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Has Anybody Had This Experience?


Obonitas!

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In discerning with a community, you end up getting very close to the Vocation Director. So much so, you actually think you're friends - sharing birthday cards, emails, whatever. And it's not one sided, they share personal details with you. After deciding (for whatever reason) you're not called go their order, you are dropped like a hot psotato
And the friendship ends. In my case, since it took me time go find the right place, I began looking at apostolic orders. Now that my whole church community knows I'm going to another country to leave as a cloistered nun, I agreed to run a vication night twice a month at our parish.'
In dropping me, not only did I feel hurt, I felt like the only reason the Sisters like me was as a potential csndidate. Now I'm in the position to suggest communities to other women and I can't shake how I ended up ferling.

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Could it be that she backed off because she didn't want you to feel that her presence was a type of pressure? Even though there was a friendly feeling, she still has a position of authority in religious life and may just be giving you time and space to continue your discernment without pressure. You may not have felt her continued presence in your life as pressure but others might have. She also may have wanted to give you the freedom to discern. Obviously, you liked her community on some level but liking doesn't equal vocation and maybe she just wanted to let you move forward without any conflicting feelings.

It could be too that she did just drop you. In that case, I could understand feeling upset. However, one personal fault shouldn't be a reason to withdraw support from a whole community. All of us have real personal deficiencies... In every community.

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^^^ This. Also, I remember that when I was on the other side of the monastery wall, we would get a lot, a lot of correspondence. It just wasn't realistic or even possible to try and keep up a regular 'friend level' correspondence with one person... My only duty was to write to my family around once a week, and that was a real struggle! :) We had so many other things to do, and often correspondence would fall by the wayside - we read everything, and prayed for the people who asked for prayers, but writing back just couldn't fit into the day a lot of the time. It's regrettable, and I'm sure occasionally someone was miffed that they poured their heart out and didn't hear back, or didn't get a personal reply, but that was the reality. A vocation director is duty-bound to keep up a personal correspondence with someone who expresses interest in her community. But once you moved on, she might just be respecting that and giving you space, and trust me, she has 100 other things to do in the meantime. :) Why don't you write her a quick note just to say hi and that you are thinking of her?

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When I began contacting vocation directors, I was surprised by the level of congeniality and rapport they expressed.  I think for the most part they are very friendly and charismatic people (which might be the reason they were asked to serve as vocation director in the first place) and seek to express genuine interest and care in discerners.  I wonder if as Marigold stated, they have to focus their energy because they can't realistically sustain a friendship with every woman who discerns their community, but I wouldn't say it delegitimizes the love and affection they expressed for you in the past.  I'm really sorry you're having that experience though - I love Marigold's idea of sending a note, maybe saying that you wanted to thank her for all of her support in the past and that you appreciate her kindness?  In the spirit of Jane Austen, there is no problem that can't be fixed with a well-written letter :)

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