Life as a Sister of Compassion has changed considerably over the years as our work is less concentrated in primary education and more in small communities and the city. We are taking on more governance and management roles while employing staff for our nursing homes.

But that doesn’t mean we’ve neglected our roots. Any woman joining us today could have a ministry in our homes or centres depending on her skills and talents and the needs of the place. She may also have employment in the community and make a voluntary contribution to ministry. And women with a profession are encouraged to work in that area.

The opportunities are as numerous as the gaps in our society are large. Where there is need, a Sister of Compassion can be, as long as the resources and religious community are available. We try to balance prayer and work and encourage others to join us in prayer.

We support not only people’s physical needs but also their spiritual, psychological and emotional needs. Our biggest step in faith today is to accept the daily challenges that God provides. The gift is to know that God is in it all.

To talk this through, contact our Vocation Ministry team.

An invitation

If you’re interested in religious life, we invite you to spend time with us in prayer, community and in the works of the Sisters of Compassion.

We’ll engage you in a formation process that allows you to freely choose to continue in religious life. In doing this, you would take the three vows of Chastity, Poverty and Obedience:

  • Chastity: we don’t take on an exclusive relationship with another giving ourselves completely to God
  • Poverty: we don’t own anything in our own name or have the choice to freely dispose of material goods or money
  • Obedience: we’re open to the voice of the Holy Spirit which we hear through our own discernment and from others within our religious community and/or congregation

You will also make a commitment to observe the Constitutions of the Daughters of our Lady of Compassion, faithfully and with love.

Essential criteria

The following criteria are essential to start the formation process…

Women need to be:

  • At least 20 years of age
  • Roman Catholic
  • Single or widowed (if divorced, your marriage must be annulled)
  • If you have children, they must be independent

You will need a good level of:

  • Education
  • Physical, psychological, emotional and spiritual health

You must have a desire to:

  • Be with those most in need
  • To live in the community

Steps to becoming a Sister

There are five steps to becoming a Sister of Compassion…

1. Come and See (1-2 years)

Throughout this time of discernment and searching out of her life’s calling, a woman stays with a community for short periods, with time in prayer and community and observation of our work. She will be accompanied on this journey of discernment by a chosen Sister. At the end of this stage, she may choose to remain in employment and/or volunteer her time to the Ministry or commit to religious life.

2. Pre Noviciate (3-12 months)

She continues her work or study coming to live in community to formalise her desire to become a Sister.

3. Noviciate (2 years)

After a formal application and acceptance, she is received into the Novitiate – an invitation into the life of a Sister of Compassion. The time of Novitiate is spent learning to be attentive and responsive to the action of God and to learn about and experience life in prayer, community living and Ministry.

4. Temporary Profession (3-5 years)

At the end of Novitiate, vows are made annually and renewed for a period of time. During this stage, she is prepared for or fully involved in Ministry and given the guidance and support to make a definitive choice before Final Profession.

5. Final Profession (life commitment)

The formation process ends in the perpetual profession as a Sister of Compassion and she’s incorporated as a life member of the Congregation. Formation is an ongoing process with help available for continued growth and a deepening commitment.

Vocation video

This video looks at the work of the Order and shows Sisters of Compassion talking about their own callings and the satisfaction they get from their work.