CHN Sisters on a day trip.

A sense of vocation is an individual experience for each, and if one feels called to the religious life it must eventually be tested. Most start by making contact with our Mother Superior. They will then be encouraged to visit the Community a few times to become acquainted with the Sisters and their way of life.

Prayer is at the centre of our life and from that flows our work. Each Sister has her times for private prayer and reading, house duties, for work/ministry and for recreation.


Novice, Gloria, with Mother Superior, Sister Carol.

Traditionally, when someone comes to begin living life in the Community she is called an ‘aspirant’. If she stays on, she will spend about 6 months as a ‘postulant’ and 2 or more years as a ‘novice’, experiencing the life and work of the Community and undertaking training and study. Then, if the Community and the Novice believe she is called to proceed, she takes Triennial Vows as a ‘Sister’. 


Sister Maree's embroidery.

We see our Vows as dynamic, freeing and life-giving:

Poverty - simplicity of life and sharing;

Chastity - finding fulfilment and identity through our relationship with God, mediated through the people God gives us to be with;

Obedience - listening together to what God is asking of us, and offering ourselves.


Sister Elizabeth Gwen, at the CHN Chapel.

At the end of this time, there is again a discernment process, as a result of which the Sister make make her Profession in Life Vows or undertake a further period in Triennial Vows. In the latter case, this process is repeated once more, so the period in Triennial Vows may vary from 3 to 9 years.


We also have an 'Alongsider' programme and recommend that you read about it if you are interested in the Religious Life.