Sisters of St. Joseph of CarondeletNovember 27, 2021

Frequently Asked Questions about vocations

How would my life be different as a Sister of St. Joseph
If you are single, have an active prayer life and do service in the world, then what will change for you is that you will be a vowed member in a religious community. You will live in community with other Sisters of St. Joseph, sharing that daily rhythm of life. Being a Sister of St. Joseph means that you will vow publicly to commit your life to the call of the Gospel: to love God and neighbor without distinction in the Congregation of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet.

What are vows?
Sisters make a public religious profession of vows, promising to be faithful to God in the congregation. Sisters of St. Joseph take three vows: celibate chastity, poverty and obedience. A profession of celibate chastity means that, since we do not allow ourselves to love one person exclusively in marriage, we are free to live Jesus’ mission of prayer and ministry with an active, inclusive love. A profession of poverty means that all that we receive, for example, salary, insurance, etc., belongs to the congregation and that we live a simple lifestyle, depending on God and the community. A profession of obedience means that when we make important decisions about our lives, we will listen attentively to God’s Spirit through dialogue with our community and our leadership.
What does CSJ stand for?
CSJ are the letters after the name of a Sister of St. Joseph; the letters stand for the "Congregation of St. Joseph."
Do you have to be a Catholic to be a Sister St. Joseph?
Yes, to be a vowed member of a religious congregation, you must be a baptized Catholic for at least two years.
Religious life has been in the back of my mind for a long time. What do I do now that I am beginning to consider religious life?
Move slowly and gently with God’s Spirit within you. First, find a spiritual director who can help to guide you in your discernment. You can find a good spiritual director by asking the Prayer and Worship Office in the diocese in which you live or by inquiring at a local retreat center. Your parish priest or youth minister may have a list of names for you. Second, get to know sisters and religious communities by visiting with sisters, going to ministry sites where sisters serve and talking with the vocation directors of various communities.
How long does it take to become a Sister St. Joseph?
The time from entrance to final vows differs from community to community. Ordinarily, it takes from six to nine years for a woman to make final profession in a religious order.
What does a Sister of St. Joseph do all day?
Sisters of St. Joseph are busy women! We are busy about the Gospel of Jesus. Since our prayer is a living relationship with God and is at the center of our lives, our individual and communal prayer is very important to us. Our ministry will be wherever the neighbor (whom we call the "dear neighbor") needs us, so we are teachers, musicians, counselors, social workers, chaplains, parish workers, artists, psychologists and youth ministers, to name a few. In local community, we are supportive and present to one another. We also value spending time with our families and friends.
If you have more questions, please email Sister Mary Ellen Shirtz or Sister Miriam Ukeritis.

Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet • 385 Watervliet-Shaker Road • Latham, NY 12110-4799
Main Provincal House Number (518) 783-3500 • Fax (518) 783-5209

All Artwork Copyright © 2012 Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet