Vocation FAQs

Below are answers to some frequently asked questions. If you would like additional information, please let us know via our online Contact Form.

What is the origin of the Felician Sister’s name?

Our first Sisters in Poland ministered to the orphans of 19th-century Warsaw, often accompanying them to the shrine of Saint Felix of Cantalice, who was recognized by the people of Poland as the patron saint of children. The people of Warsaw observed this daily veneration, and soon began referring to the Sisters as the “Sisters of St. Felix” or “Felician Sisters.” Foundress Blessed Mary Angela named Saint Felix the patron saint of the newly-formed Franciscan congregation, modeled after the contemplative-active life he lived. The congregation became officially known as the Congregation of the Sisters of St. Felix of Cantalice (CSSF).

Where do Felician Sisters serve in North America?

Today we have a wide range of ministries throughout North America, from the American southwest to the shores of New England; from Canada’s Northwest Territories to our mission in Haiti; from the rural south to urban centers.

Are Felician Sisters an international community?

Yes, in addition to our North American province, we minister to God’s people in Brazil, Poland, Italy, England, France, Kenya, Estonia, Russia and Ukraine. Felician provinces in Poland and Brazil, along with a Vice Province in Kenya and Felician ministries across four continents, comprise our international community of vowed women religious. To learn more about our sisters worldwide, visit www.feliciansisters.org.

How long does it take to become a Felician Sister?

The formation process for the Felician Sisters is a 9-year process, consisting of several distinct stages: inquiry, candidacy, postulancy, novitiate, annual profession of vows and perpetual profession of vows.

Is there a minimum or maximum age requirement for entrance into the community?

A woman must be 18-years of age or older to be considered for entrance into the Felician community. The maximum age is 40. Women of all ages may request candidacy. Each woman is evaluated on an individual basis.

Do Felician Sisters wear a religious habit?

Felician Sisters may choose to wear either a simple style of the traditional habit, worn with a veil, or an alternate habit, worn with or without a veil. The traditional habit may be brown, beige or white. The alternate habit consists of a simple style of suit or dress in brown, beige, black or white that may be worn with or without a veil. We also wear the Felician wooden crucifix received at our first profession of vows and a simple metal ring received at perpetual profession.

What does it mean that the Felician Sisters are a contemplative-active community?

At the time Blessed Mary Angela founded our congregation, communities of religious women were largely cloistered. Blessed Mary Angela herself considered joining a cloistered community. However, God called her to go out and serve people in need and those society had forgotten. She nurtured this life of service through a contemplative life of prayer, and this is the model that we follow as Felician Sisters. Our contemplative life of prayer nurtures and sustains our active life in ministry to others.

Are women joining the Felician community today?

Yes! Women today are choosing to live lives as Felician Sisters. They are women of all backgrounds and all walks of life who desire to serve God and the Church within our community.

Are the Felician Sisters involved in one particular type of ministry?

We serve in a wide variety of ministries, continuing to heed our Foundress’ call to serve all in need without exception. We serve people who are homeless, disadvantaged and impoverished; care for the elderly and infirmed in hospitals, hospices and senior living communities; care for individuals with disabilities; educate youth in colleges, high schools, parish schools, Montessori schools and child care facilities; serve in diocesan centers; serve parishioners in pastoral ministry; minster to those in prisons and detention centers; lead retreats and provide spiritual direction; and serve in ministries of presence and prayer.

What if I have other questions?

You can contact one of our Vocation Directors:

Sr. Jane Mary Gawlik

Sr. Judy Marie Blizzard

You can also fill out our contact form below and a Felician Sister will respond to your questions.

Serving where needed since 1874

Founded in Poland in 1855, the Felician Sisters are a congregation of women religious inspired by the spiritual ideals of their foundress, Blessed Mary Angela Truszkowska, and Saints Francis of Assisi, Clare of Assisi and Felix of Cantalice. Arriving in North America in 1874 following Blessed Mary Angela’s directive “to serve where needed,” they helped to weave the social service system. Today, the Felician Sisters founded, sponsor or support through the presence of our sisters, more than 40 ministries – all continuing to evolve to meet the needs of the people they serve.

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Provincial Information

  • Felician Sisters of North America is a 501(c)3 tax-exempt organization.
  • EIN 27-1282473
Felician Sisters of North America