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Psych Exam For Aspirancy


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I am finally finished with the psychological evaluation!!!! Praise God!!! I went in at 12:30 and was finished at 2:30. He has to send one of the written tests off to be graded but he told me th

I got a Facebook message a few hours ago from one of the other Sisters. Apparently, the Provincial Superior wanted to call me this morning but lost my phone number. The Sister got my information, so

I just got off the phone with the Provincial Superior of the order I am discerning. I called her to let her know to expect a call from the psychologist because he said he must speak with her before t

StClare_OraProNobis

Here is what Fr. Benedict Groeschel has to say on the subject of psychological testing for seminary or religious life:
[url="http://www.catholicity.com/commentary/groeschel/08674.html"]http://www.catholici...chel/08674.html[/url]

Speaking from the experience of having entered religious life with a history of depression and having to leave because it became so insurmountable, I am a huge proponent of psychological testing for religious life. My illness is much worse now having been in religious life and having faced the particular stresses that such a life entails than it ever was before. It is like when you have a small crack in a rock and you add pressure to it- pretty soon you have a huge chasm. I would have liked to have been spared the very, very painful experience of entering, becoming severely sick and having to leave.

To pull one quote from the article, (the whole thing is worthwhile:)


[font=arial, helvetica, 'lucida grande', verdana, sans-serif][size=3][i]Crisis[/i]: Having done all this testing for so many years, do you think it's worthwhile?[/size][/font]
[font=arial, helvetica, 'lucida grande', verdana, sans-serif][size=3]Fr. Benedict: If I calculate on a 40-hour workweek, I have spent over two years of professional time just doing testing. I use a slightly less complicated standard form since I rarely use an IQ test and I write the report without an autobiography because the clients can best write their own. I also compose my reports in English, not in jargon. When I look back on it all, I feel I made a contribution to the Church, to many individuals, especially those who were spared the pain of failure.[/size][/font]
[font=arial, helvetica, 'lucida grande', verdana, sans-serif][size=3]God calls all to holiness, but not all to a religious vocation. I would have rejected my own patron saint, Benedict Joseph Labre. He attempted to join the Trappists eleven times and was never able to stay more than six weeks. When I have to turn someone down, I tell them about St. Benedict Joseph and his trust of God. I also remind them that God has another set of psychological norms. They are the Ten Commandments and the Eight Beatitudes, and you can pass them if you trust God and stay on the road that he has prepared for you. It may not be the road to the altar, but it is always the road to Heaven.[/size][/font]

Edited by StClare_OraProNobis
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[quote name='AnneLine' timestamp='1344711359' post='2466158']
Mater, I hope & pray all is working out so you can move forward with the community.

You have shown so much confidence and courage and openness to what God wants - whatever the outcome God will bless you.

I must say that I find myself thinking that sometimes some of the Psych Exam stuff is really over the top.... if you weren't stable to start with, I doubt you could be handling this as well as you are. T

The current process is nutty. (I'm speaking as a Counselor, btw....)

Prayers!
[/quote]
[quote name='nunsense' timestamp='1344720016' post='2466213']
Personally I wonder how much it really helps and would be interested in studies about it. One convent I know did it only once - they paid big bucks to have it done, and the postulant turned out to be completely unsuitable in the end and had to be asked to leave because of her strange behaviour. They don't use the testing anymore.

But maybe some communities have had some success with it in choosing candidates?
[/quote]

Personally, I had a difficult time at first with it earlier in my discernment. It seemed like communities were playing God instead of trusting Him completely. However, after meeting a postulant in one of the communities I visited that did not have psychological exams, I saw the need for it because she showed major signs of emotional problems. That postulant is no longer with the community and I wonder if they could have saved the heartache by doing the test.

I was very upfront with this community about my medication and depression troubles and they still wanted a test. Now, I could have taken offense to it, but they told me that they do this for EVERY candidate to gauge what their problem areas are so they can work on those in formation. The RSMs do the same thing and they don't use the psych exam results to turn applicants away. As most people know, psychology is not an exact science and the environmental factors make a big difference in the results. If there are distractions or the person is going through something in their personal life, it can cause the results to be skewed and inaccurate. Now, I was fortunate that there were no distractions because the psychologist only works on Saturday and his office was empty.

