As Felician Sisters, we profess the vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience—a sacred commitment made publicly before God and the Church—that signal a readiness to live a life of total availability in service to God and God’s people.
The vows, integral to the life of consecrated women religious of the Church, provide a freedom from materials goods, a spiritual freedom to live completely for God and of God, and a freedom to care for and serve all of God’s people. In other words, living by the vows we profess, we are free to not only serve wherever there is a need, but also to be freely receptive to what and to where God is calling us.
During the time of temporary profession, vows are professed annually for up to 9 years. Following this period, a Sister professes perpetual vows and dedicates the rest of her life in service to God and the Church in community as a Felician Franciscan Sister. Each of these vows is nurtured and sustained by the Eucharist and the Sister’s prayer life, in her ever-deepening relationship with God.
The vow of poverty is an invitation to simplicity. Unencumbered by worldly possessions and concerns about attaining those possessions, Felician Sisters can focus completely upon, and devote their entire lives, to God and serving others.
Living the vow of poverty does not mean that Sisters are to be impoverished. Rather, the vow is a commitment to living simply and humbly. As Felician Franciscans, we draw inspiration from Saint Francis of Assisi who relinquished all riches and goods in order to more fully and completely follow in the footsteps of Jesus.
In living the vow of chastity, Sisters remain celibate, dedicating themselves entirely to Jesus. As the Felician Constitution so eloquently states, “consecrated chastity … liberates our hearts in a unique way … [and] frees us to love all in Him and to devote ourselves more intensely to divine worship, community, and works of our apostolate.” The outward expression of that love for God, to whom a Felician Sister has dedicated her life, is the joyous and generous love she gives to all without exception.
Through the vow of obedience, a Sister humbly opens herself to the will of God and remains receptive to how and where God calls her. In making this vow, a Felician Sister surrenders her own will in order to do that which is God’s will. Blessed with unique gifts and talents, each Sister remains opens to how her talents and skills can best serve those in need, the Church, as well as the Felician community. This vow is a pledge to faithfully follow the Felician Constitution, the rule of Saint Francis, and Church teaching.
The vows are not an end in themselves, but are a means by which each Sister can grow in relationship to God, sisters in community, and all God’s people.