Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently asked questions about becoming an Adrian Dominican Sister

Do I have to be Catholic to become a Sister? Do you accept converts to Catholicism?

Yes, to both questions. To be a professed Sister you need to become a fully initiated member of the Catholic Church. We generally ask that a woman who has converted to Catholicism enter into the prayer, sacramental and service life of her parish community for two years after reception before entering our Congregation.

Is there an age limit?

Yes. Women are invited to enter the discernment process between the ages of 19, or two years out of high school, and 50. Those who are older or younger than the norm will be considered on an individual basis.

Why is there an age limit?

We are an active, apostolic Congregation. A woman’s ability to make the transition into a new lifestyle and to minister for a significant period of time after the initial incorporation process is central to the discernment process.

Do I need a college education?

Study is a key part of our Dominican tradition. While a college degree is not required for admission, professional training for ministry will be necessary, as well as the intellectual disposition and capacity for higher level studies. To enter, we ask that a woman have a high school education and, minimally, two years of college or working experience after high school. 

Do you accept women who have been married?

Yes. A woman who is widowed or divorced may be accepted as long as a sufficient amount of time has passed for her to heal and adjust to her new life circumstances—and she is able to show that she is canonically free to enter religious life (death certificate of spouse, civil divorce decree and decree of nullity). 

What if I have a child or children?

Children need to be over 21, self-sufficient and self-supporting. A woman who enters the Congregation needs to be free to enter fully into the formation process.

Do I need to sell my house and turn over all financial assets to the Congregation when I enter?

No. A woman can make whatever arrangements for her property, possessions, and finances that will free her from being burdened by administrative responsibilities and enable her to enter fully into the formation process.

Can I continue to have contacts with my family and friends after entering the Congregation?

Yes, as community, formation, and study obligations permit. A woman is expected to be present for local community and Congregation events. The Congregation will pay for a woman to visit home once a year if her family lives at a distance.

Will my skills and training be used in the Congregation?

A woman’s skills and training would be acknowledged and engaged as she moves into ministry. Critically important to her formation is the integration of spirituality and study of theology and Scripture as needed. It is also important that her skills and trainings be consonant with the Congregation’s priorities in mission and ministry.

What does “OP” after a Sister’s name mean?

It stands for “Order of Preachers,” the name given to the new religious order founded by Dominic Guzmán in 1216. We are more commonly known as Dominicans, after our founder, but we are part of the worldwide Order of Preachers.

Do the Dominicans have a motto?

Yes, several. These are Dominican mottoes with their English translations from the Latin: 
Veritas – Truth 
Laudare, Benedicere, Praedicare – Praise, Bless, Preach
Contemplare et contemplata aliis tradere — Contemplate and share the fruits of your contemplation.

How will I know if I have a call to vowed life as a Sister?

Pray and ask for God’s help in discerning your vocation in life. Share your question with someone you trust. Start a conversation with our Vocation Director. Participate in a “Come and See” experience to join with other women who are walking with the same question. Know the Adrian Dominican Sisters are praying for you!

Do I need to be debt free?

Yes, but we have some flexibility around educational debt.

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What’s your question?

If you have a question that hasn’t been asked, complete the form below. It will be sent to Sister Tarianne DeYonker, OP, who will be glad to address it.