A Day in the Life of a Postulant- Living in the Father's House

Sarah Pratt (author) baking away!
I was privileged to be able to visit my family and friends for a few days this Christmas season, and naturally, they all wanted to know “What’s life like in the convent?” After answering that question a few times at some length, I began summarizing my experience of postulancy in these words: “I’m living in the Father’s House! I get to start living the reality of Heaven while still on earth; it doesn’t get much better!”

Everyone was curious about our dailyschedule—we rise at 5am for a 5:30 Holy Hour followed by Morning Prayer, Mass, breakfast, class or work, Noon Prayer, lunch, work or ministry again in the afternoon followed by a second Holy Hour, Evening Prayer and Mercy Chaplet beginning at 5pm, with supper and dishes afterward, and then study time or recreation until Night Prayer at 8:30pm and Grand Silence from 9pm to 9am;

and about our classes—our classes are mostly taught by our sisters, and we also listen to or watch recorded lectures and other formational materials on topics ranging from Catechism to Franciscan spirituality to emotional maturity to communication workshops, to name just a few;

and about our ministries—once a week I visit a nursing home with a group of other sisters, bringing Holy Communion to the Catholic residents and visiting with anyone whom the Lord puts in our path, loving them by simply being present and sharing conversation;

Sarah Kilonsky, postulant
 (one of Sarah Pratt's classmates)
but what they really wanted to know was “How is your life different now than before entering community?” And that answer isn’t found in any of the external aspects of our life (except perhaps my choice of clothing J).

Externally, not much has changed from how I occupied my time as the second daughter in a family of seven sisters and one brother: when I’m not in chapel, class, or at ministry, my work usually consists of cooking and cleaning. I bake bread for our two weekly fast days, help in our religious articles department one afternoon per week, and spend the rest of my work periods doing ordinary housework—sweeping, mopping, dusting, scrubbing, preparing or cleaning guest rooms, etc.—just as I did when I was growing up in my parents’ house.

The real difference is that since answering Jesus’ invitation to enter this community as a postulant, I have come to know God as my loving, devoted, benevolent, provident Father, and myself as His beloved, beautiful, and very blessed daughter, and this knowledge of the truth of my identity in Christ fills me with such joy that my life is transformed: I’ve gone from my pre-convent M.O. of simply surviving day-to-day to truly thriving and loving every minute of life, even the more difficult and challenging moments, so I praise God for His faithfulness and abundant grace! I’m now living in our Heavenly Father’s house (literally, since our chapel is named Father of Mercy), and He is using my experience of our daily prayer, work, class, and ministry to help me learn to do everything in, with, and for Love who dwells among us, not just at Christmas, but always, even in the midst of the monotony of daily life.


Sarah Pratt, Postulant... to be Sr. ____________ in a week and a half!


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