I think a great deal of trust from the candidate is necessary because, like I said, someone could easily take offense to the requirement of a psych test. However, I have different outlook with this community than I once did with other orders. This could very well be the one that God has been leading me to all along. Things have appeared randomly without my intervention and I find myself not asking a bunch of unnecessary questions that could potentially cause me to control the situation instead of letting the Holy Spirit work. This is a huge change for me!

I am still not going to say that this is where God is calling me with absolute certainty because things could change. How can you know 100% until you make final profession? You can't -- you can only trust that God has a reason and a purpose for all things.

Thank you to everyone for your prayers and blessings. I am very peaceful and hopeful. I have abandoned myself to Him and I know I won't be disappointed. :love:

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Mater, love and prayers to you. Thanks for your feedback. Valid points, all.....

St. Clare -- Happy feast day!

Thank you so much for your very honest and thoughtful response. You bring up important points that we haven't been looking at, and I thank you for it. I hope & pray that your sharing will help others, and that you also will get some healing from it.

Thank you SO MUCH for that article. That is without a doubt the MOST BALANCED thing I have ever read on the subject, and I would let Fr. Groeschel shrink my head any time. I think most of us would. The problem, of course, is that too many of the people doing testing aren't Fr. Groeschel and don't look at the whole picture the way he does.

I've know people who had to take them, who didn't have to take them, an who have had good and bad experiences with them. I really do think they are as good as the administrator and ESPECIALLY as valid as the person doing the interpretations. I've done a lot of career testing assessments, and the same thing is true from those..... what Fr. G says is right on target. You cannot go with the stuff 'fresh off the computer' as if Moses just carried them down the mountain. The norms for those entering religious life are totally different than those for the 'general population' -- and even those were often normed inappropriately in the past.

So..... yes, they are and can be good tools in the right hands. So can a scalpel. I pray for all of you who are dicerning, and for those of us who have been/are being/will being evaluated. I also trust that the Holy Spirit is untimitely in charge, and that God will never be outdone in generosity.....

Love you all, and pray for you all.....

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[quote name='AnneLine' timestamp='1344730106' post='2466268']
Mater, love and prayers to you. Thanks for your feedback. Valid points, all.....

St. Clare -- Happy feast day!

Thank you so much for your very honest and thoughtful response. You bring up important points that we haven't been looking at, and I thank you for it. I hope & pray that your sharing will help others, and that you also will get some healing from it.

Thank you SO MUCH for that article. That is without a doubt the MOST BALANCED thing I have ever read on the subject, and I would let Fr. Groeschel shrink my head any time. I think most of us would. The problem, of course, is that too many of the people doing testing aren't Fr. Groeschel and don't look at the whole picture the way he does.

I've know people who had to take them, who didn't have to take them, an who have had good and bad experiences with them. I really do think they are as good as the administrator and ESPECIALLY as valid as the person doing the interpretations. I've done a lot of career testing assessments, and the same thing is true from those..... what Fr. G says is right on target. You cannot go with the stuff 'fresh off the computer' as if Moses just carried them down the mountain. The norms for those entering religious life are totally different than those for the 'general population' -- and even those were often normed inappropriately in the past.

So..... yes, they are and can be good tools in the right hands. So can a scalpel. I pray for all of you who are dicerning, and for those of us who have been/are being/will being evaluated. I also trust that the Holy Spirit is untimitely in charge, and that God will never be outdone in generosity.....

Love you all, and pray for you all.....
[/quote]

I appreciate your genuine concern, AnneLine. You have been most supportive throughout this whole process and I truly appreciate your prayers and gentle guidance. I feel so blessed to have found such a terrific group of friends here. I have learned so much about myself in the past few years that I've been here. I didn't take it all as well as I should have, especially from one or two posters in general, but I later learned that they were absolutely right and only wanted the best for me.

I trust that God knows what He is doing. The psychologist has been doing the testing for the diocese for over 5 years and I've not met a crazy seminarian yet, so they must be doing something right. In fact, we have 3 men from our parish alone who are in the seminary. Please pray for one who left this past Wednesday for his first semester. I also just discovered that the oldest seminarian from our parish will be ordained to the Holy Priesthood on the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe! I've never attended an ordination before and I'm absolutely planning to attend this one if I'm still around.

I am praying for each and every one of you -- no matter what vocation you are discerning or have discerned. I ask that you receive many blessings from God, as well. Thank you! :nun1:

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[quote name='EmilyAnn' timestamp='1344726249' post='2466249']
Do almost all communities do psych evals now?
[/quote]

Pretty much all of the communities I've come in contact with have required one.

