Visitation Monastery of Snellville
Saint Francis de Sales, our Founder, desired to “give to God daughters of prayer and souls so interior, that they may be found worthy to serve His infinite Majesty and to adore Him in spirit and in truth.” Contemplatives by vocation, we seek within the seclusion of the cloister to develop the bond of charity in and among ourselves, sharing in the evangelization of the world by a hidden apostolic fruitfulness, giving genuine and humble witness to the fact that God is love.
The spirit of the Visitation is “a spirit of profound humility toward God and of great gentleness with the neighbor”, a spirit which does not emphasize external austerity. The sisters make up for this by interior renunciation, great simplicity, and joy in the common life. Our Order honors the Virgin Mary in her mystery of the Visitation, especially in her humility and charity. The religious of The Visitation strive to be the imitators of the two dearest virtues of the Sacred Heart of the Incarnate Word: sweetness and humility.
Our day begins at 5:30, and ends at 10:00; Holy Mass, silent prayer, Divine Office chanted 5 times a day, spiritual reading, work, and recreation round out the day. A simple life of charity characterizes our small Community, which provides our Archdiocese with Altar bread and its clergy, with our prayers; as well as all the needs of our country, and the world.
Professed Members: 6, with 5 aspirants.
Year Founded: 1954
Qualifications: Reception of the aged, the infirm, and weak in constitution provided they are capable of following the Rule of St. Augustine and ordinary exercises; should have a sound mind and be well-disposed to live in profound humility, obedience, gentleness, simplicity, a forgetfulness of self so as to enter in to the concerns of others, community demands, and the life of the Church. A life of intimacy with the Lord, shown by clear conversion; openness to truth.
Formation: The constitution drawn up by St. Francis De Sales under the title, Rule of St. Augustine and constitutions for the religious of the Visitation, remain a fundamental principle of life and formation. Religious formation begins with the call of God and one's decision to follow the footsteps of Christ by entrance into the community and continues throughout one’s lifetime.
Aspirancy involves assessment of sufficient human maturity and aptitude for contemplative life (1 year).
Postulancy (1-2 years) offers a more direct and concrete experience of community life according to specific charism but also allow a gradual transition from secular life to life in the Novitiate.
Novitiate (2 years) is a period of initiation into evangelical life, both personal and communal, according to the spirit and Constitution of the Visitation Order.
The novice, having duly completed her Novitiate makes, Simple Vows for 5 years.
When the period of Temporary profession has been completed, if she is accepted to profession, she pronounces Solemn Vows.
Age range/limit: 18-45
Belated vocations? Yes.