What It Takes To Be A Sister of Perpetual Indulgence
Most often the Sisters are seen out having a good time, looking fabulous and enjoying ourselves. However, what is not often seen is the great deal of work that each Sister does. Similarly, we are often associated with fundraising. Although we do a lot of fundraising, that is not our mission and our work spans a lot of other areas.
In addition to fundraising, the work of a Sister also includes ministry, education and entertainment. We organize, plan and throw events, some of which are very large and complex. The Sisters regularly visit local hospices, bringing joy to the people there. We also have some very intense one-on-one sessions with the people we meet while out.
Ours is a “ministry of presence”. The Sisters frequently act as educators, lecturing to classrooms of students and informing the cute boy at the bar about the risks of unsafe sex. And if you’ve ever been to one of our bingo games or any other event that is hosted by the Sisters, you have seen us in our role as MC and hostess. Being a Sister requires a lot of different skills and an investment in time, energy and money. In evaluating a potential new member, we look at a number of things. We look for drive, passion and commitment; a desire to perform community service; the ability to handle many tasks with grace; honesty and a genuine character; good people skills and the ability to
interact with others in a meaningful way. However, having the drive and skills is not enough. The Order is made up of over 30 people who all must be able to work together smoothly and efficiently. We are far from perfect and, like any family, often have our misunderstandings. Despite that, we all work towards our common goals and often can make miracles happen. A new member must be able to mesh with the Order and should add to the group dynamic, not
detract from it.
We are more than just another community service organization: we are Sisters. As with our more traditional counterparts, nearly all of us felt a genuine calling to do this work. There is room for a lot of fun in the Order, but we take our callings and our vows very seriously. The majority of Sisters consider this a lifelong vocation; the path may twist and turn, the outer manifestation may change, but the commitment to service never waivers. Being a Sister can be one of the most challenging and demanding things you can ever do but it also offers some rich and enlightening rewards.
If you are interested in joining the Order, we recommend that you attend our events, observe Sisters in action and engage them in conversation. Reading about being a Sister on a website pales in comparison to watching a Sister at work or hearing her individual story. Getting a better idea of who we are and what we do will help you to decide if this is the path for you. And getting to know the Sisters can serve you well as you move through the process.
Your path towards Sisterhood starts with a conversation with the Mistress of Novices. During this conversation, the Novice Mistress will assess your motivations for approaching the Order and try to determine if you will be a good fit. If she believes that you have potential, you will be asked to attend one of our general membership meetings. At that time you can declare your Aspirancy. If she feels that you are not a good fit for the Order, do not be discouraged; the desire to do community service is an admirable one and San Francisco offers a lot of opportunities to do so.