Discernment and Retreats
What is God's Purpose For My Life?
Our modern society asks us what we want to be, what we want to do with our lives… We, as Catholic Christians, are called to ask a different question: What is God’s purpose for my life? What is my vocation, Lord? Then pray, listen and wait. In time, God will reveal your vocation.
As you continue to pray and live your life, in the place and community where you are, God will reveal the way He wishes you to live your spiritual motherhood and womanhood.
It is necessary for one called to the Consecrated Life to understand the beauty of the married life and even to feel drawn to both. Both vocations complement and explain each other beautifully.
When God wishes to reveal your vocation, He often increases the desire in you for either married life or consecrated life. Be attentive to the signs that God could be leading you in that way. Fervently pray and seek direction from a trusted religious mentor, your confessor or spiritual director; if you feel a movement in your heart to either vocation, follow God’s inspiration.
To be called to be espoused to Him is a life long journey. Your first “yes”in response to answering His call will be repeated each day and will grow a garden of love in your heart just as Jesus grew in Mary’s womb after her “Yes. Be it done unto me according to Your word”. The Consecrated Life brings one to a total self-surrender to God.
Remember, discernment is God revealing your vocation to you. In His time, you will know. You’re not choosing which way of life you want.You are preparing to respond to God’s personal invitation to holiness through a specific way of life.
Just as the love of a spouse would prompt him or her to follow the beloved to the four corners of the world, so too will a religious leave her family in pursuit of a greater love as a bride of Christ. God has chosen in a special way those He has invited to be His own.
Questions and Answers
- Allow God to speak to you in the silence of your heart. Make time for prayer and reflection.
- Pray to the Holy Spirit to help discern the will of God.
- Speak to a priest or a member of aReligious Community. A vocations director from a Religious Community that you feel drawn to will be able to help you.
- Reading, praying, and speaking to vocation directors are all very good things. However, there’s nothing quite like actually visiting a Religious Community. It’s very hard to get a real glimpse of Religious Life without experiencing it firsthand. A website, phone call, or videos can only tell so much!
We invite women ages 18-30 to take time to listen to His voice as they discern their vocation to Religious Life. Discernment retreats are held at the Holy Family Novitiate in Baltic, CT. This prayerful opportunity will provide a firsthand experience living with the Sisters.At this time of pandemic we are doing our best to connect with those who are discerning their vocation. We are not hosting in-house retreats this fall, but we have been scheduling phone and video calls instead and we ask you to keep an eye out for virtual retreats. We hope to invite young women in the new year.
Date: August 14, 2022
Time: 7:30 pm (EDT)
We encourage women between the ages of 18-35 who are discerning the call to religious life to participate in a virtual visit.
After submitting this form, you will receive more information.
God’s peace be with you. We hope to see you soon!
“Discerning Religious Life” by Sr. Clare Matthiass, CFR
“And You Are Christ’s” by Fr. Thomas Dubay
“On the Dignity and Vocation of Women” by St. John Paul II
“How to Discern God’s Will For Your Life” by Bishop Robert Barron
Call of Abraham:
Genesis 12: 1-3; 15: 1-7
Jesus’ calling His followers:
Mark 10: 17-31
“Go, sell what you have and give to the poor; you will then have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.”
Luke 5: 1-11
“Put out into deep water and lower your nets for a catch.”
Advice from Holy Men and Women
“Do not forget that when the Lord calls, He also provides the necessary strength and grace to answer His call” (St. Pope John Paul II).
“A good vocation is simply a firm and constant will to serve God in the way and places almighty God has called you” (St. Francis de Sales).
“A man knows when he has found his vocation when he stops thinking how to live and begins to live” (Thomas Merton).
“My vocation, at last I have found it; my vocation is love” (St. Therese of Lisieux).
“Many people mistake our work for our vocation. Our vocation is the love of Jesus” (St. Teresa of Calcutta).
“The world doesn’t need what women have. The world needs what women are” (St. Teresa Benedicta of the Cross / Edith Stein).
“The Christian vocation is first and foremost a call to love, a love which attracts us and draws us out of ourselves” (Pope Francis).
Visit this link to the Vocation Match https://vocationnetwork.org/en/match
Visit this link to For Your Vocation http://www.usccb.org/beliefs-and-teachings/vocations/index.cfm
Visit this link to the Council of Major Superiors of Women Religious https://cmswr.org/