How to Discern Call to Be Cistercian Nun or Franciscan Sister

Sister JulieAnn Sheahan

May 17, 2022

Recently, Cistercian Nuns and Franciscan Sisters of Christian Charity invited young women for a unique experience of discernment. Truthfully, it was possible to have a conversation with a Nun and Sister in one place. Valley of Our Lady, Prairie du Sac, Wisconsin hosted this special event. What made this day especially precious for those that came was that this was the last collaborative venture of the two Communities in this place. Although Franciscan Sisters tend to be itinerant in their living, the Cistercian Nuns are the ones looking to break ground soon in a new location a half hour away from Prairie du Sac in more rugged rural Hollandale, Wisconsin. Diocese of Madison Bishop William O’Conner welcomed the nuns in 1957. Prairie du Sac was to be a temporary home. It is time to build a permanent building for the glory of God. Click here to learn more about their future move: Home – Valley of Our Lady Monastery

Franciscan Sister Jacqueline Spaniola facilitated the Discernment of Spirits Retreat based on St. Ignatius’ wisdom in making his own decisions. Talks were interspersed with periods of silence for personal reflection and application on one’s life. The Nuns’ visiting parlor became the place for the presentations with opportunities to ask questions and to hear many humorous and serious examples of how others  followed or could have been helped by this saint’s advice. Important to the day was stopping to pray Sext and None in Chapel with the Nuns uniting ourselves with the whole Church and the needs of the world.

It will be about two years before we can offer another invitation for a collaborative experience of this kind. Meanwhile, if you are interested in asking the Cistercian Nuns questions regarding discernment, please click here.

If you are interested in other discernment opportunities with the Franciscan Sisters of Christian Charity, please click here.

Feel free to call or text Sister Julie Ann at 920-323-9632 regarding questions or concerns.

God did not create a human family made up of segregated, dissociated. mutually independent members. No; he would have them all united by the bond of total love of Him and consequent self-dedication to assist one another.

Venerable Pope Pius XII.

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