Suggestions for Discerning a Religious Vocation to the Sisters of Saint Joseph
Discernment is an ancient tradition in the Church. The term comes from the root word meaning “to sort or sift.” In discernment, we sort and sift motives, possibilities, inclinations, feelings and other data. Here are some helpful steps to facilitate your discernment:
Discernment is rooted in prayer. Taking time each day to spend with God, reading the Scriptures, listening to your heart and journaling will clear space for God and you to dream together.
Choose a spiritual director. Since discernment is not an individual process, you will want to find a spiritual director, a guide or wise person to help you listen to your heart’s desires. A campus minister, parish life director, pastor or vocation minister can help you find a spiritual director.
Gather data. To make a free and wise choice, it is important to gather data about the Sisters of Saint Joseph. What information do I need to know in order to come to a peaceful conclusion? Ask questions. Meet as many Sisters of Saint Joseph as you can. Pray. Visit our houses. Ask more questions.
Pay attention to your body and your feelings. Am I sleeping peacefully? Am I eating healthy meals? Am I exercising? Do I have a basic feeling of peace and security?
Here are some signs that you might have a vocation as a Sister of Saint Joseph:
· You have a desire to deepen your spiritual life and live the Gospel more deeply.
- You have a desire to live community with others who are seized by God’s love
- You have energy for a life of ministry and community.
- You have good physical and emotional health.
- You have the ability to take risks, to give, to laugh, to have healthy friendships.
A fun and interactive website to help your discernment is the Vision Vocation Network. The site includes podcasts, blogs and on-line retreats. Read about many religious communities. Learn more about Scripture and tradition. Explore creative ways assist your discernment and deepen your faith!
(from writings by Sister Katherine Hanley, CSJ: used with permission)
Donna DelSanto, SSJ Shares Insights on Vocation Ministry
“Religious life ought to promote growth in the Church by way of attraction. Wake up the world! Be witnesses of a different way of doing things, of acting, of living! It is this witness that I expect of you. Religious should be men and women who are able to wake the world up.”
Every year I invite my Sisters in Community to fill out a Vocation Ministry Commitment Cardand I offered this quote from Pope Francis as a reminder of why our life and Vocation Ministry is so important! Full Story Here
A Great Life by Melissa Gernon, SSJ
It was certainly an unexpected call from God! I grew up in a Catholic family, made my sacraments; however, I was not always a regular churchgoer. In 2003, I was a sacristan at the former Saints Peter and Paul Church in Rochester, NY when I learned the Sisters of Saint Joseph were starting a Teacher Mentoring Program. With anticipation of being surrounded by people supportive of my teaching interests, I joined the program which included living in community. As time went on, I was drawn to the life style, the welcoming spirit of the Sisters, and felt peaceful about my life for the first time in many years. Full Story Here