AGE: 19 – 40; exceptions made on a case by case basis only
STANDING: No canonical impediments. Confirmed Catholic women in good standing with the Church. Solid catechetical background and a willingness to learn more.
RECOMMENDATIONS: 3 references from a family member, friend, and spiritual director.
HEALTH: Physical and Dental exams; Psychological/Psychiatric Assessment
LANGUAGE: English fluency so that spiritual matters can be understood and expressed.
BACKGROUND: Some work experience demonstrating ability to take responsibility and support oneself and/or some college education though a degree is not required. Basic vocal music ability. The Divine Office is chanted in English daily.
CHARISM: A willed desire to commit oneself to a life of prayer and sacrifice for the sanctification of priests through Eucharistic Adoration without seeing its fruits in this life.
Some other considerations:
We are not looking for perfect women…we are looking for women who will let Christ perfect them. The means he typically uses within the cloister however are such that the Church does ask us to carefully examine each candidate for the capability to joyfully live this kind of religious life.
The commitment of a Handmaid of the Precious Blood is to live as a consecrated Spouse of Christ until death in enclosure in community. At least eight years of initial formation is followed by a life of daily dying to self, lived in community with those of different ages, backgrounds, cultures, and temperaments, in joy and peace in the quest for sanctification and union with God for the sake of Christ in His Priest. This requires that candidates possess a great deal of common sense, a good physical constitution, good health, and substantial, if not robust, emotional and psychological maturity and development to cope with the inherent stresses of lifelong spiritual combat. For this we must have a great capacity for self-forgetfulness and generosity.
Good communication skills especially in realm of spiritual, personal, and emotional. It is essential for the candidate to be able to understand and convey aspects of the interior life to and with a formation director and superior.
The candidate should desire to live an entirely new kind of life for the sake of Christ allowing him to detach one from all that keeps her from him. She should have a willingness to learn the spirituality of our Founder, how it is lived out practically according to our Rule of Life and customs day to day. She should demonstrate an ability to live in community under the authority of a superior; the ability to learn to practice charity, mercy, and forgiveness. It is necessary to love and forgive not only our neighbor but ourselves in the right way so that growth in self knowledge leads to humility of heart rather than consternation or discouragement at our own faults, failings, and weaknesses or those of others.
A conviction that Christ has called the candidate to live the Handmaid way of life for the sanctification of priests with:
A capacity to make long term, life long commitment.
A capacity to learn to forget self and live for others.
A capacity to have faith that can grow.
A capacity to live a hidden life independent of seeing the fruits of her prayers and sacrifices.