What Vows Do Canossian Sisters Make?

Canossian Sisters commit their lives to three vows, poverty, chastity and obedience. These vows become the core of the life of the Canossian who strives to surrender themselves completely in imitation of Jesus.

First vows Mel

Sr. Melissa receives the medal of the Institute during her First Profession of Vows

The Wealth of Poverty

It might seem strange to think that someone who seemingly has no money or possessions that belong to them can be considered ‘rich’. Yet because Canossian Sisters are not focused on what they possess, they have the opportunity to completely abandon themselves to God with a life of simplicity and detachment. Sharing who they are and all that they have with those in their community, Sisters embark on the daily journey of discovering their true treasure, ready to leave everything in order to find themselves.

Our life as Canossians bears witness to the reality that God alone can content the heart of humanity. In truth, whoever finds God possesses all things.

 The Love of Chastity

The second vow the Canossian Sisters make is the vow of chastity. Chastity is not about what you leave behind or what you can’t do. Instead, chastity is about loving in a broader sense. Religious give up the opportunity to love one person, so as to be open to love many and to help them to love God. Chastity is about availability, about opening ourselves to love all those that God places before us.

 The Freedom of Obedience

There is a great freedom that comes from living a life totally surrendered to the will of God. The vow of obedience is so much more than ‘doing what you are told’. The essence of this vow is about trust. It centres around the question of whether I love God enough to trust Him with my life. It requires a complete surrender to the plan God has for one’s life, conscious that God speaks to us through those who lead us. We can’t expect God to call us on the mobile phone and tell us what to do. As such, one needs to believe in those whom God places before them to help them to uncover His will. A Canossian who pursues the invitation to align all their actions in response to the Will of God, can truly say that they belong entirely to Him.