Monday, February 16, 2015

February Franciscan Vocation Discernment Retreat Notes: How Do I Know God's Will

Franciscan Sisters of Christian Charity hosted a February Franciscan Vocation Discernment Retreat. Retreatants were invited to feel at home among us and received some resources for reflection. One topic was: How Do I Know God's Will

One of the sources provided was comments from Ten Evenings With God by author Ilia Delio, OSF:

"We can only know it through experience, just as we know our friends through the experience of love. We know the will of God by doing the will of God, and we do the will of God by living in the love of God. 

If the will of God is God’s love for us, then we would have to admit that the will of God is not outside us but first and foremost within us.  

If I find myself in God and if I find God then I will find myself.  

When we make life choices for reasons that are not oriented toward fullness of life, the hole of unhappiness in life deepens because the will of God is exchanged for a false self in love with itself and passing things: wealth, fame, recognition, fortune, or pleasure, none of which can bring happiness if they are not first born of the love of God.  

The single source of our happiness is the love of God that lies within us.

How attentive am I to the voice of God in my life and through others whom I encounter?" 

Friday, January 30, 2015

Franciscan Sisters Offer Year of Consecrated Life Convent Open Houses

Did you ever wonder what happens behind convent walls? Come and see.
To celebrate this Year of Consecrated Life announced by Pope Francis, you and your family are invited to Franciscan Sister of Christian Charity convents in AZ, NE, MS and WI on February 8, 2015. Expect a tour, quiet time for prayer in chapels for those who wish, refreshments and visiting with our Sisters.
Click here for further information or call us at 920.323.9632 for confirmation of times and places.

Monday, January 26, 2015

Invitation for 'An Intimate Journey of Relationship With God' Retreat

It's a February 13-15, 2015 Franciscan Vocation Discernment Retreat with the Franciscan Sisters of Christian Charity. The theme is 'The Intimate Journey of Relationship With God'. Young, single Catholic women desiring to experience Franciscan life are welcome!

If you can, join us at 5:45 p.m. for the Friday evening meal, recreation and night prayer at our Motherhouse, 2409 S. Alverno Road, Manitowoc, WI.

During the weekend you can expect many opportunities to hear our Sisters own love stories with their All Good God. St. Francis' understanding of relationships, especially his relationship with God and His Mother Mary will become an important focus of the days.  

Please complete our retreat registration form
For any further questions, call Sister Julie Ann 920.323.9632.


Tuesday, January 13, 2015

What is Franciscan Poverty?

Franciscan Sisters of Christian Charity share a portion of our Community Constitutions to answer the question 'what is Franciscan poverty?' This is a first of a series of discernment helps that give a better understanding of how we live consecrated life, in particular the vow of poverty. This question comes from a recent visit with a young woman.

Poverty, voluntarily embraced for the sake of following Christ, expresses our commitment to live poor in fact and in spirit as a response to the Gospel. We place our treasure and our hearts in God.

By our poverty we gladly submit to the common law of work through which we share in the creative activity of God by using  the talents He gave us in manual and intellectual endeavors to build the new earth.

While work is our means of support, we do not labor for personal gain, profit, or the satisfaction of wants. We witness to the human meaning of work, embracing it with liberty of spirit for the praise of God and as a service of love for others. As Franciscans our labor is characterized by trust in God, humility, courtesy and joy..

We live in moderation and in total dependence concerning the use and disposition of temporal goods. As a gospel community we hold all things in common, and we share what we have with one another and with those in need.

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Begin Year of Consecrated Life with Franciscan Vocation Discernment Journey

We've officially begun the Year of Consecrated Life. We invite you to view Part II of  Franciscan Sister Pamela Catherine reflecting on her prayerful discernment and decision to enter formation as a Postulant... becoming a Novice... then a temporary professed Franciscan Sister of Christian Charity. We serve in Catholic education, health care and community- parish service in dioceses throughout the Central, South, Southwest U.S. and Hawaii. Visit us at
 January 3, 2015 we are hosting a Holy and Whole Women day for young women and members of their family. Click here for more information.

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Year of Consecrated Life: Franciscan Sister's Discernment Journey

Year of Consecrated Life Vocation: Franciscan Sister Pamela Catherine reflects on her prayerful discernment and decision to enter formation as a Postulant... becoming a Novice... then a temporary professed Franciscan Sister of Christian Charity. We serve in Catholic education, health care and community- parish service in dioceses throughout the Central, South, Southwest U.S. and Hawaii. Visit us at

We invite you for a vocation discernment retreat or just some time with us in our convent homes! Invite us to meet you where you are!

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, and find out more about what it’s like to be in a formation program through 

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!