I am a parishioner at St Francis of Assisi in Raleigh, NC. I am a father with a wife and three children. I was talking with my sister who complained that the parish seemed too big. I could only agree. We both talked about how she went to the diocesan vocations director for women, and how ice it was to get advice and spiritual direction from her. But when that vocation search ended with “the religious life is not for you, God bless!” It felt very disheartening. I talked about my similar experience with vocation discernment. I came up with an idea. There needs to be a vocation group or discernment process for people whose lives have no tidy answers, or “demand” for their presence. It is glorious to be called to the clergy. It is wonderful to be a religious. But what about the devout life, as St Francis de Sales calls it? I have in mind a small grpup, with no purpose other than intensifying prayer and conversion in the midst of very time constrained lives. Something as formal as a Third Order would be too much. This would be about basic baptismal identity and discipleship. Is there anyone in,the Raleigh/Durham area who might be interested?
I’m in the Piedmont Triad. We have the Oblates of St Francis de Sales at our parish. Perhaps perusing their websites would be helpful? The Spiritual Directory of St Francis de Sales is online. It’s actually quite simple to use. I would also recommend The Spirit of St Francis de Sales by Camus.
Are there any Oblates in the Raleigh area? Last I heard, they had charge of Holy Infant parish.
Thank you so much, Mrs. Cloisters! I wish I could get out more and visit other parishes. With young kids it’s a real challenge sometimes.
Perhaps there are other parish groups that could meet(some of) your needs
I belong to a small Christian community in my parish. We meet weekly to pray, read the scriptures for the upcoming Sunday, and discuss our lives as disciples. The discussion is based on the readings so it changes from week to week, but I find these people to be a wonderful source of support as well as occasionally challenging me to do better, usually by their own example.
That sounds wonderful. I would like to be part of something like that!
These are the books we use: http://www.insightsbooks.com/
Perhaps you could find a few like-minded people and start a group in your parish.