Discerning Female Religious Life?

women_religiousYouth is a time when individuals naturally start seeking answers about the reason for their existence. It is a time for dreaming dreams and looking to the future with hope and enthusiasm.

To those men and women asking such questions, St. John Paul II addressed these words, “You are at the great crossroads of your lives and you must decide how your future can be lived happily, accepting the responsibilities which you hope will be placed squarely on your shoulders, playing an active role in the world around you.”

He went on to challenge the young people, “There is a wonderful way of experiencing love in life: it is the vocation to follow Christ in the celibate state freely chosen or in the state of virginity for the love of the kingdom of heaven. I ask each one of you to question yourselves seriously about whether God may by calling you to one of these paths.”

To many people the phrase “vocation discernment” is either foreign or overwhelming. Some incorrectly make a daunting project out of what should be a dialogue between God and the soul. It is not a puzzle to piece together, nor a mystery to solve.

Discovering one’s vocation is not an obstacle course to race through, but it is a journey that takes time and interior growth. Because it involves a dialoguing relationship with God, it requires a balance between active pursuit and passive waiting and receptivity.

The Vocations Site for the Charlotte Diocese intends to offer spiritual and practical assistance to our young people in following the call of God.

Discerning one’s vocation is like unwrapping  a very beautiful and precious gift. God loves us so much individually that He prepared a path for each of us to pursue, and in following our unique vocations, we will discover deep peace, joy, and ultimately union with God.

“Friends, I again ask you, what about today? What are you seeking? What is God whispering to you? The hope which never disappoints is Jesus Christ. The Saints show us the selfless love of His way. As disciples of Christ, their extraordinary journeys unfolded within the community of hope, which is the Church. It is from within the Church that you too will find courage and support to walk the way of the Lord. Nourished by personal prayer, prompted in silence, shaped by the Church’s liturgy you will discover the particular vocation God has for you. Embrace it with joy. You are Christ’s disciples today.”

Pope Benedict XVI, New York City, April 19, 2008

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For more information about women’s religious life, contact:

Sr. Mary Raphael, DVM


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Prayer to St. Joseph

O Great St. Joseph, so docile to the guidance of the Holy Ghost, obtain for me the grace to know what state of life Divine Providence destines for me. Do not allow me to be deceived with regard to so important a choice, upon which depends my happiness in this world, and even my eternal salvation. Obtain for me that, being enlightened to know the Divine Will and being faithful in accomplishing it, I may embrace the state of life which God has destined for me and which will lead me to a happy eternity. Amen.