Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Your Franciscan Calling is Calling: Through Him With Him and In Him

During this National Vocation Awareness Week, Franciscan Sister of Christian Charity Sister Anne Marie Lom and Sister Monica Martin unite on this Discernment resource.

Discernment is not for the faint hearted! It is a period of realizing both the dark and light sides of oneself and surrendering the process of choice to an outcome made clear through inspiration, consultation and prayer. Discernment is not a choice between good and evil. That choice is more obvious. Discernment is choosing between two good courses of action with the assistance of the Holy Spirit and other individuals. We often hear the word “discernment, connected with vocation such as, “I’m discerning whether God is calling me to the single, married or religious life.” Let’s look at discerning the call to religious life, though this method could apply to all discernment.
An outline for discernment could be capsulized in the doxology of our Catholic Mass, “through Him, with Him and in Him.”

Through Him…
Discernment begins with an inspiration, a nudge, a thought, a feeling about God calling one to consider religious life. The call is initiated by God perhaps directly, as at Mass or Adoration or, perhaps, through a person, a retreat, a friend, a family member, a song/hymn, an ad or an article. God is the author of all good so God would not initiate anything that is not for the good of the person. Usually God works through one of the above situations. The choice to follow this prompting is always made freely.

With Him…
When someone tells me they are discerning, my first question is always, “With whom”. Discernment is a communal process, not an isolated one. One discerns with a spiritual director, with the input of family, friends, teachers, mentors, clergy etc. Discernment can be challenging because one is asked to put aside personal preferences, comfort, preconceived notions, prejudices, and self-will.  A person in discernment may be encouraged to read, study, pray, interview, and become knowledgeable regarding alternatives. One may be asked to “test” the choice by seeing if health, spiritual development, openness and docility are present. Seasoned religious help in the discernment process by observing and giving honest feedback as to the ability of the person to live the call on a day-to-day basis. Prayer is incorporated into the process along with others and with Jesus as the center.

In Him…
Prayer, a healthy Sacramental life, a love for the Church and a balanced social life are all essential. In
Jesus, in the Church, in the Congregation, one discovers the reality of a call.  The call is lived out communally and is integrated into the call of others. Discernment has to have an “end”; one cannot perpetually discern or even sustain discernment for long periods of time. With confidence that the Holy Spirit has been present throughout the discernment process, the discerner makes a choice and leaves the discernment process behind to enter into the concrete reality of the call. Other occasions of discernment will arise: ministry, communal decisions, amount of service etc. and then the method of discernment comes into play again. If the vocational discernment is done well, other discernments flow more easily.

Sadly, the fear of the unknown can cripple a person. It can feel safer to “keep one’s options open,” because then one can always back out. However, this ambiguity presents a false sense of security because the person remains unsettled. It may be true that saying “yes” to one option means saying “no” to another option, but one can never predict the incredible opportunities that will arise as a result of that decision. God will never be outdone in generosity!

The reader can rest assured that the Holy Spirit will guide the process in His faithful, gentle way. Pray for openness. Pray for clarity. Perhaps God’s message will be “Now is not the right time for you.” Thank Him for this, because His timing is impeccable! Conversely, God may be calling the reader to enter a religious community within the next year. There is no need to fear this calling because God is faithful. In addition, a person still has several years to prayerfully discern after entering a community.

If the reader is feeling like God may be calling him/her to the religious life, there are ample resources on the internet. The reader may uncover more insights on prayer and discernment through http://franciscanretreat.blogspot.com/, and find out more about what it’s like to be in a formation program through http://habituallyspeaking.blogspot.com/. 

Through him, with Him and in Him may the reader be guided through the discernment process with the blessing of the Holy Spirit and the grace of good companions!


Thursday, October 2, 2014

Consider Your Vocation While Listening to Peaceful Discernment Music

Are you feeling called to ponder your vocation? The month of October is a perfect time to pray with Franciscan Sisters of Christian Charity a Steam of Peace Concert for inner peace. Click here to listen, pray and listen again.

St. Francis after searching for meaning in his life said: 'This is what I want. This is what desire with my whole heart." He committed Himself to Jesus and living His Gospel life.

God also called St. Clare to give of her life in humble simplicity. Does this sound like you? We invite you to consider your own call from God as a Franciscan Sister of Christian Charity. Click here.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Fall 2014 Franciscan Vocation Discernment Retreats

It's time for some serious discernment. Franciscan Sisters of Christian Charity invite you to consider a Franciscan Vocation Discernment Retreat NOW.

