For information and resources on the Consecrated Life, available from
the US Conference of Catholic Bishops,
for an excellent web page of Discernment Resources.
- How do I know that God is calling me to Religious Life?
- Do I love God enough to give God my life as a witness to God's love
for all people?
- Do I desire to live simply?
- Do I have the ability to relate well with others as well as to be
- Am I generous with time and talent?
- Do I desire to love all rather than to have an intimate relationship
with one person?
- Do I desire to form a deep relationship with Jesus through personal
prayer as well as through service?
- How should I discern my options?
- Talk with a religious sister.
- Educate yourself about different religious communities
(cloistered; apostolic; lay institute; charism of community).
- Share you questions with someone you trust and ask for their
- Contact one of the persons listed below or any community listed
in your diocesan directory. (Call Diocesan Vocations Office in
- Ask to visit some religious communities in your area.
- Look at the convergence of --
- interior factors: attraction, talent, interest, experience,
desires, ideals, realistic fears, awareness of personal limitations.
- exterior factors: people I admire, work that interests me,
needs that move me, structures that facilitate exploration, opportunity
presenting itself, invitations of another.
- Where can I read stories of current Sisters' and their
- Sister Stories -
- We have been called to serve God. After much discernment,
that call led each one of us to make vows before God, our family, friends and
other Sisters to serve God's people for the rest of our lives. Although we share
that same choice for our lives, our individual stories are very different.
- Each of the sponsoring Congregations of this website offers a
few personal stories about the Sisters. These are stories of women today from
diverse backgrounds and nationalities who have heard God's call and responded.
- How does a person become a religious?
- Formation Program: Every community has a formation
program to gradually integrate new members. The process happens
slowly and with a lot of guidance. Usually the interested woman
comes to know the community better by spending time with them, praying
with them, working with them.
- Early Formation: Eventually the woman becomes a
"postulant" or a "candidate". She does not
take vows at this stage, but she is more closely associated with the
community. The length of time for this stage varies.
- Novitiate: After discernment with the community the woman
becomes a "novice", the stage at which she studies the history
and the charism of the community, the history of religious life, life
under vows, etc. This period lasts for one or two years.
During this stage of formation the woman is helped to:
- - clarify motivation
- - forma solid basis for commitment
- - experience community and mission
- - become familiar with the charism in prayer and service.
- Profession of Vows: After the Novitiate the woman professes
the vows of the poverty, chastity, and obedience in the community. She
publicly expresses her choice to place Jesus at the center of her life.
- What are some resources?
- Vision Magazine: annual publication of the
National Religious Vocation Conference
5420 South Cornell Avenue #105
Chicago, IL 60615
email@example.com or www.nrvc.net
- To request copies:
Or call 1-800-942-2811.
- Content: short biography of several religious communities;
articles about individual religious or about specific aspects of
religious life; lists of how to contact various communities.
- Your Choice Handbook: published twice a year by
National Religious Vocation Conference
1603 S. Michigan Avenue #400
Chicago, IL 60616
- To request copies contact:
701 Main Street
Evanston, IL 60202
- Content: tear-our postcards to send to various
religious communities to find out more about them; short
descriptions of communities.
- Who are the contact persons in the Diocese of Raleigh?
- Sr. Joanna Walsh, F.C.J.
- Spiritual director and staff member at Duke Divinity School,
Joanna has experience with vocation discernment and formation of new
- Sr. Laura Downing, IHM
- Teacher of Theology - Cardinal Gibbons High School
- Sr. Kieran Williams, I.H.M.
3751 Bear Grass Road
Williamston, NC 27892