New Discernment @ the Movies Guide: Moana!

The lovely family animated film Moana is very entertaining, but it immediately struck the sisters in my community with its theme of discernment.

It was a no-brainer to put together another Discernment @ the Movies guide, but this time I had the joy of working with Sr. Christina Wegendt, FSP, with whom I often discuss the deeper themes of popular movies. I have put the text of the guide below; later this week I will put it up as a PDF.



Set in ancient Polynesian islands and mythology, Moana is the story of the teenaged daughter of a chieftain who has forbidden his people to sail beyond the reef into the wide ocean. Yet from her childhood, Moana feels a deep connection to the ocean, encouraged by her grandmother’s stories.

Moana struggles between the demands of her parents and her own inner longings. When she discovers that the islands are dying, she believes that the cause is found in her grandmother’s stories: the demigod Maui stole and then lost the heart of the goddess Te Fiti, who created the islands. To save her people and her world, Moana “goes out into the deep” to find Maui and convince him to return Te Fiti’s heart.

Before you watch the film, read the following Scripture passage:

Luke 5: 2-11

[Jesus] saw two boats there alongside the lake; the fishermen had disembarked and were washing their nets. Getting into one of the boats, the one belonging to Simon, he asked him to put out a short distance from the shore. Then he sat down and taught the crowds from the boat. After he had finished speaking, he said to Simon, “Put out into deep water and lower your nets for a catch.” Simon said in reply, “Master, we have worked hard all night and have caught nothing, but at your command I will lower the nets.” When they had done this, they caught a great number of fish and their nets were tearing. They signaled to their partners in the other boat to come to help them. They came and filled both boats so that they were in danger of sinking. When Simon Peter saw this, he fell at the knees of Jesus and said, “Depart from me, Lord, for I am a sinful man.” For astonishment at the catch of fish they had made seized him and all those with him, and likewise James and John, the sons of Zebedee, who were partners of Simon. Jesus said to Simon, “Do not be afraid; from now on you will be catching men.” When they brought their boats to the shore, they left everything and followed him.*

Discernment Key to Watching the Film

As you watch the film, pay attention to: the themes of identity and listening, and how they shape Moana’s understanding of her call

After Watching the Film

You may wish to bring the following questions to prayer, reflection, or discussion in a group:

  1. What is your favorite moment of the film? How did it touch you and why? 
  2. In discerning how she was called to lead her people, Moana listened to many voices: those of her parents, her grandmother as a wise spiritual elder, the community, and the ocean. Late in the film, she is discovers that one of the most important voices to listen to is “the voice inside.”How does God speak to you? How can you nurture a deeper listening to more easily hear God in your life?
  3. In stepping out in faith to follow their calls, both Moana and Saint Peter wrestle with doubts. What doubts do you wrestle with in seeking to follow God’s call for you?  How does Jesus’ call to “put out into the deep” resonate in your heart? 
  4. The film is filled with beautiful imagery of creation, and the ocean is an important character.  In the Bible, the image of water can represent the life of God in us—the Holy Spirit at work in us. What does the film’s imagery of the ocean evoke in you? 
  5. Stepping out in faith caused both Moana and Saint Peter to come to more truly “know who they are.” Do you see ways the Lord has helped you grow in self-knowledge through moments of acting with faith in him? 
  6. Once they took a leap of faith and grew in self-knowledge, both Moana and Peter discover their mission. Jesus wants to take you on this same journey to discover your own unique mission in the kingdom of God! He said to Peter: Do not be afraid. What might the Lord be saying in your heart as you seek to follow him more closely?

Prayerful Follow-up

Pray with one of the Church’s traditional, eloquent hymns to the Holy Spirit, whom Jesus promised would be with us and guide us.

Come, Holy Ghost, Creator, come
from thy bright heav’nly throne;
come, take possession of our souls,
and make them all thine own…

Concluding Prayer:

Come Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your faithful
and enkindle in us the fire of your love.
Send forth your Spirit and they shall be created.
And You shall renew the face of the earth.

O God, who by the light of the Holy Spirit, did instruct the hearts of the faithful, grant that by the same Holy Spirit we may be truly wise and ever enjoy his consolations, through Christ our Lord. Amen.


#Discernment and Advent Resources

nrvc2016_960x245_nodateSalt + Light TV did a special broadcast of a unique web forum on vocational discernment, “So You Think You’ve Been Called?”  hosted by the lively Deacon Pedro Guevara-Mann. I missed the initial stream, but right now you can still replay it on-demand here.

