Vocation

What is a Vocation?

A religious vocation is a special gift and call from God that is received in faith and cultivated and discerned in prayer.

Please click on the following links to learn more below!

Understanding God’s Call

Discerning Your Vocation

Types of Vocation

Vocation Stories

 

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.”

Jeremiah 31

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.

Contact:
Vocations Ireland
St Mary’s Centre
Fitzwilliam House
185-201 Merrion Road
Dublin D04 NX60

Telephone: 01 260 3707
Mobile: 086 782 0149

If you wish to contact us for more information or further advice, you can send us a message via the form below, please include your name and email address.

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To find a Spiritual Director

Types of Vocation

Religious Brothers:

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.

Religious Sisters:

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.

Religious Priests:

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.

Missionary Societies:

Are communities of ordained men pledged to their society who follow Christ and serve God through missionary activity abroad.

Missionary Sisters:

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.

Contemplative Monks:

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.

Contemplative Sisters:

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:

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.

Vocation Stories

Br Malachy Thompson

Cistercians The monastic life has given me a new life full of happiness and a deep sense of peace. The life has totally exceeded all my expectations and dreams. Living with others who value the same expression of faith in a common life together has been important for...

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Sr Emer O’Shaughnessy

Congregation of the Sisters of Mercy I didn't suddenly wake up one day and decide that I was going to be a sister or to go nursing, or to work and live in Peru. One thing led to another. The people here really have a very low standard of living and working together we...

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Br Ronan Sharpley

Franciscans OFM I worked in El Salvador with Viatores Christi as a Civil Engineer and I meet Franciscans ministering there. I experienced their spirituality put into practice every day in the friary and among the people. Franciscans were not afraid to get stuck in and...

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Sr Mary Barron

Our Lady of Apostles I am from a typically rural Irish Catholic family and I inherited the faith of my parents. I was always interested in working in Africa, but I never thought about religious life until towards the end of university when I looked at the possibility...

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