Why Franciscan Discernment Includes ‘Taking Up Your Cross’

Paul Keggington

February 25, 2013

St. Francis of Assisi opened  a Book of the Gospel three times to determine the life God called him to live.  Recently, Franciscan Sisters of Christian Charity Vocation Discernment Retreat for young women ages 19-35 focused on one of these life-changing texts Mt 16:24: ‘If anyone comes after me let him deny himself take up his cross and follow me.” Discernment for any present day follower of this 13th century saint must also include embracing the cross. Jesus did. Francis did. We are called to be one with them walking our own way of the cross.

With a snowy-winter storm brewing around our Motherhouse in Manitowoc, WI, the weekend walking included some deep snow drifts.  Our Sisters prayed for safe arrivals for retreatants traveling from Wisconsin and Ohio locations.  All checked in early before the 7 p.m. Friday evening appointed hour.

How did this retreat touch lives?

The best answer to this question would be to hear from the weekend retreatants. Here’s some comments that were received at the end of the experience:

    • It helped me learn a great deal more about the Franciscan way. This retreat also taught me more about your community and gave me the opportunity to talk to more Sisters (and/or meet them).
    • I feel with every retreat I draw closer to God by the people I meet and through the learning experiences. I enjoyed it all. Thanks for your hospitality and support!
    • It was wonderful just to be with women who are devoted to their Catholic faith. When you are around others who share your faith, you feel open to talking with them even though you don’t know them very well. Our faith and love for Jesus unites us.
    • This retreat helped me to realize I need more patience with my vocation. Sometimes I get too worked up about what my future will be.
    • This retreat touched my life because it was the first time I had ever done anything about the calling I felt. Through the retreat, I felt my relationship with the Lord deepened and also my ability to listen to what He wants grow.

Looking for more detail on retreat content?

Watch for coming retreat notes on the Franciscan Retreat blog. Click here for easy access. If you would like to meet us or attend a vocation discernment retreat, we invite you to contact us. (photo: Priscilla Thomas)

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