Last Thursday, I was delighted to go live on Spirit Catholic Radio on their Spirit Mornings program for a brief conversation about discernment. You can listen to the segment here. 

These past two weeks, I have been preparing content for radio programs, for our website, for our sisters on the theme of Pauline Apostolic Mysticism, and for the Advent retreats that I will be leading in Illinois. Although it’s a huge series of deadlines that can be unnerving at times, I have to confess that I am enjoying being able to “sink deep” into the beautiful mysteries of our faith! I think that my Advent this year will be extra-special.

To find some excellent and free  Advent resources, visit my latest Windows to the Soul blogpost here.

By the way, if you live near Chicago or near Mercer County, IL–near Aledo, Matherville, or Viola–I will be there in December. It would be great to meet you! Here are the events:

In Chicago:


In Mercer County (Aledo, Viola, and Matherville, IL)



Mary as Model of #Discernment, Vocation & Mission

The devotion to Mary, Queen of the Apostles, is one of the oldest devotions to Mary in the Church. One of our sisters recently let me know about a youtube video of the song, Queen of Apostles, composed and sung by Nancy Krebs, which beautifully offers reflections and prayers about two key events in Mary’s life associated with this particular title of Mary.

A key in discerning and living our vocation is devotion to Mary. Devotion to Mary as our Queen of Apostles is more than asking Mary to help us discover and carry out the mission God has entrusted to us. It also means entrusting ourselves and our spiritual journey to her. It means imitating Mary in how she shared her Son with the world, taking on her attitudes of humility, of receptivity to God (especially her docility to the Holy Spirit),  her obedience to God’s Word, and her union with her Son in his mission. If we entrust every effort that we make and everyone whom we seek to serve to Mary’s motherly care, all our efforts will be blessed.

Sr. Marianne Lorraine Trouve, on her blog Thomas for Today, posted an introductory reflection on this ancient devotion: Mary and the Holy Spirit.

Inspiring Vocation Story from a Daughter of Saint Paul

I’m delighted to share with you this lovely vocation story of Sr. Maria Kim, FSP, who recently made her perpetual profession in the Daughters of Saint Paul. Not only is she very open about the steps of her discernment, but there are “tips” and feedback from other young women who  witnessed Sr. Maria Kim’s perpetual profession while discerning religious life.

As you enjoy her inspiring story, pray for young people discerning their vocations, that they may have the same openness and joy to Christ’s call of love.

New Discernment@theMovies Guide: Entertaining Angels

EntertainingAngelsCoverThe next couple of movies that I will be posting a “Discernment@theMovies Guide” are among my favorite movies! The 1996 biopic, Entertaining Angels: The Dorothy Day Story,  is a wonderful portrayal of the life of an amazing woman who might be canonized some day. You might remember that Pope Francis spoke about her to the U.S. Congress on his recent visit:

“In these times when social concerns are so important, I cannot fail to mention the Servant of God Dorothy Day, who founded the Catholic Worker Movement. Her social activism, her passion for justice and for the cause of the oppressed, were inspired by the Gospel, her faith, and the example of the saints.”


Dorothy Day in 1934

Paulist priest Father Ellwood “Bud” Kieser produced two of my favorite biopics as part of his mission of evangelization: Entertaining Angels: The Dorothy Day Story,  and Romero. Both are wonderful movies and biographies that are not only enjoyable and moving to watch, but also portray the profound spirituality of the protagonists. Both films are also very helpful to watch from the perspective of discernment. This week, I’ve posted up the Discerning@theMovies Guide for Entertaining Angels. This movie stands the test of time because of the genuine way it shows Dorothy wrestling with God and her idea of God, her vocation, and her mission. Those of us attentive to the spiritual art of discernment will appreciate the gradual way that Dorothy found her mission, and then how God confirms her mission for her in moments of crisis.

To get the most out of the film, you might want to read a short biography ahead of time. You can find much more information about Dorothy Day at the Dorothy Day Guild website. Note that Cardinal Dolan of the Archdiocese of New York recently announced that Dorothy’s cause for canonization is taking its next step forward with a “canonical inquiry” into her writings and the testimony of witnesses.

You can find the Entertaining_Angels_Discernment@MoviesGuide here.