Expect personal and Community prayer, interactions with many Sisters and just an opportunity to be among us. We are flexible in accommodating your needs for travel.
Possible dates:  September 19-21, October 10-12
Note: Retreat begins at 7 p.m. and concludes on the closing day by 12:30 p.m.
Click  here to register.

Not quite what you were looking for...

Consider an opportunity for a vocation conversation where you live or a pilgrimage or pick your own date for a day of recollection. Click here.


Friday, August 22, 2014

Here's Some Good Franciscan Discernment Music

Are you seeking some music that would be helpful in your search for real meaning on your journey of life?
Franciscan Sisters of Christian Charity invite you to be enlightened and enjoy the free download On the Road to Human Being by Kerry Patrick Clark. Click here.
Discerning Vocation Journey as Temporary Professed August continues to be the month of Clare.  A bright light, St. Clare moves us to express the deepest thanks to our glorious God for our own unique calling. With light-hearted steps, may each of us find divine joy in growing in our humanness as we follow our Lord Jesus Christ.
Let us know your thoughts on the song and feel free to contact us if we can be of help to you in a vocation conversation along the way.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Visit with Franciscan Sisters in Austin Fall 2014

Wanting to talk to someone about Consecrated Life? Feeling at home with the stories and life of St. Francis? Franciscan Sisters of Christian Charity will be in Austin, TX in Fall 2014. Dates TBA.

We look forward to vocation conversations and would happily plan on visiting with you or you and your friends as well. Contact us here or call/text 920.323.9632.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Here are More Franciscan Consecrated Life Discernment Invitations

Are you looking for an experience to discern Franciscan Consecrated Life? Franciscan Sisters of Christian Charity invite you to consider any one of these possible opportunities to get to know us while having time to contemplate God's goodness in your own life.

Franciscan Vocation Discernment Retreats

Join smaller groups of our Franciscan Sisters during their yearly silent retreat at our Motherhouse, 2409 S. Alverno Rd Manitowoc, WI. Expect to attend conferences, have personal prayer time, while having some moments to learn and share with others of our Sisters not on retreat. We hope to offer an opportunity of discernment of our life of prayer, community life and ministry.
Possible dates:  August 17-19, August 21-23
Note: Retreat begins at 7 p.m. and concludes on the closing day by 12:30 p.m.
Click  here to register.

Franciscan Sister Shadowing

Are you desiring to follow a Sister for a day to see what her life is like? We invite you to click here and let us know what day works for you.

Pilgrimage to Founding Place of Our Sisters and Our Lady of Good Help Shrine, Champion, WI

St. Francis used 'on the road' time as his personal prayer time to discern God's action in his life. You may find answers as well. Experience Franciscan Consecrated Life at our Motherhouse while also traveling to Clarks Mills, WI, our treasured spot of our founding as Franciscan Sisters of Christian Charity and later pray at the Shrine of Our Lady of Good Help in Champion, WI, dear to our Sisters whose families have trusted in Mary's nearness in their lives. Let us know what time works for you and your friends. Click here to contact us.

Anticipate and Celebrate the Feast of St. Francis

We invite you to celebrate the Feast of St. Francis with us October 3-5, 2014. Arrive by 6 p.m. on Friday evening and arrange to depart by 12:30 on Sunday, October 5. Dates and times can be flexible for travel needs. Contact us if this sounds like a dream come true for you.

Saturday, June 14, 2014

More Opportunities for Houston Discernment Conversations on Consecrated Life

As we announced in our previous post, Franciscan Sisters of Christian Charity will be in Houston the evening of July 5 through July 8. We will be having a table July 7, 2014 at CafĂ© Catholica at St. Michael Parish, Houston when Cardinal DiNardo speaks on Pope Francis Evangelli Gaudium.

In addition, we are invited by the young adults from St. Anne Parish to present on the topic: Eucharistic Adoration to Action (with some prayer time built into the experience.) Plan on 5-8 p.m. for the evening event. We will begin with the 5 p.m. Sunday Mass joining the St. Anne Community followed by a bit of social and talk.

Most of all, we continue to look forward to conversations on Franciscan Consecrated Life with you and/or your friends at your favorite coffee house or another setting where you feel comfortable. Contact us here or call/text Sister Julie Ann at 920.323.9632. We really look forward to meeting you. (Photo: Benjamin Wideman, The Compass, Green Bay, WI)