Vocational discernment in the Catholic Church

Vocational discernment in the Catholic Church

Vocational discernment in the Catholic Church is the process in which men or women in the Catholic Church discern, or determine if they are called to a vocation in the Church. Each diocese or religious order usually has its own guidelines and advice for men or women discerning religious vocations.


Many dioceses and religious orders encourage men and women with potential vocations to spend time, usually anywhere from six months to a year, praying and asking for God's advice. Those who feel they might be called to a religious vocation are encouraged to seek a spiritual director to help them along the way. After the set time, many orders have a formal discernment process which the candidate will engage in, before entering the order as a novice, or the seminary.

Vocational discernment for men

For men vocational discernment could include the Priesthood, which could be as a Diocesan priest or as a Religious priest. A Diocesan priest serves in a particular diocese and is under the local bishop. A Religious Priest is one who is a member of a specific religious order such as the Trinitarians, Holy Cross Fathers and Brothers or Jesuits. A man discerning a vocation could feel drawn to the life of a friar. Friars are members of mendicant orders, such the Franciscans or Augustinians. They take vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience. Some men in the church, when discerning might consider the life of a monk. Monks are cloistered Priests and religious brothers who live simple lives, away from the world in community. Some men might feel called to be a permanent deacon.

Vocational discernment for women

For women, vocational discernment would consist of feeling called to the life of a religious sister or nun. The Catholic Church does not ordain women to the Priesthood so that is not an option. Religious sisters are similar to that of active religious brothers. Nuns, in the official context are cloistered.

ee also

*" Religious Order
*" Mendicant order
*" vocation

External links

* [http://www.franciscan-brothers.net The Brothers of the Poor of St. Francis of Assisi, CFP located in the United States, Belgium, The Netherlands, and Brazil, Regular Third Order] , official vocational website
* [http://www.vocation.com/ Vocation.com]
* [http://www.vocationquest.org/ Vocation Quest]
* [http://www.vocation-network.org Vocation-Network.org]
* [http://www.vocation-match.com Vocation-Match.com]

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