Sister Kathleen Huguet

Sister Kathleen recommends that those discerning religious life "listen for the whispering of the Holy Spirit," as that attentiveness led her to her recent profession of final vows as a Sister of the Holy Spirit and Mary Immaculate.

Sister Kathleen was familiar with the Sisters and their work with the underprivileged and marginalized because when her father was a young boy in Louisiana, they taught at his school. "He cherished their friendship and asked me to contact them," remarks Sister Kathleen. She loved visiting the Sisters with him, and although one Sister kept asking her when she intended to join the convent, she heard the question but avoided the answer until the time was right.
Sister Kathleen makes her final vows in the Motherhouse Chapel.

The right time turned out to be a month after her father's death in 2002, when she attended a "Come and See" weekend. Sister Kathleen recalls: "The moment I met the Superior of the order, I knew I was home!" She entered the pre-novitiate in 2004, renewed her vows in June 2011 and made her final vows a year later.

She currently is a teacher at the Healy-Murphy Development Center, proud to be working in "the foundation of our community, the house Mother Margaret built in 1893 when working with the newly emancipated African American people of the city."


In religious life we not only go through “initial formation” in preparation for living out our vocation, we continually attend training, workshops and days of prayer and reflection in order to be faithful and effective in our special mission.

How do you continually nurture your need for ongoing formation, growth and development?



The Formation Process

A woman who makes a request to enter the formation program of the Sisters of the Holy Spirit and Mary Immaculate will be accompanied by a member of the Formation Team during each phase of her journey. The Team assists the individual as she continues to discern her call to vowed religious and coordinates the four phases of the formation process:

  • The Affiliate Phase
  • The Pre-Novitiate Phase
  • The Novitiate Phase
  • The Temporary Professed Phase

The Affiliate Phase

The Affiliate Phase is the beginning of formal association with our Congregation. It is a time of mutual discernment, lasting from six months to three years. The affiliate ordinarily lives outside the community and continues the work and/or study in which she is presently engaged. She meets regularly with the Affiliate Director. She also visits, socializes and prays with the community according to a mutually agreeable schedule.

The Pre-Novitiate Phase

The Pre-Novitiate provides the time and opportunity for a woman to continue discerning her call to community life and ministry as a Sister of the Holy Spirit and Mary Immaculate. During this period of six months to two years the woman ordinarily lives in the Formation Community house. She remains financially independent and continues in ministry and/or study. She meets regularly with the Pre-Novitiate Director and participates in the monthly Inter-Community meetings.

The Novitiate Phase

The Novitiate phase is the time of formal initiation into religious life. It is a period of more intense prayer and discernment, of studying the mission and history of the Congregation, the religious vows and other aspects of religious life. If deemed necessary or beneficial, the novice may also take Scripture or theology classes at one of the local universities.

During the novitiate phase, the novice meets regularly with the Novice Director; she also participates in the Inter-Community Formation Program.

The Novitiate phase lasts two years. The first year, referred to as the canonical year focuses on spiritual growth and development and integration into the life of the Congregation. During the second year of the novitiate there is more involvement in ministry.

Temporary Profession Phase

Upon completion of the novitiate, the woman in formation becomes a member of the Congregation by making first profession of the vows of consecrated celibacy, poverty and obedience. The period of temporary profession extends from three to six years. During this time, with her Director and the community, she continues to discern God’s call and prepares for life commitment as an apostolic woman religious.