Vocation & Formation Vocation Director: Sr. Angela Marie Igou, SSCJ
Mother Amabilis Debicka Tells Her Vocation Story (2014)
Mother unexpectedly began to share her vocation story, in which she jokingly speaks of a hospitalization due to kielbasa; this was not really the dase. Mother was making light of what was actually her serious bout with tuberculosis due to the depravations and hardships of the war years, particularly during her captivity in Nazi Germany when she was abducted and taken into slavery. Mother also relates the General Council's reluctance to accept her - this distrust was due to the situation that existed at that time when our then Mother General was imprisoned by the communists in the very region Mother was coming from near the Baltic Sea. The Sisters did not know if Mother wasn't a spy being sent from that region, not uncommon for the communists to attempt infiltration into convents and seminaries during their occupation of Poland.
Here I am Lord!
The way Jesus shows you is not easy. Rather, it is like a path winding up a mountain. Do not lose heart! The steeper the road, the faster it rises toward ever wider horizons! Pope Saint John Paul II
For the greater glory of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, Perpetual Profession of Vows of Sr. Angela Marie (Abagail) Igou, SSCJ - August 2, 2020
See our Vocation Brochure
Is the Sacred Heart of Jesus calling you to become His Spouse and Servant? PLEASE CALL US TO LEARN MORE OR TO SCHEDULE A VISIT 814.886.4223
CANDIDACY After visiting and discerning her call to consecrated life, a young woman applies and is accepted for entrance.
ASPIRANCY The first 6 months, becoming accustomed to life in the convent while joining in prayers and community life with the Sisters.
POSTULANCY 1-2 years, after receiving the postulant attire, the postulant is more involved in the prayer life of the Sisters and participates in formation classes
NOVITIATE 2 years of intense prayer and study in preparation for the profession of vows of chastity, poverty, and obedience
JUNIORATE The Sister, a bride of Christ, lives the vows and renews them each year for 5 or more years with continuing formation.
PERPETUAL PROFESSION A Sister vows her life to God perpetually
Requirements for Admission to our Congregation
Must be A Catholic Woman Faithful to the Holy Father and the Catholic Church Between Ages of 18-30 (unless given exception) Have at least a High School diploma Be free from canonical impediments including debts Possess a desire to freely give oneself totally to God Have good physical and mental health
Our Religious habit
Long black habit (May-September we wear grey) – the sign of our consecration and “putting on Christ.” Veil & Ring – a symbol of our call to be the bride of Christ Scapular — Embroidered with the Sacred Heart of Jesus, our Shield and Protector. Franciscan cord or cincture - 3 knots representing the religious vows of chastity, poverty and obedience lived in Franciscan joy and simplicity Crucifix– a reminder that our sufferings are united with those of Christ and the cross is our only glory Rosary– a sign of our devotion to Mary
Frequently Asked Questions
Q. What is the name of your Congregation, your history and mission? Our Congregation of the Sister Servants of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus was founded in 1894 by St. Joseph Sebastian Pelczar and Blessed Klara Szczesna to extend the Kingdom of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus by our life of Contemplation and Apostolic Work. We belong to the Franciscan Family and embrace a spirituality of love and reparation to the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus. We are an international Congregation, presently in Poland, the Ukraine, Italy, France, the United States, Jamaica, Bolivia and Argentina.
Q. What are you looking for in a Sister? We are looking for a woman who desires to fulfill the will of God in her life, who has a generous and docile spirit to be formed in the religious life, and who is characterized by charity and an affinity to prayer. She must be a woman, Catholic, unmarried, without children or parents in her care, without debt, and in good physical and psychological health.
Q. Is there a dowry to enter your Congregation? We do not require a dowry for entrance.
Q. What is involved in the application process? There are a series of visits as the candidate and Congregation get to know one another. After visits and exchange of conversation and correspondence designed for discernment, the candidate may request an application of the provincial superior and begin the formal process of entrance. This application includes a biographical sketch, sacramental history and certificates, medical reports, education and professional documents, and a recommendation by the woman's pastor or spiritual director. Upon receipt and review of the application, the provincial and her administration approve the candidate for entrance on a day decided upon mutually.
What are the stages of the formation program in your Congregation? There is a period of inquiry and application called candidacy, followed by 6 months of aspiracy, 1-2 years of postlancy, 2 years of novitiate, temporary profession of 5-9 years, and perpetual profession.
Q, How much of your time is in prayer? As contemplative active religious, considering Mass, Divine Office and other spiritual exercises, about 5 hours is devoted to prayer.
Q. What is a typical day for a Sister in your Congregation? A typical day includes morning prayer, morning meditation, Holy Mass, rosary, afternoon mental prayer/adoration, spiritual reading, and meals and recreation in common, an hour of reparatory silence, grand silence during night hours and additional days of silent prayer on monthly or annual retreat days.
Q. Can a Sister have hobbies? In her free time, with permission, a Sister can have hobbies such as music, arts & crafts, sewing, digital photography etc.
Q. What do I do about loans if I want to enter the convent? Our Congregation requires that a woman be without debt when she enters. The Laboure Foundation (https://rescuevocations.org/) is working to help candidates pay these debts.
Q. How often can I see or talk to family members and friends? During initial formation before first vows, visiting, emails, letters or calls are more limited, but do occur with permission of the formation director. During postulancy, visits may occur during the holidays. If there is a need during formation for more contacts, provision can be made. After profession, the Sister has three weeks of home visit with her family and can attend other very special events with their family. With permission, the Sister can reasonably correspond at times with family and friends in keeping with her life of prayer and community life.
Q. What personal belongings can I bring with me? Typically, personal clothing, a few spiritual books, photographs, and with permission you might bring something like the following: a musical instrument you play, a camera or other technology such as a laptop, that can be useful in service in the community. Of course, in poverty, nothing we use is ours, but everything is given that we need. There is a lot of freedom in this.
Q. What are things you won't compromise in accepting a new Sister? The Sister must adhere to the Church's teaching in faith and morals, be of sound mind and body, have no extraordinary health or dietary restrictions, and be willing to submit herself in faith to God's will as expressed through the superiors. Healthwise, any particular issues should be discussed with the Superiors to see if a condition might be an impediment.
Q. Will I need further education if I join your Congregation We do not require advanced degrees beyond a high school diploma or its equivalent. During formation, a Sister may be sent to school for higher studies or applied training for a given apostolate. The Sisters keep their certification current during formation so that their professional credentials are not lost.
866 CambRia Street, Cresson, PA 16630
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WHO WE ARE Sister Servants of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus Sacred Heart Province 866 Cambria Street Cresson, Pennsylvania 16630 814.886.4223
We are a 501 c 3 Tax Exempt Religious Organization (Federal ID 20-8127262) and a Charitable Organization in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania (#6299105)