Do you have an age limit?
Our upper age limit for entry into novitiate is 45; this can be waived in exceptional circumstances.
Can I enter the Congregation of Jesus in England if I am not from the UK?
For anyone who is not a resident of the UK, please note that we are only able to consider applications from those who can meet the entry criteria of the UK Visa and Immigration Authority. If this is not the case, we will be happy to put you in touch with your nearest CJ province.
Where does formation happen?
Postulancy (6–9 months) happens in one of our communities in the UK. We have a shared European novitiate in Vienna, where novices from the UK, Middle European Province (Germany, Austria, Hungary), Slovakia, Romania, Italy and Spain are trained together. Some of novices’ ‘experiments’ (mission placements during novitiate) take place in the province they joined, so in the case of people who entered the English Province, that’s back in the UK.
Do you pray together?
In order to be free and flexible for mission, each sister is responsible for her own prayer. This means that we do not pray the Divine Office (morning and evening prayer etc.) together in community; however, all our communities share prayer together on a weekly basis, and some communities also celebrate the Eucharist together regularly.
Do you wear a habit?
How we dress is adapted to the context and demands of our ministry. In England, CJ sisters do not wear distinctive religious dress; in some parts of the world, they do.
Do you get sent abroad?
Sometimes! Many sisters spend all (or most) of their life of ministry in the Province in which they entered, but many of our sisters have spent shorter or longer periods living abroad. We work closely with sisters from other countries, and some of our sisters travel regularly as part of their ministry within the international CJ.
How do you decide what ministry a person does?
The word ‘obedience’ comes from the Latin ‘to listen’. Our particular ministries are discerned as each sister listens to the Provincial Superior, the Provincial listens to the sister, and both listen to God. Decisions about our particular ministries take into account our desires, our strengths and our capabilities, and the needs of the Province and Congregation more widely.
Do you have any resources for vocations discernment and prayer?
Yes – have a look at the Pray With Us section of the website to find written and audio reflections on vocation.
Are there organisations that can help me with discernment?
Yes – you can get in touch with the National Office for Vocation through their website. As well as information on religious life and orders in the UK, the Vocations Office can connect you with a trained vocations guide. You might also want to investigate joining a discernment programme or group like Compass.
How to get in touch with us:
Gemma Simmonds CJ
Sr Gemma has many years of experience as a spiritual director and vocations guide. You can get in touch with us via firstname.lastname@example.org, or at the London postal address at the bottom of this page.