The novitiate of the Salesian Sisters of the South Pacific Region is at Engadine. It is dedicated to St. Maria Domenica Mazzarello, the first Salesian Sister and co-foundress of the Institute of the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians. The novitiate is a two-year period where the young women deepen their understanding of their call from God and where they discern that God is calling them to live their lives in consecrated vowed life as Salesian Sisters.
In December 2016 one of the Novices, Sr. Kim Phuong Nguyen took her first vows in a beautiful ceremony with the Salesian Sisters and her family and friends. Currently the SPR Province is blessed with three novices. Their study program includes the study of Human Development, Church History, World Religions, the history of Religious Life, Liturgy, Canon Law, Christology, Mariology, Italian language, dressmaking, keyboard, the life and spiritualities of St. John Bosco and St. Maria Mazzarello and issues relating to the life and traditions of the Salesian Sisters spread throughout the world.
The Salesian Sisters' mission is directed to young people. Therefore during the two-year novitiate program at Engadine the novices are engaged in a variety of activities with young people: from primary to secondary school students, from Early Learning Centres to young adult youth groups, from summer and winter camps to Youth Centres.
The novices participate in the KAIROS Program which has been in operation for the past thirty years in Sydney and is supported by Catholic Religious Australia. It enables the Salesian Sisters’ novices to interact with other novices from different religious Congregations at social, spiritual and intellectual levels. Some key topics of the KAIROS Program are: cross-cultural awareness, lectio divina, Scripture, the psalms, spiritual and psychological growth, community living skills, discernment, psycho-sexual integration, vowed life, images of God, liturgy and Eucharist, wellness and health, Myers-Briggs, Enneagram and journaling.
At the end of a two-year period the novice and the Congregation of the Salesian Sisters are able to discern whether the novice is ready to make her first profession as a Salesian Sister.