National Catholic Sisters Week & Cinema Novena: The Young Messiah

Last week, I was away working on finishing the first draft of my book. Now that I’m back, I’m busy catching up with the stuff that piled up while I was away.

1500x500-cinema-novenaOne of the things that I’ve been helping with is getting the word out about the new film opening on Friday (March 11), The Young Messiah (you can find my review here), and also inviting people to make the online Cinema Novena: The Young Messiah, either as a novena to St. Joseph (if you start on March 11th and finish on March 19th, the feast of St. Joseph), or as a novena to the Holy Family which you can make anytime. The novena uses clips from the film, a Scripture reading, a reflection question, and a prayer. You can sign up here!

Since this is National Catholic Sisters Week,  through the week I’ll try to post and tweet interesting resources for those discerning religious life as I find them. My favorite so far is Sr. Clare Hunter’s Top Ten Reasons “I could never become a nun”,  a wonderful article that briefly addresses some of the reasons I’ve heard most often.

If you’re looking for a Lenten Discernment Retreat, it’s not too late to sign up for our Holy Week Retreat at the Daughters of Saint Paul in Boston, MA.


Checklists for Discerning Our Vocation

Many of us discern our vocation informally through the years. When we enter more intentionally or deeply into vocational discernment, we need a few things already in place in our lives. If we aren’t currently trying to live these already, we will find them of immeasurable help in our discernment. But before I post my list, I want to share about another list, found in a book that I highly recommend:


In his book, Geekpriest: Confessions of a New Media Pioneer, Father Roderick Vonhögen shares the story of his vocational discernment in chapter 2, “Spider-Man’s Day Job.” He compares discerning our vocation with the typical superhero story, and shares a checklist for what we can learn from superheroes in discerning our vocation. (How cool is that! I wish I’d had this checklist when I was discerning!)

Father Roderick’s “Superheroes Checklist” is insightful and a great deal of fun for those with geekish tendencies (like myself) who enjoy superhero stories, but it also makes discernment very accessible to anyone who has seen even one superhero film. Included in his checklist are: seek solitude, study and read, discover your strengths and acknowledge your weaknesses, be humble, listen to your friends, do not fear, and persevere.

Geekpriest is a great, fun read and I highly recommend it for young people, as it offers a fascinating and entertaining “inside look” at the life of a dedicated priest, as well as offering helpful ways for living as a Catholic amid our social-media-inundated world. If you are discerning a vocation to the priesthood, the whole book is a fun read that will also get you thinking and praying! (You can read my full review here.)

At a recent meeting with Father Roderick. (With me is Sr. Anne Flanagan aka @Nunblogger)

I was excited and thrilled this week to meet Father Roderick. (Sr. Anne Flanagan aka @Nunblogger is with us)

Below is my less-fun, not super-hero related list of essentials to put in place in your life as you begin or continue to discern your vocation. (Notice that my list intersects with Geekpriest’s SuperHeroes Checklist in more than one place!) This list also sums up a whole slew of my previous blog posts.

1. A dynamic prayer life and sacramental life. Have a real relationship with God that is living and growing. This means a regular prayer life, not just a “hit or miss” approach, or only praying “when I feel like it.” If you haven’t already, commit to daily prayer.

Becoming an “expert” in prayer is a lifelong journey, but having a genuine relationship with God when we are seeking his will is essential. How better to learn how to recognize God’s invitation in the big decisions we have to make, than to listen to God every day?

The sacraments are the privileged ways that the Church offers us an encounter with Christ. Frequently participating in Holy Mass (Sunday Mass is the minimum) and regular reception of the Sacrament of Reconciliation are the ordinary means for growing in our relationship with God. They might seem “ordinary,” but both sacraments are really hidden miracles in our midst.

At Mass, we adore, thank, offer ourselves with, and receive Jesus himself, who delights in sharing himself with us and inviting us into his own relationship with the Father. In the Sacrament of Reconciliation, all of the obstacles that we put between God and ourselves—our sins, woundedness, and flaws—are forgiven and healed in a sacred encounter with Jesus’ merciful love.

2. Strive to live a good moral life. All of us are called to holiness, to grow in union with God here on earth, a union that will be fulfilled in perfect communion with God in heaven. Every vocation is a call to profound holiness. Constantly living in a state of serious sin means we are putting obstacles between us and God. All sin is a roadblock for our discernment, because sin is turning away from God’s will and choosing our will over God’s. Instead, discernment is striving to know and live God’s will. We do not need to be sinless to discern because we are all sinners, but we want to be striving to be upright, sincere about our journey of growing in virtue.

