Our formation meets the purpose and character of our community. Our formation efforts are directed to fostering holiness and in the two main aspects of our vocation: community living and the work of evangelization. The program is designed to be integral: spiritual, pastoral, human, intellectual, and personalized.
As Applicants and Sisters, here is a small glimpse of our formation:
Our Spiritual Father, Fr. Bob Bedard, founder of the Companions of the Cross left us with a vision to fulfill. We are devoted to learning from his writings, and his homilies and teachings. It is in his wisdom and his teaching of the renewal of the Church that the sisterhood will be molded and shaped.
The Companions of the Cross composed a number of formation talks that prepare an applicant to learn about the spirituality and charism of our communities.
The initial stage of a woman who first enters our community is called an applicant. Applicancy is designed for a period of two years.
The general focus of her formation is to learn how to ‘be' in the present moment; to be still as our Lady teaches and guides the servants to be ready to respond to her Son at the Wedding Feast of Cana, "Do whatever He tells you" (John 2:5).
The period of temporary promises lasts a minimum of three years with a maximum of six years. A Sister in temporary promises engages in all aspects of the formation program and ministerial activities.
In this period, she is to authenticate within herself the heart of our charism, evangelization, and the common life. We believe that these two components are mutually dependent on one another for their full actualization. As our spiritual father, Fr. Bob Bedard has said,
Although we are to be a body committed to the active ministry of the Church, we believe that we will be defined, not so much by the ministry we undertake, but rather by the quality of life that we will live together. Before we will be able to do anything worthwhile for the Lord together, we will have to be something good together. (Fr. Bob Bedard, We Are Called To Be Companions of the Cross, 1994)
Acknowledging that true evangelization will come through our common life, this stage is her time to respond to becoming a ‘true' evangelizer. She is to become ‘true' through the building of her gifts, her prayer life, her leadership, her schooling, both general and specific, and her relationships with her sisters. She is also to become ‘true' through her desire to give completely of herself for God's people. She is to always remember the heart of our mission to evangelize.