Monastery Glossary

Our Common Terminology

A person seeking to enter religious life.
The section of the chapel within enclosure where the Sisters pray the Office and attend Mass.
Life centered on prayer and union with God.
The main meal of the day eaten at noon.
Divine Office
The official set of prayers “marking the hours of each day and sanctifying the day with prayer.”
The part of the monastic property inside and out restricted to the Sisters who do not leave the enclosure except for serious reasons. Also known as the cloister.
Papal enclosure
Recognition of the specificity of an entirely contemplative life, which by individually developing the spirituality of the marriage with Christ, becomes a sign and realization of the Church Bride with her Lord.” (Cor Orans # 185)
The particular Visitadine  (Visitation) clothing worn by the Sister.  When the Holy Habit is received, the Postulant becomes a Novice and receives a white veil.  The black veil is received the day of Solemn Profession.
The building where Sisters live in enclosure for a life of prayer.
“New” or “beginner” follows the period of postulancy. The novice continues her study of prayer, religious vows, the spirit and charism of the religious community, and continued discernment of her life calling. This phase of preparation is called the novitiate.
a position (eg.Superior) or well-defined responsibility/duty a Sister has. Not to be confused with Divine Office
Seeking to be admitted to a religious community; postulancy is the first stage of religious life before becoming a Novice. The postulant wears a black jumper, white blouse and a small veil.
Professed Sister
A nun who has made Solemn Vows
Time for the Sisters to get together for conversation and other activities.
Temporary Vows
Follow the end of the Novitiate if the Novice and Community have discerned that as the will of God.  The vows of chastity, poverty and obedience are made for a specified period of time.
Solemn vows
Perpetual  vows of chastity, poverty and obedience.
Several minutes of silent prayer following Mass done in community.