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[quote name='HopefulBride' timestamp='1344731348' post='2466281']
Pretty much all of the communities I've come in contact with have required one.
[/quote]
[quote name='EmilyAnn' timestamp='1344726249' post='2466249']
Do almost all communities do psych evals now?
[/quote]

Most active/contemplative communities require an exam. Some contemplative communities, like the Carmelites of Buffalo, NY, do not require one but they expect you to be mentally fit to handle such a life. :)

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I wanted to share something with all of you because of what we have been discussing tonight. I have a subscription to [u][i]The Word Among Us[/i][/u] and have learned so much from their daily meditations. I got goosebumps when I read the one from today:


[quote]
"If you have faith the size of a mustard seed…” (Matthew 17:20)

It’s a familiar story: a neigh­bor saw a little girl trapped under a car, and amazingly was able to lift the car off her. The mother praised him as “Superman,” but he said he hardly thought about what he was doing. He just responded as fast as he could.

This man had a mountain to move and he moved it! Of course, in his case it wasn’t an issue of faith. It was more an adrenaline-powered response to a crisis. Nonetheless, this story can be a moving analogy to teach us about living by faith.

We tend to think of faith as something that’s in our heads. But there is also a spontaneous, heroic side to faith. Sometimes, our faith will move us to take quick action. We won’t have time to survey the situation or pray for hours to mus­ter up our courage. Sometimes, a situation crops up that demands a swift response—a response that arises more from our hearts than from our brains.

You don’t need to be particu­larly strong to practice this kind of faith. You don’t need to be espe­cially smart, either. You just need to be open to inspiration—when you feel moved to share your faith. When a neighbor is suffering, and you are compelled to offer a word of comfort or a shoulder to cry on. When a potentially sinful situation presents itself, and you know you need to intervene to keep things from getting worse. At times like these, our spiritual “Superman” wants to take charge, but it can be so easy to stay as Clark Kent. It’s in these situations that we can learn to trust the promptings of the Spirit and act swiftly.

[b]Keep your eyes open today. Most likely, something will hap­pen that will call for an immediate response of faith. Don’t think too much about it, or you may lose the opportunity. Just move forward and follow your gut instinct. And if you end up being wrong, you can take comfort in knowing that at least you tried—and God will reward your effort.[/b]

[i]“Lord, give me simple faith! May I not be held back by counting the cost. I want to hear your voice and obey.” [/i]
[/quote]

What an appropriate meditation for the news of the results being mailed to the Provincial Superior. If I didn't have faith, I could immediately think of the worst case scenario. My gut is telling me that something wonderful is going to happen and that I should trust God completely.

It also shocked me because I have been talking a lot about the particular passage in Scripture when Jesus refers to the faith of the mustard seed and that faith can move mountains if you believe. I promise I [u]did not[/u] read ahead to today's Gospel but it had the exact same passage!
[quote]

A man came up to Jesus, knelt down before him, and said,
"Lord, have pity on my son, who is a lunatic and suffers severely;
often he falls into fire, and often into water.
I brought him to your disciples, but they could not cure him."
Jesus said in reply,
"O faithless and perverse generation, how long will I be with you?
How long will I endure you?
Bring the boy here to me."
Jesus rebuked him and the demon came out of him,
and from that hour the boy was cured.
Then the disciples approached Jesus in private and said,
"Why could we not drive it out?"
He said to them, "Because of your little faith.
Amen, I say to you, if you have faith the size of a mustard seed,
you will say to this mountain,
"Move from here to there," and it will move.
Nothing will be impossible for you."
--Matthew 17:14-20
[/quote]

I am praying that I have the faith of a mustard seed and that I will be willing to accept, with faith in God's will, whatever the outcome is -- regardless if it is good or bad. :)

Edited by MaterMisericordiae
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[quote name='MaterMisericordiae' timestamp='1345056555' post='2468113']
I got a Facebook message a few hours ago from one of the other Sisters. Apparently, the Provincial Superior wanted to call me this morning but lost my phone number. The Sister got my information, so I am expecting a call today. Wouldn't that be something if I got the answer on my baptismal anniversary? :)

Prayers please!
[/quote]

:nun3: :nun3:

That would be an amesome, razzle dazzle present!!!

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