Padawan Learner – Becoming a Novice in religious life

Although the official letter has not come yet, I am excited about being accepted as a novice with the Dominican Sisters of San Rafael. It is not an easy process and takes a lot of hard work, patience, and testing similar to becoming a Padawan assigned to a Jedi.

First there is an important time of testing such as Anakin went through with the Jedi Council when they are examining him, and considering if he would be a good fit and was emotionally stable enough to enter.

Candidates / Postulants have a similar journey of psychiatric examinations, writing, interviews, and trial periods. After a year or two of living in the formation house (like the younglings in the Jedi Temple learning in groups with Master Yoda) the next testing begins. There is more writing, goal setting, interviews, and going to see the formation team which is kind of like going to speak with the Jedi Council only you get to sit down and there isn’t a sunset view of Coruscant out the windows. After that the Council deliberates and votes.

The result in this case seems to be that I will be accepted into the novitiate, which means I will be going to the collaborative novitiate in St. Louis with a group of other novices. I have been a Padawan on my own in a way so far, so it will be great to meet some others!

Someday I might make it to temporary profession which is sort of like Jedi–the trials are much more intense–and hopefully eventually to final profession which is like Jedi Master and takes about as much time. It will be many years before I would even be up for that, and a long road ahead, but this was an important next step and one that I am quite excited about.

Have questions about what a novice is? Wondering if I will wear the one braid? Post comments below!

6 comments on “Padawan Learner – Becoming a Novice in religious life

  1. CheryleneNo Gravatar on said:

    Love your alignment with Jedi training! too true :)
    Wishing you all the best with your noviatiate

  2. paul leuteritzNo Gravatar on said:

    Are you saying that if somebody knows Star Wars then they will fully understand whats required from you?

    • Alexa ChipmanNo Gravatar on said:

      I was just making a parallel between a fictional religious life (which people know a lot about!) and Catholic (which people often know very little about).

  3. BarbaraNo Gravatar on said:

    Congratulations to you and the community you will enrich.
    Or….may the Force be with you all! :-)

  4. Alexa ChipmanNo Gravatar on said:

    Thank you, Barbara & Cherylene!

  5. Sister Julie Distel, OP, MSJNo Gravatar on said:

    Some day, I have a feeling you will make a great Jedi! Congratulations to be a San Rafael. They are cousins of ours and a great bunch of gals!

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