Discerning one’s calling in life is a process that requires sincere prayer, and whose goal is to respond fully to the love of God who has loved us first. It is important to learn about religious life and specific religious communities, pray earnestly and take active steps of discernment in resolving the question of your calling in life.
What are the steps of discernment in your community?
Usually young women contact us by email to ask us questions, express interest and share with us about their discernment to this point. W recommend signing up for our vocation e-newsletter, and staying in regular contact with the vocation directress by email and phone, in order to ask your questions and also to be assisted in growing spiritually and general vocation discernment advice.
The next step is a visit to the community through a vocation retreat and if she wishes to discern further, we arrange a time when she can come for a week of Come and See. This gives the young women the opportunity to learn more about religious life through personal contact with the Sisters and in the Come and See week, she has a real lived experience of our religious life.
3. Continue Discernment
If the young woman desired to continue discernment, she would be advised to get a spiritual director (not one of our Sisters, but a priest or other competent spiritual director) if she doesn't have one already, who can help her discern God's will more clearly and if she feels the grace to respond to a religious vocation, to have a sense when the timing is right for her. In the meantime, we encourage the young woman to stay in regular contact with the vocation directress, who will continue to help her grow in the spiritual life. We also recommend that she volunteer in some of our apostolates and visit us occasionally if she is within a reasonable distance.
If she decides to apply, she is given an application form. The application process normally takes 2-3 months. It is important for people to apply in good time to be accepted for our September 8th entry date for Candidates.
She will receive an acceptance letter if her application is accepted. She is given a list of things that she needs to bring with her when she enters and contact is continued with the vocation directress until entrance day.
The young woman comes with her family for the ceremony of acceptance into Candidacy with the Sisters of Our Lady Immaculate. Our entrance date is September 8th each year.