A woman religious is called by God to participate in the mission of the Church and to love God's love for all people. She may fulfill this same mission in a variety of ways. Her life must be one of total dedication of self to God's people for their spiritual and moral growth.
Specifically, a woman religious is a Christian who commits herself to Christ and His Church by vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience. She loves in a religious community patterned on the life and teaching of the founder/foundress of the community. Religious life is characterized by community life, simple and celibate lifestyle, public vows, and consecration in the service of God and His people. Prayer and work are part of the tradition of all communities. Depending on the vision of their founders, the charism of the Congregation, and the gifts and talents of their members, each community accents them differently. Thus, some communities are primarily contemplative while others are more active.
Apostolic work also varies among communities. Frequently addresses areas are education, social work, administration, communication, healthcare, etc.
There are many religious communities to choose from. . . each woman needs to find the one to which she feels called. Personal contact is one of the best ways to gain knowledge of a community and find out about its spirituality, apostolate, and life-style. Some communities offer weekend retreats or live-in experiences.
If your desire is to enter religious life, you should give serious thought to your decision. Seek information, ask for advice, seek the guidance of competent people, especially religious or priests, evaluate yourself and above all, pray to the Lord for wisdom and courage to discern and do His Will. A good spiritual director may be very helpful in receiving objective advice.