What is your ideal Vocation Discernment Experience?


#1

If you are to create an ideal vocation weekend, how will you structure it? What would you like happen, or what activities would you like included?


#2

If I were visiting a convent, I think it would really help if the discernment weekend included..

  • Adoration
  • Mass
  • Spiritual direction
  • some of the Sisters sharing their stories/experiences
  • opportunities to talk to the Sisters
  • opportunities to talk as a group
  • a talk on discernment
  • information to take home about the convent

#3

My ideal experiences were those that conveyed the true charism and mission/work of the order/community. When I got to the point that I was visiting different communities, in a way I wanted to "try them on" to see if one "fit". My best experiences gave me insight into the sisters' daily lives. Participating with them in Mass, the Divine Office, adoration... and also having time to speak with the sisters about their discernment and lives was always very helpful in my discernment. Some communities I visited were very structured in their discernment weekends, leaving little time unplanned; others allowed for more "alone" time for prayer and reflection. I noticed the different approaches also said something about the different communities.

As an aside, after a number of trips and discernment weekends over three years' discernment, I feel called to the cloistered life as a Dominican nun - I have finished my aspirancy and hope to soon complete my application papers for postulancy. Now working hard and trusting God for provision to take care of my educational debt! :D


#4

I would want to experience what the life was like. I would not be pleased with a ``sales job’’. Don’t sugar coat the life – be brutally honest.

So, I would say the visitors would live the daily horologium with the entire community. During periods of work on the daily schedule, the visitors would go around to the various places of the monastery/convent to see what the community members are doing and to ask questions. During periods of study/reflection on the daily schedule, the visitors could use for personal reflection and prayer. There should also be a scheduled community gathering for a round table discussion on the community life. There should also be given time for spiritual direction and meeting with the vocations director.


#5

My “ideal”…

God come down and say yes or no…


#6

I would like a retreat where I can meet with my spiritual director for a half hour or so and the rest of the retreat besides Mass is completely silent. I would like it to be in a place that has a lot of forestry so I can spend time in the silence of nature for a while and then I would like to spend time in an Adoration the rest of the time.


#7

I pray my search won’t take that long! :(:frowning:

Mine might go faster though, as I’m devoting myself full-time to the vocational search, unemployed at present.


#8

@Lief ~

I pray yours doesn’t take that long either! :slight_smile: However, for me, it was necessary - I started discerning before I entered the Catholic Church (born and baptized Evangelical Protestant) and there is a requirement for new Catholics to wait at least two years before entering the monastery. That said, I’ve pretty much “known” I am called to cloistered life as a Dominican nun since November of 2008. Since then, I’ve focused on living and growing in my faith and doing what God puts in my life each day.

My two years’ is now up (this Easter vigil marked two years), but I still have educational debt from law school that has to be addressed before I am completely free to enter.

All in God’s time! :smiley:


#9

[quote="AmataVeritas, post:8, topic:195285"]
@Lief ~

I pray yours doesn't take that long either! :) However, for me, it was necessary - I started discerning before I entered the Catholic Church (born and baptized Evangelical Protestant) and there is a requirement for new Catholics to wait at least two years before entering the monastery. That said, I've pretty much "known" I am called to cloistered life as a Dominican nun since November of 2008. Since then, I've focused on living and growing in my faith and doing what God puts in my life each day.

[/quote]

Phew . . . (Wipes sweat off brow) I was getting panicky again! First time I've felt that way for a moment since I was clarified as to some mistakes I made about seminary costs, thinking they cost over $100,000 :eek:. In fact, in religious orders they're free or almost free. I had been thinking I'd have to work in a secular job for years, but mercifully I found out otherwise just as the Easter season began, a real liberating, "rising" experience :).

I'm glad to hear you figured out your place more quickly than I thought :).

I've been Catholic for two years now, so I guess I'll have to wait a year too, before joining an order. I'll use that time to discern.

[quote="AmataVeritas, post:8, topic:195285"]
My two years' is now up (this Easter vigil marked two years), but I still have educational debt from law school that has to be addressed before I am completely free to enter.

All in God's time! :D

[/quote]

Yep. If the debt isn't HUGE you might get help from groups like Knights of Columbus, or the religious order in question itself. The Knights of Columbus sometimes offer thousands of dollars to help people discerning the religious vocation.


#10

#11

[quote="JMJ_coder, post:4, topic:195285"]
I would want to experience what the life was like. I would not be pleased with a ``sales job''. Don't sugar coat the life -- be brutally honest.

So, I would say the visitors would live the daily horologium with the entire community. During periods of work on the daily schedule, the visitors would go around to the various places of the monastery/convent to see what the community members are doing and to ask questions. During periods of study/reflection on the daily schedule, the visitors could use for personal reflection and prayer. There should also be a scheduled community gathering for a round table discussion on the community life. There should also be given time for spiritual direction and meeting with the vocations director.

[/quote]

Just a reminder that discernment weekends are just a quick glimpse of the Community life. roaming around the monastery is almost always not permitted because of enclosure rules, and roaming around the convent is also hard to accommodate because of privacy issues with the other Sisters. However, when one becomes an Aspirant or Affiliate special accommodations are established because there is more of a specific interest in pursuing religious life and the discerner is taken into the midst of Community. Other items such as participating in horariums, personal talks as well as group discussions, Eucharistic adoration, vocation stories presentation, are almost always present in a typical weekend discernment.


#12

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.