Manager.

Sister Sharlet Ann Wagner, CSC, left, speaks with Jenny Cachaya, Newcomer Network’s Navigator Program Manager. Photo courtesy of Catholic Charities

Considering religious life, a path of the heart

Sister Sharlet describes her journey to religious vocation with the Sisters of the Holy Cross. She describes, understanding that “ God issued the invitation and I had the choice, either to sit it out or to dance. I will be forever grateful that I chose to dance.”

Joining a Community

Entering a community of sisters is a process

Formation is an approximately eight-year process that prepares a woman for a final commitment as a religious. It involves several stages of different lengths, and the woman may choose to continue or discontinue the process at any stage. 

To begin with, an interested woman spends time with a vocation coordinator trying to discern whether God might be calling her to religious vocation. If the answer is affirmative, she applies to a congregation where she continues to test out her call as a candidate or postulant. If she continues to feel a call and is accepted by the congregation, her next step is to become a novice and enter the novitiate remaining there for 2 years.

At the end of the novitiate, three years into the process, the woman petitions for permission to profess temporary vows in the community and makes her first vows of poverty, chastity and obedience. This is a big decision, usually reached after much thought and discussion. The sister lives these temporary vows for five years before she makes a final commitment and professes perpetual vows.

If you think you might have a call to the religious life or want to know more about the Sisters of the Holy Cross, please contact one of these vocation offices.

Sister Naomi AssuahSecond-year novice Sister Naomi Assuah, CSC, has notably contributed to local community and ministry life in Boise, Idaho. Welcomed by the local Holy Cross sisters, this novice had

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Sisters Ribilin Thongnibah, CSC, left, and Shardin Suting, CSC, professed their perpetual vows as Sisters of the Holy Cross on April 29, 2023, in Shillong, Meghalaya, India.Sisters Shardin Suting, CSC,

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On Saturday, January 14, six novices took their next step in the always-evolving journey of living a consecrated life.Pictured above, from left, are Sisters Shimti Mukhim, India, Rita Boakyewaa Konadu

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