“Formation in the Congregation of Jesus is determined by the objectives of the Congregation and it is grounded in the experience of the Spiritual Exercises.” (CN 3:9). A young person entering the Congregation of Jesus has to pass through a long period of formation until she takes the final step of committing her whole life to the Lord. This long process consists of the following stages:

The first stage of formation is known as ‘Candidacy’. It is a time of orientation, a time of clarifying one’s vocation. This phase lasts for about 2 to 3 years during which the candidates are helped to learn to pray, meditate and are slowly initiated into the ways of life in the Congregation. They are also taught languages. After a year of language study those who have not completed Class XII are sent to nearby colleges where they complete their studies. At the end of this period, if they are still determined to follow Jesus, and commit their life in His service, they are admitted to the next stage known as Postulancy. This phase is a six-month formation period during which the candidates discern further, with the help of the Directress of Postulants, their vocation to religious life. They are helped to familiarize themselves with the spirituality of the Congregation - the spirituality of St. Ignatius and Mary Ward and are helped to further discern their vocation to religious life in the light of ‘the General Examen’ given in the constitutions of St. Ignatius. If they discern and the Congregation feels that they have been indeed called by the Lord to life in the CJ, they are admitted to the Novitiate.

Novitiate is a two year period of intensive formation during which the novice is placed under the guidance of a Directress of Novices who accompanies her on her formation journey. The purpose of the Novitiate to provide for formation in all aspects life: spiritual, intellectual, human and emotional. During this phase the novice learns and experiences the manner of life in the Congregation of Jesus and gains greater clarity about her vocation. She is helped to grow in familiarity with God in prayer, in personal love for Christ, and to learn to seek and find God in all things. If at the end of these two years of Formation, the Novice is convinced of her call to consecrated life in the CJ and the congregation too is satisfied that she has the disposition, aptitude and other necessary qualities for such a life she is allowed to take the three Vows of Poverty, Chastity and Obedience; thus she is temporarily incorporated into the congregation of Jesus.

The next stage of formation is known as the Juniorate and it lasts for 6 to 9 years. This is “a period of gradual integration of spiritual life, community life, apostolate and study so that the fullness of spiritual life becomes a source of apostolate, an incentive for study and for a deepened spiritual life.” (CN. 4.3). A Directress provides Spiritual direction and accompaniment to the Junior sisters. They follow intellectual and professional pursuits at this stage and thus equip themselves for mission. If already qualified/ equipped, they may be engaged in any ministry they are suitable for. At the end of the Juniorate, the young religious is provided with a period of intense spiritual renewal before committing her entire life to God. She is freed from all other commitments for at least seven months and spends this time in spiritual reflection and renewal. This period, known as Tertianship, concludes with Final Commitment to the Lord.