“Religious life in its various forms is called to signify the very charity of God in the language of our time.” (CCC 926)
Discerning a call to religious life takes time, as there are many religious orders around the country and around the world. Discernment requires spending time with the order, getting to know the sisters or brothers and how they live and serve, and much time spent in prayer. Below are six tips to help in your discernment journey.
Six Ways to Discern My Vocation
- Prayer: Prayer is a conversation with God- not just saying prayers, but speaking to the Lord from your heart. Ask him to reveal his plan for you: "Jesus, I want to want what you want. Here I am Lord; I come to do your will." Trust that God has a plan for you.
- Sacraments: The soul is the window through which we can see God and hear His voice. If the window is dirty because of sin, it must be cleaned through Confession so we can be in union with God. When you receive Communion, ask Jesus to show you your vocation.
- Good Information: It is impossible to discover your vocation without good information. What does it mean to have a holy Christian marriage? What do priests do? What is it like to be a religious sister or brother? Search for good information online, then take what you have learned back to prayer.
- Retreats: Miracles happen on retreats! One of the surest ways to discover God's plan for you is to enter into silence and prayer over an extended period.
- Advice: Don't try to discern your vocation alone, without the help of the Church. Talk to a sister, brother, priest, or deacon you trust.
- The Blessed Mother: Mary is necessary. She is the ultimate example of openness to the will of God. Are you open to God's will for you? Pray three Hail Marys every day, specifically to know your vocation and have the courage to follow it.
Academic status and the prerequisites for the Priest Formation Program at Saint Francis Seminary.
A comprehensive list of what the Catholic church looks for in candidates for the priesthood.
Discernment Opportunities for Women
Cor Mariae is a discernment group for women that meets the first Saturday of every month in the chapel at St. Robert Parish in Shorewood. The group spends time in Adoration and receives formation or information from various speakers. Contact Fr. John Burns for more information.
Religious Communities for Women
Discernment Opportunities for Men
The John Paul II House of Discernment, located at St. Robert Parish in Shorewood, offers young men the opportunity to live in community and discern whether or not they may have a call to the priesthood or religious life. Young men interested in learning more should contact Fr. John Burns.
Religious Communities for Men