Franciscan Sisters and Carmelite Nuns Discernment Retreat Review

Sister JulieAnn Sheahan

May 16, 2017

On the 100th year anniversary of the Apparition of Fatima, Franciscan Sisters of Christian Charity and Carmelite Nuns from Holy Cross Monastery Iron Mountain, MI welcomed 10 young women for a Silent Discernment of Spirits Retreat. Franciscan Sister Jacqueline Spaniola facilitated the sessions in the Grate Room. Our Blessed Mother’s powerful intercession was at work throughout the day.

St. Ignatius’ rules of discernment were presented with helpful examples. Retreatants were able to spend valuable personal time reflecting in silence on their own lives whether in chapel, social hall or outside. It was an awesome spring day.

Here’s some feedback from the young women themselves:

What touched your heart during this day of retreat?

  • Being able to interact with both active and cloistered sisters/nuns of different spiritualities
  • Ignatian principles of discernment
  • I really enjoyed learning about the two orders of Sisters.
  • Spending time to really open my heart to the Lord’s will
  • Being able to see the Sisters and getting a feel for their lives
  • Seeing where I’m already living the rules and having them explained and put in context
  • What to do in desolation was also helpful
  • The explanation of the Rules were beautiful and insightful.
  • There is not one right path to sainthood-many vocations put you on the right path

What part of the retreat did you find the most helpful?

  • Learning the Ignatian principles of discernment and being able to use the meditation/journal booklet
  • Having principles broken down into several talks
  • Lack of pressure to be discerning one particular vocation
  • All of it- learned a lot
  • Learning about the process of discerning God’s will
  • Making the pros and cons list for whatever you were discerning
  • Being able to talk with the Sisters-specifically the private spiritual direction with Sister Jacqueline
  • Talking with the nuns
  • The talks about the Rules of discernment, Q and A with Sisters, silence
  • Time for silence, meeting with the Sisters
  • The silence was helpful, silent time for prayer and meditation, opportunities for one on one questions with Sister Jacqueline was greatly appreciated.
  • The silent reflection times to work through in prayer all the information provided.

Are you in need of someone to listen to your own discernment journey? Carmelites can be reached at 906-774-0561. Franciscans are open to meeting you where you are for a face to face meeting. Call or text Sister Julie Ann at 920-323-9632. Consider some of our summer Franciscan discernment options at our Motherhouse. Click here.