- Altar Bread
Discernment: Where to Start
The vocation to be a religious/consecrated woman is the call to belong to Christ. It is a gift both to the woman called and to the Church-- indeed to all humanity. It's source and summit is Jesus Christ-- the imitation of His life and a participation in His redemptive work. Vatican Council II declared that "Religious communities of the active and contemplative life... play a very great role in the evangelization of the world." (Ad Gentes, #40) These chosen people are to be for the world Christ contemplating the Father in prayer, Christ preaching the Good News, Christ healing the sick, bringing light and faith, and the gift of salvation.
A woman discerning her vocation will very quickly notice that there are many religious communities! This reality is a beautiful sign of a vibrant Church and a gift from the Father. One way of understanding how this came about is to compare it to the image of a tree whose many braches are the various groups of communities and who came from a seed planted by our Lord. (cf. Lumen Gentium, #43) It can at first be overwhelming when a woman first looks at the tree with so many branches and seeks to know which one is her "home". Where do you start?
The most important thing you can do during your discernment is to pray. Attending daily Mass, finding time for Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, praying the Rosary, and prayerfully meditating on Scripture are all indispensable tools for opening up your heart to hear God's voice. There will also come a point in your journey when you will need someone who can help guide you. This person can be a vocation director, a priest or some other religious who is familiar with the life you desire to embrace. In addition, visiting religious communities which attract you is essential to knowing where you belong. You need to spend time getting to know the community and to pray with them to really know if their spirituality is right for you.
Here are some options for visiting our community:
Visit: You are invited to visit us at any time of the year to get a feel of what our life is like and to see what we do. You may simply come up when it is convenient for you or you may contact our Vocation Director to arrange a more formal visit during which you can meet with the Vocation Director and have meals in our guest dining room.
Personal Retreat: Many communities refer to this as a "Come and See". A personal retreat involves simply experiencing our prayer and our work. To schedule a retreat, please contact our Vocation Director, Sr. Maria Gertrude.
Women's Vocation Retreats: We host weekend retreats for women ages 16-35 during which the nuns give conferences on relating to your discernment. For more information contact us at 970-472-0612 or firstname.lastname@example.org