Is a Discernment Retreat Helpful to Discover Your Calling?

Sister JulieAnn Sheahan

August 04, 2022

Recently, Franciscan Sisters of Christian Charity hosted an in-person Discernment of Spirits Retreat for young adult women at Holy Family Convent, Manitowoc, Wisconsin. Are you wondering if God is calling you to ‘rebuild My Church’ as a Franciscan Sister? As a help to you, we share here responses to two basic questions regarding the weekend experience. Possibly these comments find a home in your own heart?  For convenience of travel and weather, the next planned retreat of this kind is scheduled on-line January 14-15, 2022.  Sister Jacqueline Spaniola, spiritual director assisting with campus ministry at St. Albert the Great, Houghton, Michigan, leads on this retreat. Click here to read about other upcoming Franciscan Sisters of Christian Charity discernment opportunities. God calls you. We invite you.

What touched your heart during this Discernment Retreat?

  • That Jesus loves me the way that I am. Continue to have hope and faith, and place my focus on Him. – Maryland
  • Learning everyone’s testimonies and seeing what brought us all here. Also sharing why we’re discerning and seeing the community of FSCC. Getting to see my friend, but not talking has been oddly nice. We’re more meaningful with our expressions and I feel no pressure to carry conversation while meditating on the lesson –Michigan
  • Sometimes just being with silence with God felt so peaceful. I didn’t have anything major troubling me as I came to this retreat, but as I took a walk in the woods in silence, I felt like I was finally resting for the first time in a while. Also sharing testimonies with the other girls was really beautiful and heartwarming. Also the double rainbow and lightning was really cool! – Michigan
  • I loved being able to spend so much time in silence to think about God-that time is hard to find in busy everyday life. It was also amazing to meet other young women in similar situations of trying to discern God’s will. –Wisconsin
  • Absolutely all of the Sisters were very welcoming. I am so grateful for them and effortless zeal to support women as myself seeing to discover my path to God’s kingdom. There was no push or pressure to join the conversation. You all simply made me feel loved and welcomed. Thank you. –Arizona
  • Seeing the Sisters, how they love, how they share joy, how they were gentle and unbiased and showed genuine care to help in any way they could –Michigan

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

  • Talking to the Spiritual Directors and finding that I need to spend more time in prayer. –Maryland
  • Sister Jackie’s examples and stories helped put everything in a way that I could see its use and value; having silence to really ponder the method and my own thoughts; having some time and discuss with a clear mind of noise; very good movie and case study -Michigan
  • Pros and cons listing in the chapel. It felt good to get it on paper and pray over it. –Michigan
  • The practicality of St. Ignatius’ discernment advice was helpful. It helped me to see the process of common sense. I also really appreciated all of Sr. Jackie’s relatable, real-life examples to help us all to understand better. –Wisconsin
  • The silence allowed me to contemplate thoughts deep in my heart. It was nice to then be able to discuss these with Sr. Jackie. –Arizona
  • I thought it was organized well. I think it would have been easy to want to pour out as much information as possible to help our curiosity and desire to know more. But, Sister Jackie (and others) did an amazing job breaking down a lot of the tools and information into manageable chunks for me to process with lots of prayer and time involved to let God do a lot of the talking too. Also Sister Jackie’s stories and examples helped explain many things. –Michigan

Click here to read about our coming discernment opportunities. Call or text Sister Julie Ann at 920-323-9632 your questions or concerns.

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