abba Arsenius, this was a rule for the whole of life: 'Be solitary,
be silent, and be at peace.'" The Sayings of the Desert
Fathers, Ward, page xxi.
Sisters of Mary, our charism is a particular blend of the eremitical
and communal. Our Constitution is an adaption of The Rule of
Saint Benedict. Prayer, work, study, and hospitality are aspects
of our belonging to the family of St. Benedict.
chose this most ancient rule because it is closest to the
Desert Fathers from whom we take our inspiration, while trying
to adapt to this time and culture. We have a strongly Eucharistic
spirituality as evidenced by our love for the Mass, personal
and community holy hours, and vigils on special occasions.
We are a Marian community and look to Our Lady as our real mother, model in
faith, and guide in the spiritual life. We love our solitude, silence, and
seclusion for prayer, but we have real joy in community when we recreate, share
spiritually, work together, and care for one another in illness. Hospitality
is an opportunity to put prayer into action by receiving all who come as Christ
is the infallible sign of the presence of the Holy Spirit.
We trust that this Gospel life enables us to witness to that joy in the Lord
Jesus Christ. As a sign of our public witness we wear a religious habit, and
are conscious of being the Church to many who are still seeking the Lord. In
the Holy Spirit, our life, prayer, and sacrifices are efforts towards evangelization,
ecumenism, and vocation work in small, hidden, but hopefully, fruitful ways
for the salvation of souls.
is the canonical status of the Hermit Sisters of Mary?
We are Catholic women hermits according to the Canon 603 with public vows under
the Bishop of Boise. We are also a private association of the faithful. We
are listed in the Directory for the Diocese of Boise and The Official
is the legal status of Marymount Hermitage?
Marymount Hermitage is a non-profit, tax-exempt corporation in the State of
Idaho. It is a legal entity separate from the Diocese of Boise. The diocese
has no legal obligations for the Hermitage complex and property, nor do we
receive any financial support from the diocese.
qualifications are necessary for a Hermit Sister of Mary?
First of all, you must have the desire for our way of life, good physical and
mental health, and at least average intelligence. These are the basic qualifications
for any religious vocation.
Secondly the particular qualifications for the Hermit Sisters of Mary are as
A Catholic woman, with a love for the Church and the Holy
2. Single, with no dependents nor financial or legal obligations.
3. Between the ages of 25 and 45.
4. Emotionally mature and well balanced.
5. Well-developed social and communication skills.
6. Ability to live in solitude.
7. Ability to live in this climate and terrain.
8. Ability to give practical evidence of being called to our way of life.
do I discern a vocation to your way of life?
1. Introduce yourself through a letter, an e-mail message, or in person.
2. Ask for more information about our way of life and any specific questions
that you have.
3. Request a short visit and retreat here.
4. Talk to the Superior about what appeals to you, your background and questions,
and what is a concern to you.
5. Discuss with your pastor, religious Superior, or spiritual director your
desire and suitability for our way of life.
6. Pray! Ask our Lord to enlighten you about His Will for your life.
7. Write again, giving a review of the steps you have taken and ask to come
again for longer visits and eventually a stay of 1-2 months to live the life.
8. After we have known you for a period of at least a year, you may formally
apply to the Hermit Sisters of Mary as a candidate.
long will it take to become a Hermit Sister of Mary? Describe
your formation program.
Candidate - "Come
and see" status: 6-12 months; instruction classes; live
in Holy Family House of Formation and occasionally in a hermitage.
Novice – Discernment
status: Formally accepted as a member of the community for
the purpose of discerning your vocation and learning more
about our Rule, spirituality, charism; and lifestyle; 1-2
years; have a bedroom in Holy Family House, but spend one
or more days a week in a hermitage.
Hermit Sister - Period of temporary vows:
Classes continue as needed; 3-5 years; live primarily
in a hermitage and join the community at Holy Family
House for weekly recreation and Sunday meal together.
Profession of Vows as a Hermit Sister of Mary:
Received by the Bishop of Boise.
am a professed religious. Can I transfer to your community?
Canonically, this is not possible because of the difference between being a
religious and being a Hermit. You will need an indult from Rome (from The Congregation
for Religious) dispensing you from your present vows at the time of your profession
as a hermit. While you are here discerning, depending on the policy of your
community, you will either be on a leave of absence or on exclaustration.
it necessary to be a religious before becoming a hermit?
No, if the Lord is truly calling you to the hermit vocation, He has prepared
you through life experiences with the human maturity and spiritual graces you
will need. Your ability to live in a community will be an important part of
your discernment with us.
was married and am now divorced. Is that an impediment
to becoming a member?
If your marriage has been annulled by the Church, you are welcome to apply.
We caution you, however, about seeking the eremitical life too soon after a
divorce. Healing takes time and the issues that led to the failure of your
marriage must be resolved first.
am not interested in becoming a Hermit Sister of Mary.
May I live there for an extended time as an independent
We welcome long-term retreatants, both men and women, to be here for an agreed
upon length of time. To apply for this sabbatical or temporary live-in status,
you need to have successfully completed a previous retreat of at least two
weeks. The retreatant's fee applies, including sales tax, but without the additional
Idaho room tax. Please Contact Sister Mary Beverly, HSM for a retreatant's
I am accepted as a candidate, what practical considerations
should I expect?
You must have the grace to leave all to follow Christ, as the Apostles and
St. Anthony did. To this end you will be given a list of what to bring, mainly
a few clothes and personal items. You will need to provide means for any medical
and dental expenses for the first year. You cannot give any substantial gifts
to Marymount Hermitage such as money, property, car, or books. If we have accepted
you, come with an open heart and open ears, ready to be a disciple. We will
love and cherish you for who you are not for what you can do or bring.