Understanding God’s Call
Through baptism God calls us all to follow Christ. Calls us to live according to the Gospel. Calls us to be holy. People respond to this call in many different ways. Some people follow this calling through religious life.
Such a call may come as a sense of longing for something more; a desire to commit one’s life completely to Christ; wanting to be of service to others in and through the Church; a suggestion or invitation from another. God’s call to each of us is as personal and individual as we are, but it is always a call to love, to freedom, to fullness of life.
“I have loved you with an everlasting love therefore I have called you.”
The Lord has a plan for each of us; he calls each one of us by name. Our task is to learn how to listen, to perceive his call, to be courageous and faithful in following him and, when all is said and done, to be found trustworthy servants who have used well the gifts given us.
Pope Benedict XVI
Discerning Your Vocation
“I think I may have a vocation to religious life but I don’t know what to do?”
We suggest the following:
- Pray to God for guidance.
- Enquire about the different Religious Orders, their charism, their work and their spirit. You can write, visit their websites or email to get information.
- Reflect on your own gifts and abilities and how they might guide your choice of religious community.
- Talk to someone, a friend who knows you well; a religious sister, priest or brother that you know, or take time to get guidance from a spiritual director.
- Contact the Vocation Directors of the communities that appeal to you. They are trained to help you in your discernment process.
- Remember discerment can take some time, so there is no need to be anxious, you are simply trying to find out where God might be calling you.
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Types of Vocation
Are communities of professed religious men with vows of poverty, celibate chastity and obedience who devote their lives to God through teaching, nursing and the care of the less privileged members of society.
Are communities of professed religious women with vows of poverty, celibate chastity and obedience. They devote themselves to following Christ and serving God in a whole range of ministries. Teaching, nursing, pastoral ministry and social work for the poor and deprived.
Are communities of ordained, professed men with vows of poverty, celibate chastity and obedience who devote themselves to following Christ and serving God’s people in the Church. They do this through various ministries, preaching, teaching, parish ministry, retreat work, chaplaincies, social and youth work. Some orders also have non-ordained, professed members as brothers.
Are communities of ordained men pledged to their society who follow Christ and serve God through missionary activity abroad.
Are communities of professed women with vows of poverty, celibate chastity and obedience who devote themselves to following Christ and to serving God’s people on the missions.
Are communities of ordained and non-ordained professed men with vows of poverty, celibate chastity, obedience and stability. They pray the Liturgy of the Hours, celebrate daily Eucharist and devote their lives to contemplation and manual work.
Are communities of professed women with vows of poverty, celibate chastity, obedience and stability. They pray the Liturgy of the Hours, have daily Eucharist and devote their lives to contemplation and manual work.
Secular institutes are a form of consecrated life in which members live a life of celibate chastity, poverty and obedience. Members live their commitment through the witness of their Christian lives and their apostolic activity wherever they are employed. Through their consecration they try to be a leaven in society. Generally members live alone or with their families.
Secular institutes are for laywomen, Laymen and for diocesan priests. Periodically, members of respective institutes come together for retreats, meetings and renewal that are expressive of their union.
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