Provincialates led to provincial noviciates for the local formation of novices, and brought the possibility that a sister who was not French might become a senior Counsellor (a central post) and even a Superior General, as in the case of Mabel Digby cited earlier.
These three elements--spiritual charism, sociology of membership and nature of work--operated together to create the family characteristics of the congregation into which each novice was inducted during the lengthy noviciate. The success of this process was vital to the identity of congregations and to the maintenance of difference between them.
Sophie Barat expressed exactly the same views, as did the Superior Generals of Notre Dame de Namur.(67) Until the French government ordered the expulsion of congregations in 1904-5, most of them continued to have a central mother-house with a Generalate and noviciate located in France.