3. Trust in God. We can grow in trust in God by pondering and praying with these truths:

  • God loves us
  • God knows us better than we know ourselves
  • God has a plan for us that will bring about our greatest happiness and in which we will help others in a way that no one else will.

4. Get to know ourselves. This includes not just getting to know our gifts and weaknesses, but also discovering our motivations, which helps us to know what is most important to us. Including a daily examination of conscience in our prayer helps us to discover any area in our life—an attachment to a particular sin, for example—that might prevent us from seeking God’s will. Why are we entering into this discernment? What is in our hearts, what are we seeking? How can we more singleheartedly seek God’s will?

5. Active engagement with the Church. Our vocational state in life determines our role in the Church, as well as in life. Discernment doesn’t just involve God and us; it also involves the Church, the People of God within whom we will live and serve. In order to discern our role in the Church, we must already know the Church from the inside by being actively engaged with our parish or a church group. If we have not been involved with our parish, or other form of ministry, now is the time to get involved!

Especially for those discerning religious life or priesthood, or between one of these and marriage, it is essential to take part in the ministry and missionary life of the Church; otherwise we will not have the experience of sharing our gifts in ministry and the Church’s mission. Without this experience it’s hard to know what it would be like to share our gifts in this way as a lay person, sister, brother, or priest. We don’t always have to do this through our parish—there are other church groups that we can become involved in—but we need to find some way to get really involved in the Church’s ministry and mission.

6. Regular spiritual direction. [For more about spiritual direction—what it is, how to find a director, and what to expect for the first time, visit here and here.] A spiritual director may not be necessary as we begin discerning our vocation, but once we start to get serious, we should definitely start seeing a spiritual director regularly.

The first five areas are so important for discerning that they are, in a way, “prerequisites” to seriously discerning one’s vocation. If any of these are lacking, it might be a good idea to make that our “next step” in discerning our vocation.

Media as Discernment Opportunity!

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Another obstacle to deeper listening that is particular to our times is the constant blitz of media messages that is almost impossible to avoid. Cell phones that are always on mean that anyone with our number (such as our boss) always has a way to reach us; having a smart phone or computer means that we can check our email not just twice but twenty or thirty times a day; engaging with social media like twitter or instagram means that constant interruptions in our day, our lives, and even our conversations, has become the norm; advertisements, which serve not our needs but the greed of unbridled capitalism, continue to deceive, invade, and intrude into our every day life. Media are widely misused in ways that undercut the dignity of its viewers and listeners, presenting people as commodities to be used, rather than as sacred persons created in the image of God. Many media messages today promote revenge, violence, hatred, lust, materialism, prejudice, error, illusions about happiness, and sensationalism. The constant availability of entertainment online, and the growth of tablets, wi-fi, and internet access, means we can constantly gratify our desire to be entertained because we are not limited to reading the books on our bookshelf. Even music on our cell phones can limit our connection to self by filling our walking silence or daily drives with music. Digital media “fill the cracks” or spaces in our lives that used to be free for reflection, silence, or just being present to one’s self.

As a Daughter of Saint Paul who is blogging a book about discernment and occasionally tweets about it, I don’t just enjoy digital technology and the possibilities that the internet offer for connection. I value the media in general and digital media in particular for the ways they help us to connect with one another, build up the solidarity of the human community, and for their potential for evangelization. The media are awesome avenues where God’s grace can reach people in ways both new and old! But for me personally, the key to how I choose to use the media is being mindful about it—in a way that assists my prayer life,  discernment, and relationships, rather than becoming obstacles to them.

Especially as an introvert, I easily become scattered or distracted if I have constant “noise” in my life. I couldn’t possibly make the time to use every form of media available to me. Every form of media, and each social network I join, is for a specific purpose that I have prayed about. In using media, I seek to practice the principles of discernment. The use of media is an integrated part of my day and often part of my relationships. I’m also not afraid to disconnect: I turn off my cell phone when I enter the chapel for adoration or Mass, and keep it off during my retreats, whether they’re monthly one-day retreats or annual eight-day retreats.

