On July 16,1866 Mother Pauline and four Sisters made their Final Vows. Alfred Hüffer writes in his Biography:
After the dedication of St. Conrad Chapel and according to the exigencies of time and space, a meaningful spiritual ceremony signifying the consummation of the religious call awaited those concerned. According to their papal approved Constitutions, the Sisters were required to return to the preparatory phase of the novitiate after a number of years to prepare for the so-called “great profession,” the solemn profession of perpetual vows.
“For the first time,” report the Chronicles, “the third novitiate was made by our beloved Reverend Mother Pauline von Mallinckrodt, by Sister Mathilde Kothe, Sister Anna von Eichstaedt, Sister Augustine Ficke, and Sister Walburga Heggen. The Reverend Father Behrens, rector and novice master of the Jesuit tertianship in Paderborn, had the kindness to assume the general direction of our novitiate.” This began on April 24, 1866, the feast of the Patronage of St. Joseph, and ended on August 15, the day of Mary’s Assumption. In order to be able to apply themselves to serious preparation through prayer, meditation and other spiritual exercises, in complete seclusion, not only from the clamor of the world, but also from all the intrusions of business, the Sisters remained in quiet, isolated rooms in the convent. Later, for the “great retreat,” they occupied two more solitary sections expressly arranged for spiritual exercises in the two side cells of St. Conrad Chapel: the “St. Paul Hermitage” and the “St. Meinrad Cell.”
Everything was thus arranged in the best possible way and the novitiate spent in serious austerity, terminating blessedly in that place of peace dedicated to the memory of the dear departed Sisters. During these days, too, their “dear Reverend Mother” appeared to the four Sisters as a luminous ideal. The Chronicles recount: “She also performed completely all the exercises of the novitiate in her deep humility, considering herself only as a novice and wanting to appear as such. At the same time, however, during the entire time of this novitiate, she was a wise and loving Mother, directress and leader.” In this way the day of final profession approached.
“At the wish of the Most Reverend Bishop,” report the Chronicles, “the perpetual vow ceremony took place in St. Conrad Chapel which was festively adorned for this purpose. The Bishop offered the Holy Sacrifice, during which he delivered a deeply moving address at the Gospel to the five Sisters. His words suited perfectly the immediate preparation for the impending important action. Directly afterwards we approached the altar to offer ourselves completely and forever to our heavenly Bridegroom as an agreeable burnt offering and to place into the hands of our highly esteemed Shepherd our perpetual vows.