“You have placed in each of our lives loving people, who by their example instilled in us the courage to say yes to Your call, please grant that we may instill that courage in others so that they too may open their hearts to You.”
Father William Howard Bishop

The center medallion is the community logo, “The Star of Bethlehem”; one of the most beautiful quilt patterns known in rural America - especially Appalachia. This symbolizes our “reaching out” to all people as the points and rays of this star move outward. The five points also symbolize the joy, the trust, the hope, the desire to reconcile with all people and churches, and the hospitality of our Glenmary charism.

Like Jesus, our Savior, we are sent by God to live simply and inclusively. The star symbolizes in all its crisscrossing pattern, unity in diversity - i.e., we try, like the TRINITY, to form Christian community with all God’s people! In this very struggle to form, share and extend community, we, like God born flesh in Bethlehem, are mindful especially of the “forgotten ones...the poor...the neglected…” of rural and small town America. These, the poor, as our founder,
Fr. W. Howard Bishop, said, are truly God’s “Ambassadors.” (MWL: Fr. W. Howard Bishop) As God’s Ambassadors, they teach us so much of God’s very person!

Within the pattern of this “Star”, the symbol of the Cross is engraved. Like St. Paul, we boast of the Cross while others may consider it pure folly. Each day we are called to participate in the sufferings of others knowing that Jesus’ very death is our salvation. After the pain of suffering and death, the resurrection follows. And, once again, the “Star” tells us of the glory of the Risen Christ - the hope that awaits each of us and calls all God’s people.

The Journey


This is a one-year period during which a woman is prepared for a missionary vocation with the Glenmary Sisters.

The postulant will experience times for prayer and reflection; instruction on Glenmary's charism and the regional subcultures to which Glenmary Sisters are sent; community life and opportunities for ministry. Throughout the year the postulant enters into further guidance, direction, and reflection on her future in Glenmary.

If she continues in her desire for Glenmary life, she may request to be accepted into the Novitiate.


The Novitiate is a two-year period. The first year is a concentrated time of prayer and learning. It is a time of personal journey and listening to God's call. The emphasis of the second year is a more active experience in mission. During this time, the novice receives instruction on prayer, the vows, the community's founder, Glenmary spirituality, the community's documents and the history of religious life. At least three months before completion of the Novitiate, the novice, if she desires to continue, requests of the president, in writing, to be admitted to Temporary Profession.

Temporary Profession

At the time of first profession, the woman in formation assumes all of the duties, rights and obligations of the community. She may request to renew temporary vows annually from three to six years.

After completing at least three years of temporary profession, the Sister may request perpetual profession of vows.

Perpetual Profession

By making a perpetual profession in the community, a Sister is admitted to full membership. She takes upon herself, together with all the other members of the community, a share in the responsibility for the life and work, the mission and ministry of the community with both active and passive voice.