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Vive Jesu

Online discernment

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Vive Jesu

Perhaps I should begin by explaining my occasional appearance on this forum. I am a religious involved in formation work, but my concern is for vocations in general within the Church. That is why I have previously posted information about discernment groups in the UK.  I was wondering if there  might be some tentative discerners out there - across the globe - who are not yet ready to share their questioning with others and would welcome the privacy of an online programme. This is the only one I found on Google. Does anyone know of any others?

http://carmelitesnottinghill.org.uk/lead-thou-me-on-a-6-week-discernment-programme/

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Nunsuch

There are a number of Vocation discernment resources on https://anunslife.org/  There are others on the Vision site: https://vocationnetwork.org/en/  Both focus mainly on the US, but the ideas and insights are pretty universal. And these may be more helpful for those seeking an apostolic religious life, as Notting Hill is contemplative.

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Sister Leticia

I took a quick look at the Notting Hill programme. It seems to be about vocation in general (and therefore religious life in general) and not Carmel specifically.

But I would also add that there are quite a few of us who made it into religious life (and into the right order) without having been part of a discernment group or process. A programme can be helpful, and can give structure, ask helpful questions, provide material for prayer and reflection and so on, but it is not essential. Trust me - there were no discernment groups around in the last century when I entered, and about half of the women who have joined our congregation in the past decade have not been part of groups (though all benefited from accompaniment at some stage, and from attending come & see weekends, visiting communities etc). So - discerners - please don't put things "on hold" while you look for a programme or say you can't discern because this or that isn't in place. 

1 hour ago, Nunsuch said:

And these may be more helpful for those seeking an apostolic religious life, as Notting Hill is contemplative.

Just to say...

Carmelites are monastic, enclosed, and yes, they're contemplatives... but many apostolic religious (including my own congregation) are also contemplatives! I prefer to use something like monastic/apostolic if distinctions are required. :blowkiss:

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Nunsuch
2 hours ago, Sister Leticia said:

Carmelites are monastic, enclosed, and yes, they're contemplatives... but many apostolic religious (including my own congregation) are also contemplatives! I prefer to use something like monastic/apostolic if distinctions are required. :blowkiss:

Correction accepted. But not all monastics are contemplative! In the US, for example, many Benedictines teach, run colleges, and even administer hospitals. It IS complicated. Perhaps we need new terminology. Sandra Schneiders, for example, likes "ministerial" instead of apostolic....

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Vive Jesu

Yes, although the Lead Thou Me On programme is on a Carmelite website it looks at vocation in the broadest sense. Only one week of the six is devoted to Priesthood/Religious Life and even that does not speak of a specific form of religious life. Here in the UK there is a growing sense that vocation promotion should not be about recruitment to priesthood/religious life, but should be about helping the individual, listening to the voice of the Spirit, to discover his/her own path of Christian discipleship, of which 'religious vocation' is one possibility. That would be my own approach.

Thank you, Nunsuch, for the links. I was familiar with the Vision website but the other is new to me. It does seem very good, with a lot of helpful advice, but focussed specifically on religious life. Thinking of those people just beginning to question what might be God's purpose for them and not knowing how to proceed, I was looking for an online programme similar to the group discernment programmes,  that a person could use on their own until they might be ready to take it further.

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nikita92

Yeah...and to get rid of that pesky word "Young" women and men this and that.. while we are at it! Lol

"Mature" women might be questioning what God's purpose is for them, after having become a widow or left with a empty nest and now they are experiencing a "spiritual reawakening" so to speak. Wouldn't that be amesome, to have a vocation promotion aimed at those individuals as well! Wink wink ;)

Edited by nikita92
Misspell

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Vive Jesu

Of course, I should make clear that I consider the 'religious vocation' option to be a wonderful gift of God, and I love and rejoice in my own vocation. And, yes, I came to it without the assistance of any programme. But then, I grew up in an age when church, home and school were a unity and regular practice was the norm among Catholics. I went to a convent school and there were religious on both sides of my family. Today, it is too often assumed that a young person attending Mass regularly in a largely middle-aged or elderly congregation must have a 'vocation', whereas she/he might simply need help and support in understanding and embracing a vocation as a committed layperson.

Anyway, I'll leave it here. I just wanted to put that piece of information (about an online programme) out there for anyone to whom it might be useful. And, whoever you are, God bless and guide you!

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