The Rule of Separation

October 9, 2020

23 days till National Vocation Awareness Week – post 3 of 25

Preparing cookies for Christmas celebrations LtoR: Sr. Ruth Etzel, Sr. Maryann Giesel, Sr. Magdalene, Sr. Adele Marie

Fourty years have passed since I entered Religious Life.  Things have changed as the world changes.  Nothing stays the same and that is for the most part good, I think.  Not in all cases but mostly.  When I was in formation, we had what was called a “Rule of Separation” which mean’t if you were in formation you could not talk with the sisters who were professed.  Why? You are probably asking?  Formation takes place through the interaction with one formation director.  Every single person has a suggestion for how something should be done.  If you want a uniform formation for your members in religious life, best it be done through one, trained director.   In my day there were a dozen of us in various stages of formation and we were able to create a good community of young sisters.

Today, we no longer have the rule of separation, but we do have 4 Sisters in formation, three of whom are under the age of 30.  They are a wonderful group of young women who give me a lot of hope and confidence in our future as a religious community.   The Sisters of St. Mary of Oregon accept women between the ages of 18 and 45.  Even though we no longer have a rule of separation, the older sisters have an understanding of what should be deferred to the formation director.

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