A young woman who wishes to join the Sisters of Mary Immaculate must be aged 18 or over and show predisposition, mercy, an appropriate level of maturity and mental and physical health. After entering the community, the new member will undergo a period of testing life, lasting from six months to two years, called a postulancy. During this period, the aspiring nun learns to grow in a life of prayer, live a life of obedience, mortification, interior silence and willingness to make the Holy Spirit work. At the end of this period, she can apply to start the Novitiate, whose application must be approved by the Mother General in agreement with the Council.
The Novitiate is an extremely important period for the training of nuns. «Constant praying and exercise of faith and asceticism is the work of the Novice Sister; she will learn the basic principles of a consecrated life by studying and practising them and allowing herself be introduced by the Holy Spirit to an increasingly deeper knowledge of Christ the Saviour, source and heart of her life and her service of charity in the Church». During the Novitiate, the aspiring nun «exercises to blend the need for adoration and intimate knowledge of God in the prayer with the service of charity to brothers».
At the end of the period of Novitiate, which is two-year long, the Novice pronounces the temporary profession of vows, for one year. Temporary vows may be renewed for seven years; upon completion of this period, the Novice will be granted to make her perpetual profession.