Could they be wrong?


#1

Due to misjudgement, there are instances where the vocation director/directress let in someone unfit to enter their seminary/convent before seeing the seminarian/aspirant in action during the formation period.

Could there also be instances where they did not let in someone who really does have a vocation to the priesthood/religious life due to misjudgement?

Thanks.


#2

The time of discernment does not end with a person’s entry into a seminary or convent. It is an ongoing process. Even if the person has spent a period of time within seminary or convent, the discernment is not complete at time of entry.
If as the time of discernment continues, it becomes clear that a person is not suited or called to priesthood or to convent life, then that person will be counselled to leave or will decide to leave.


#3

I have knowledge of that. But what I’m really asking is, how do they know if they are turning down a potential candidate for the religious life without even letting him/her enter for the formation? And say, this person fits all the mental, health, age (etc) requirements to enter.

P.S. I really love your signature. That’s one of my favourite Bible quotes. :slight_smile:


#4

[quote="auderyja, post:1, topic:261941"]
Due to misjudgement, there are instances where the vocation director/directress let in someone unfit to enter their seminary/convent before seeing the seminarian/aspirant in action during the formation period.

[/quote]

Initial formation does not end with entery into the seminary/convent. Before this time there is the novitiate (1 or 2 years), a time of postulancy (varies greatly) and a time of candidacy (varies greatly) before one makes it to this point. Even at this point it is not over, one enters into a time of temporary vows that lasts, at a minimum of 3 years and a maximum of 9 years, before final profession. Even then formation is not over (at least that is how I view it, we are always in formation and discernment).

But yes, as those doing the discernment are fallen human beings, so errors can be made, not only in this manner, but also the other way, turning away men/women who do have a call.

Could there also be instances where they did not let in someone who really does have a vocation to the priesthood/religious life due to misjudgement?

Again, fallen human beings are at work here so mistakes can and are made, both ways.

edit: fixed some grammar


#5

Yes, that answers my question. Thanks a lot! :thumbsup:


#6

Pragamatically, I would say that the answer is yes, because human beings inevitably make mistakes. However, I think the tendency in formation is - at least initially - to err on the side of generosity, and thus give people a chance so as to see how it works out. So I don’t think that such errors are common, and for someone who truly has a vocation to consecrated life or priesthood, there will always be another chance in the future to find their path if they remain open to God’s prompting.

But what is more common, sadly, is someone leaving formation, or not being admitted in the first instance, and being unable or unwilling to listen to the reasons why they are not invited to progress. I’ve met a number of people who are - understandably - angry or upset about being rejected (as they see it) and who protest that they were not given adequate reasons for having to leave. However, in conversation it becomes apparent that they were indeed given good reasons, but are simply unable to accept or even hear them, because it can be painful to admit to ourselves that we do not have a vocation to the state of life to which we aspire. Thus the reasons for one’s inability to progress are turned outwards, and transformed into assumptions of persecution by formators, or their inability or unwillingness to understand the individual who has been asked to leave, or the perceived genuineness of their call.

To me this is always a red flag; if someone basically argues that their formator or community was against them from the start, or never gave them a chance, then they really weren’t called to community life, because such decisions are never the product of one person alone, but are made with multiple inputs from many skilled people. But refusing to accept that judgements were made in good faith rather than from personal antipathy protects the individual from having to examine themselves too closely, or acknowledging that their departure is the will of a group who have no vested interest in misrepresenting their assessment of the person departing.

So I would say that yes, formators can make mistakes in being either too inviting or too cautious; but that usually a dissonance between formators and formed stems from the latter party, who by definition is not as skilled or as aware of the issues of formation as are their directors. That’s a difficult truth to accept: that we know less about our suitability for religious life and priesthood than do the people who are guiding us, but it’s what the church calls us to accept inasmuch as no vocation can proceed without the permission of the proper authority.


#7

certainly it can happen. these judgments are made by humans, even when informed by the Holy Spirit, because those discerning allowed human factors to take precedent. that is one reason why people leave religious life. Those same factors can make superiors reject excellent candidates, look at the saints who went through that.


#8

Although I am only called to the secular discacled vocation, please pray for me as I will be brought before the council for examining....:eek:...just came back from a silent retreat at mount carmel in niagara falls ontario with the ocds, and it was beautiful and quiet for much reflection..

We will see if my desire to become a carmelite will be discerned to be so....:shrug:


#9

Thank you for your in-depth reply.I have actually applied to enter the FSP, but two of the vocation directresses think I may not be for religious life because of my past. They think marriage life is probably more for me. :blush: I have yet to get confirmation whether it’s a “yes” or “no”, so I’m already prepared for any answer. I was initially very disappointed. I talked to my parish priest about it, and he told me to take it as a “grace from God”. So that’s what I’m going to do. :slight_smile: He also told me this, “If you really think you’re called to the religious life, don’t go looking for men”. Yeah, I didn’t go looking for men, but they came looking for me. LOL. Isn’t that funny. But hey, I’m still single. :wink: My heart is all for Jesus. As St Therese of Lisieux would say, “Nothing can charm me here below”.

So yeah, I have this question: What happens to the rejected real vocations? I read somewhere that if one does not live by his/her vocation, that path will lead to a sad ending.

Will pray for you Shoshana. Sounds like a beautiful place. :slight_smile: Please pray for me, too. God bless us all.


#10

I believe this is only so when one chooses to not live by his/her vocation.

Sometimes one is not really being rejected as a vocation. They are just rejected from that specific community. Sometimes people are called to a specific community but try to enter different one.

We will not be punished for the actions of others, what we can not control will not be held against us.

I hope I made sense.


#11

You have my prayers and I hope you receive the blessing of being called, finding your vocation and achieving it. God bless you!


#12

[quote="Blossoming, post:11, topic:261941"]
You have my prayers and I hope you receive the blessing of being called, finding your vocation and achieving it. God bless you!

[/quote]







Thank you! :blush: And God bless you for your kindness.....:thumbsup:


#13

I have just been notified that I am accepted into the novitiate of the ocds...prayers are still needed. I will be a novice for 2 1/2 years, and will be invested in February with the scapular prior to Mass....thanks everyone!:thumbsup:


#14

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