Adding suggestions to the Initial Formation for Sisters HandbookThe Life Long Formation Committee is pleased to present its best practice recommendations from across the Federation for the Initial Formation of Sisters.  This lengthy and detailed distillation provides information for a comprehensive initial formation program.  

This manual was pulled together to assist some congregations that are experiencing an increase in vocations and are looking for ideas to update policies, procedures and practices.  By reviewing the practices offered by congregations, we give you one easy place to find the best that Federation Congregations has to offer. It is meant to support congregations and offer them useful guidelines for incorporating new members. Congregations will adapt them as they see fit.

Back row L R Charlene Diorka Mary Lou Heffernam Jeanne Marie Gocha and Ingrid Honore Lallande. Front Linda Kuhn Jane DeLisle Ann Ashwood and Patty JohnsonAbout two years ago we asked congregations to send us anything they had on the novitiate and initial formation. We also gathered samples from other non-CSSJ handbooks.  We provided two drafts of the handbook to Formators and used their feedback to us to improve the handbook.  In the last set of feedback it was suggested that we have the document reviewed from both an ethicist and a theologian. We are very grateful to Sr. Jean DeBlois, a Professor or Moral Theology at Aquinas Institute of Theology and a noted ethicist for her insights and suggestions.  She challenged us to continue to explore ways that current theology and thinking about religious life might update this document. We will do this as we go forward.  We hope to work with formators to develop additional appendices that will highlight emerging trends.  We are also very grateful to Sr. Mary Rowell from Canada, a noted theologian for her input. Mary wrote, "I read it with a 'theological eye' as requested and my sense of it is that it truly captures a beautifully integrated theological framework consistent with our charism."Charlene Ingrid Karen Jane and Mary Louise during the first year of work on the handbook

We are very grateful to Charlene Diorka, Philadelphia, Jane DeLisle, Orange, Ingrid Honore-Lallande, Los Angeles, and Karen Clock, Orange who were the main authors and synthesizors of this work. Thanks to the whole Life Long Formation Committee for their dedication to this handbook and the others we are producing. Thanks to all the formators who shared their practices and their insights after reviewing the draft. Karen Clock Jane DeLisle and Charlene Diorka during the first year of work on the handbook 1 

We look forward to anything you might wish to submit in the future to help us add appendices about emerging formation practices. Copies of this handbook have been sent to the leaders and formators of each congregation.