Catholic Vocations
Archdiocese of Melbourne
Religious Life for Women
About the Religious Life

Who are Women Religious?

Called by a special grace, as brides of Christ, women religious follow Him in that form of life which He made His own when He came to redeem mankind. Entering into the mystery of the redemption of the world, their gift of self becomes a gift Christ can use for this mission. (cf VC #34)

Originally consecrated at baptism, they are consecrated in a new and definitive way, through the vows of the evangelical counsels of chastity, poverty and obedience.(cf CCCC #192) Nourished by the Prayer of the Church, and by receiving Jesus in the Eucharist, they look to Mary, Mother of Jesus, as their own mother and their true model, on the often arduous path to holiness.

What is the Religious Life for Women?

Through lives of contemplative prayer and sacrifice hidden in the cloister, or through lives of apostolic outreach in the most diverse situations of our modern world, these women religious manifest the radiance of a life totally given with Christ and in Christ. (cf CCCC #193)

“Holiness is the fruit of the encounter with him in the many presences in which we can discover his face as the Son of God, a suffering face and at the same time the face of the Risen One. Recognizing him requires a gaze of faith, which is acquired through the habitual reading of the Word of God, through prayer, and above all through the exercise of charity because the Mystery can only be fully known through love.” (SAfC #23)

Religious Life in the Third Millennium

“The path which consecrated life is called to follow, at the beginning of the new millennium, is guided by the contemplation of Christ…a gaze fixed, more than ever, on the face of the Lord.”

“Christ is truly present in His Word and in the Sacraments, especially in the Eucharist. Christ lives in the Church, He makes himself present in the community of those who are gathered in His name.” (SAfC #23) The Church and the world today need the shining witness of women religious, radiant with love of Christ, poured out in a life of total self-giving for the sake of the Kingdom.


  • Compendium of the Catechism of the Catholic Church;
  • Vita Consecrata – Apostolic Exhortation of John Paul II;
  • Starting Afresh from Christ – A Renewed Commitment to Consecrated Life in the Third Millennium, Congregation for Institute for Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life
 Read the testimonies of some Religious Sisters. 

Little Sisters of the Poor holding 24 Hours with the Lord

Immaculata Mission School 2015

The Mission School is an initiative of the Sisters of the Immaculata, who
are assisted by the lay community and volunteers. The Sisters of the
Immaculata are based in Hobart and work in parishes with young
people. The mission of the Immaculata is spiritual renewal in parishes
through adoration and faith formation.

Come and See weekend with Good Samaritan Sisters

The Good Samaritan Sisters are holding a 'Come and See' weekend in November for young women aged 20 - 35 years.

Lenten Prayer Experiences with the Little Sisters of the Poor

Join the Little Sisters of the Poor to experience some different ways of drawing closer to God during Lent.

Come and See Weekend with Good Sams

Following the success of the Discernment weekend for young women held earlier in the year, the Good Samaritan Sisters are holding another such Come and See weekend with an Advent Focus in November.

Evening of Adoration and Lectio Divina for Discernment

The Little Sisters of the Poor are holding an evening of Adoration and Lectio Divina for young women discerning their vocation on Friday September 27.

Discernment Retreat with Nazareth Sisters

The Sister of Nazareth will be holding a discernment retreat in September for all young Catholic women.

Come and See with the Good Samaritan Sisters

17-19 May 2013, Mt St Benedict Centre, Pennant Hills

Soul Food - prayer evening in Ballarat

An evening of prayer and deep encounter with the Lord, 27 September.

Spiritual Pampering Day for Women

You are invited to join Melbourne women of all ages from all backgrounds to a special retreat day with the Dominican Sisters of St Cecilia. Come and join us for a beautiful day of prayer, reflection, Mass and inspiring talks from the sisters.

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