Here are a few questions that I ask myself about daily priorities that are helpful in thinking about my use of media from within the context of daily life:

  • Am I always “online” or “connected” all day long, every day? Every evening? Seven days a week? How often do I give myself breaks from the frequent interruption or stimulation provided by the smartphone?
  • How much silence do I need or want every day or every week to be able to pray, to remain aware of my own thoughts and feelings, to be “at my best”? (This answer varies widely according to individuals.)
    • Do I feel my life is in balance, that I give the most attention to the most important people and parts of my life?
    • Where (and with whom) do I want to spend more time?
    • Where (or with whom) do I want to spend less time?
  • How do I choose to spend my time: with God, with family and loved ones, with work, with myself (including silent time taken to nurture myself and to relax).
  • How do I use various media at home, at work, in my relationships and throughout my day? What purpose does each form of media serve in my life? What purpose do I want each form to serve?
  • Smart phone
    • Calls
    • Texts
    • Messages
    • Retrieving information
    • Apps
    • Podcasts
  • Social media (go through each platform I use, whether on my computer and/or smartphone)
  • Music
  • TV/internet streaming/movies
  • Video games
  • Any other computer use: surfing, chat, research, etc.
  • How can I see using each form of media to help me grow in my relationship with God, with myself, and with others? Do I need to make changes, set limits, or add media to my life in order to live God’s invitations? (e.g. How often do I check my Twitter feed? Two of my favorite podcasts help me to pray the Liturgy of the Hours, or reflect on or pray with Sunday’s Scripture readings. Two of my  most-used apps is the Catholic News Agency and the Pope App, which keep me informed about religious issues, and also give me endless prayer intentions. Or, in my love for film, do I balance what I watch: occasionally a popcorn flick, often an independent film that is spiritually enriching or helps me understand certain issues. Some people give up Facebook or movies for Lent. Others don’t check their email over the weekend or in the evenings.)

How do you use media to assist you in your discernment journey? I’d love to hear your thoughts about how using the media and technology in your daily life affects your spiritual life, and how your relationship with God affects your use of media.

“Supporting Characters” in Our Discernment

02K  (GSReduced)In any story, we find supporting characters. In our discernment—actually throughout our entire spiritual journey—we also have “supporting characters”—people in our lives who walk with us on our journey, even if just for a time. It’s important to remember that not everyone shares our same goals.

When we write a story, we are need to be reminded that each character has:

          Their own goals, wants, and needs

           Their own arc or story of growth

This means they may or may not share our goals, which will affect the support they are able to give us on our discernment journey. In some cases, someone who is important to us may not be able to offer us any direct support, but their input or their care for us may still help us in our discernment.

From a story perspective, here are some of the key roles that people take on a hero’s journey (which is akin to a discernment journey):

  • Mentor or guide. (Think: John Newton to William Wilberforce in Amazing Grace, or Jor-El—Superman’s father—to Superman in any Superman films. In the TV series Smallville, the very human Jonathan Kent is an awesome mentor to the teenaged Clark Kent, aka Superman-in-the-making.) A mentor with a lot of spiritual experience, who know how to share both human and spiritual wisdom, can be invaluable in our discernment: their guidance, their support of our pursuing a spiritual path, and the gift of their wisdom and insights as applied to our lives.  Ideally, when we realize that we are entering a period of discernment about something “big” in our lives—a career shift, a move, a vocation—we would seek out a spiritual director to accompany us. (I already posted some helpful tips when looking for a spiritual director here.) One of the best things about a mentor is the freedom from pressure and expectations that they offer because they do not have a vested interest in our decision. But others can also hold the role of mentor, offering us guidance and spiritual wisdom, such as our parents, a trusted teacher or counselor, or a wise friend.
  • Friend/Sidekick. (Think: the Scarecrow, Tin Man, and Lion to Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz.) We all need friends who support us. The ideal friend in our discernment would also be a person of faith, but any close friend who knows us well and wants our happiness can be a tremendous support to our discernment. Good friends can support us in so many ways: they encourage us to take a step forward when we feel intimidated, listen to our confidences without betraying our trust, or even “cover” for us if we go away for a weekend retreat. A true friend will put aside his or her own ego and needs and let our journey and needs take center stage for a while. (A good sidekick does the same, and actively helps us on our journey.)
  • Trickster. (Think: Captain Jack Sparrow in any Pirates of the Caribbean film; the monkey is a great trickster too!) This is someone whose response to us is unexpected, who doesn’t share our goals and doesn’t necessarily want our happiness. A trickster may seem to oppose us or our goals and may actually be an antagonist, but often the trickster simply has an agenda and point of view that’s very different from ours. We can usually learn something about ourselves from the trickster, who is usually different from what he or she appears to be, and can “stir things up” that we may find frustrating or annoying, but ultimately can help us to come to a better understanding of ourselves and our inner resistance, and can sometimes even help us move forward on our journey.
  • Threshold Guardian. (Think: the cave on Dagobah in The Empire Strikes Back where Luke faces Darth Vader, or Shifu in Kung Fu Panda.) Especially for stories that follow the pattern of the hero’s quest (which finds some of its roots in Christianity), the “threshold guardian” is sometimes a person, a test, or an obstacle that tests the protagonist’s resolve, preparing them for the challenges that he or she  will face during the rest of the journey. This “initial resistance” can even be interior.
  • Rival. (Think: Eric Liddell and Harold Abrahams in Chariots of Fire, or Woody and Bud Lightyear in Toy Story) If we are in a discernment situation with rivals (such as vying for the same position), our rival(s) can be very helpful in pushing us to do our best, to reach beyond our perceived limits. In a healthy rivalry, our rivals seek the same goals as we do and thus have a unique perspective about our situation. They may occasionally offer a valuable insight or appreciation of our efforts, and may even offer help. (Of course, rivalry is not always a healthy approach to achieving a goal, and is not usually a helpful approach to discernment. It’s always helpful to remember that rivalry is very different from enmity…and especially important to remember that as a follower of Christ.)


