Franciscan Sisters of Christian Charity are providing a Called to Pray With Saints Francis and Clare Retreat to familarize young adult Catholic women with Saints Francis and Clare of Assisi. Sister Anne Marie Lom, Spiritual Director and Director of the Community’s House of Prayer, is facilitating this weekend discernment option. Offered in September and October, we share some initial reflections on what this time of growing in understanding of these two saints’ spiritualities has meant to the retreatants who registered.
Describe your overall experience. What did you find helpful?
- I enjoyed the retreat and was grateful for the spiritual direction time. I liked that the third day was tailored to the group’s interests and found the diagrams helpful.
- My overall experience was incredibly positive. I found the overall breakdown of one-on-one spiritual direction in the morning and group meetings in the evening to be very helpful and effective. It was nice to ask general questions and learn things with the large group, but also discuss more personal things with Sister Anne Marie during spiritual direction. Also, as a new Catholic, I was hoping to learn more about and better understand religious life in general this weekend, and I found it very helpful to learn about Franciscan spirituality (and the lives of Saints Francis and Clare, and how they led to this spirituality/charism) in order to better understand religious life and what it means to desire/be called to religious life. I think learning about Franciscan spirituality helped me better understand the universal call to holiness in general; the emphasis on the incarnation makes it much clearer to me that religious life is not meant to be a better or more universally effective way of getting to Heaven or becoming more holy.
- I enjoyed learning about St Francis and St Clare and the history of the Franciscan lineage.
- Q&A sessions were very useful.
- The one on one sessions; group discussion/ connecting with others discerning
- My experience was good because I was able to open up for Sister to find it easy to help me and that was really great. Sister was very helpful to me with the advice she gave me.
- It was very helpful to learn about Ss. Francis and Clare and to have individual meeting times with Sr Anne Marie!
- For me, the best part of the weekend was seeing the video footage of the places where saints Francis and Clare lived, as well as the one on one meetings with Sr Anne Marie.
- I’m grateful for the understanding she showed and the directions she gave as to where I could go next.
- I thought the retreat covered the perfect amount of material and that all the topics (city of Assissi, Francis’s life, Clare’s life, Franciscan spirituality, different vocations in general, types of Franciscan orders) were helpful.
- Thanks for the practicality of your discernment advice – no one really provides ideas about good questions to ask communities, unless you are in conversation with other discerners!
What are some qualities necessary to make a successful discernment retreat with the Franciscan Sisters of Christian Charity?
- Ability to pray/reflect 30-60 minutes per day during the retreat.
- Technology that allows you to see and hear the presentations and discussions and allows you to be seen and to respond verbally.
- Willingness to prepare for personal meetings with the director during the retreat; sharing your prayer life, prayer practices, spiritual reading and experience with Catholic practices.
- Ability to attend all of the conferences and to schedule time to meet with the director one-on-one.
Does this experience sound helpful to you?
We invite you to consider the November 20-22 Called to Pray with Saints Francis and Clare Retreat or another one of our discernment opportunities.