Expressing their desire to affiliate with St. Scholastica Monastery as they continue their vocational discernment, Katie Cooper from Hermantown, Minnesota, and Leilani Linton from Andover, Minnesota, knocked three times on the door of the Monastery on February 27.
The repeated “knocking” and remainder of the rite–in which the applicants are met at the door by the Prioress and Community–are based on St. Benedict’s admonition that admission to the monastery should not be made too readily in order to test the applicant’s determination.
As the door is eventually opened, the applicants state their intention, receive a blessing from the prioress and a statement of support from the Community, and are then led to the chapel to join the Community at prayer.
The Affiliate stage, which can last from six months to two years, is the preliminary step in seeking admission to the Community. By becoming an affiliate, a woman has signified that she feels God is guiding her to this Community and thereby seeks to visit and know the Community better. Over a period of time, she and the Community can decide when and if she is ready to make formal application to the postulancy.