To Journal About

Take a moment to think about the people in your life.

  • Do you have support for your life of faith?
  • Who is supporting you on your discernment journey?
  • What kind of support might you still need to seek?


How Are You Celebrating the Year of Consecrated Life?

CTVlogoSo much has been going on, I’m taking a quick break from my regular discernment post to share some of the good news:

We are so blessed to have been invited by Catholic TV to come in for a show about the Year of Consecrated Life, and what we’re doing to celebrate it (and our centenary year of the founding of the Daughters of Saint Paul).

Sr. Marianne Lorraine Trouvé talks about the anniversary edition of arguably the most beautiful document on religious life: Vita Consecrata by St. John Paul II, and I talk about our centenary year and all the great things we’re doing for the 100th “birthday” of the Daughters of Saint Paul–100 years of media evangelization, 100 years of living and communicating Christ, our Way, Truth, and Life! Here are a few–a comprehensive list will go up on our website soon!


  • World Communications Day Mass for communication arts professionals in the New England area on May 17, 2015, at our convent chapel here in Boston with CatholicTV’s own Father Robert Reed:
  • Centenary Mass of Thanksgiving on June 14, 2015, with Cardinal Séan O’Malley at St. Theresa of Avila Parish in West Roxbury, MA. (RSVPs requested at:


  • Day of Recollection and Centenary Mass of Thanksgiving on the afternoon and evening of Saturday, June 6, at Holy Family Parish, New York, NY. (Email me if you’re interested in more information.)


DiscernItIcon_largerI was privileged to help in a small way with developing our Discern It! App, which we created for discerners for this Year of Consecrated Life. I’ve mentioned it here before, but on the show I have a chance to show a few screenshots and explain how helpful it can be–not just as a novena for when someone is at the beginning of their vocational discernment, but also for helping them through some of the most challenging moments of their discernment, with wise advice offered:

  • from the Scripture
  • from sisters’ experience of how Jesus speaks to us in prayer
  • from journaling and follow-up prompts
  • from your prayer and time with Jesus
  • from audio clips from wise vocations director, Sr. Margaret Michael

The Discern It! App offers real accompaniment for anyone discerning their vocation, and it’s free to download and use–for iOS and Android. 


final_ycl_logo_en_newOur interview ended with a request for our thoughts on the Year of Consecrated Life. Personally, I want to make this year a year of gratitude to God for the gift of my vocation as a consecrated religious. I also want to use it:

  • as an opportunity to thank the sisters, brothers, and priests who so generously make a gift of themselves in religious consecration
  • a time to focus my prayer for young people: that this year highlighting religious life will encourage young people to be open to God’s call to the religious life
  • a way to encourage parents and others who will encourage young people to consider religious life as a real possibility for their future