Discernment Retreats 2019 for Young Adult Catholic Women

Franciscan Sisters of Christian Charity offer young adult Catholic women discerning a consecrated life calling to customize a retreat experience or vocation visit for their own needs in Winter or Spring 2019.

Click here to watch the video. If you have questions regarding an experience, call or text Sister Julie at 920-323-9632. To learn more, click here.

Here’s a small part of the parchment St. Francis gave to Brother Leo on Mount LaVerna entitled The Praises of God. It is a perfect Franciscan discernment prayer as you contemplate coming

You are love, charity; You are wisdom, You are humility, You are patience, You are beauty, You are meekness, You are security, You are rest, You are gladness and joy, You are our hope, You are justice, You are moderation, You are all our riches to sufficiency.


Franciscan Sisters and Poor Clare Nuns Share Discernment Day

Franciscan Sisters of Christian Charity and Poor Clare Nuns from the Monastery of Our Lady of Mercy, Belleville, Illinois offered a Franciscan Discernment Day on October 13, 2018. Sister Anne Marie Lom facilitated the day. Young women tried to answer these two questions: How do I know God’s will (call/invitation) for me? How did St. Francis come to know God’s will (call/invitation) for him?

Here is feedback from the discernment day participants themselves on what this experience meant for them.

  • What touched your heart during this discernment day?
    The willingness for the Sisters to follow God.
    All of their stories they shared with us and how welcoming and warm they seem.
    The joys of the Sisters; you guys are just so happy, and so are they.
    Learning more about Franciscan Spirituality has been very significant for me, learning about Clare specifically has touched me today.

  • What part of the day did you find the most helpful?
    Office of the Passion
    Explaining what they do every day
    The prayer time spent with the nuns as well as the presentations.
    Spending time reflecting on the prayers of St. Francis in adoration.

If you are looking for more Franciscan discernment opportunities, we invite you to call or text Sister Julie Ann or contact us on-line here.

Franciscan Sisters Welcome 15 Women for Discernment

Come and see our home, our lives. Fifteen young women ages 17-31 were recently welcomed to the Franciscan Sisters of Christian Charity Motherhouse for the weekend. All arrived by car for a Friday night social of nacho chips and taco dip. Night prayer followed in our Gothic style St. Francis Chapel at Holy Family Convent, Manitowoc, Wisconsin. Saturday and Sunday continued the adventure of reflection on the vocation to Franciscan consecrated life.

Here are words from the young women themselves about the weekend convent visit.

What touched your heart during the weekend?

  • Reflecting on the bridegroom in adoration and hearing the novices and postulants sharing stories about their life and discernment, also praying at the Shrine of Our Lady of Good Help Shrine
  • I saw the kindness of the sisters and how they are a family. I think that this helped put me at ease giving me no anxiety and no reason to be anxious.
  • The Sisters opening the doors of their house for visitors like us to ‘come and see’.
  • The dedication the sisters showed to their service inspired me to guide my life to live by similar values. I admire the virtues that the sisters live by.

  • I think just learning to sit and talk to Jesus again. I wasn’t really making time for him at home, or if I did, it was structured and not really talking to Him. So just talking to Him again, and actually hearing what He had to say to me.

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

  • The time we spent with the novices and postulants talking about their discernments and realizing how everything works out in God’s timing. The scavenger hunt and exploring the Motherhouse also helped.
  • Adoration. I love the journal and the readings from the Bible to help with meditation and growing closer to Jesus.
  • being able to see the sisters in their everyday lives at the convent, that they live happy lives in community

  • I found the personal stories and advice that each sister gave was helpful. This added a sense of realness that people go through.
  • The most helpful was all the times for silent prayer in the morning or in the evenings. It was a good way to start our day and get back to holy hours. I have been neglecting.
  • The Holy Hours and meals with the sisters. The scavenger hunt was very fun and all the opportunities for us to see all that the Sisters do.

Called to discern Franciscan life? We invite you.


Here’s Camp Franciscan Feedback

On this Father’s Day, Franciscan Sisters of Christian Charity share feedback on the recent Camp Franciscan from the campers themselves. The 34 campers traveled from 5 states to be with us June 11-14.

What touched your heart during Camp Franciscan?

  • Sitting in Saint Francis Chapel and singing Praise and Worship Music
  • All the Sisters hanging out with the campers
  • All the Sisters that I got to meet and their stories
  • The special breakfast for the campers
  • All the Sisters and Fathers
  • How the Sisters were so happy we sang for them
  • Adoration- I felt the closest I ever have before to Jesus and Mary

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

  • Talking to the Sisters in the cafeteria was pretty great!
  • Melissa and Katie’s talks
  • The name tag size schedules
  • Alpha Youth videos were amazing; there were some deep conversations.
  • Living rosary
  • Visitingwith the Novices and Hilda
  • Scrapbooks
  • The groups helped me make friends easier
  • I really love being able to have Mass daily
  • Sisters’ dedication and love

The Lord bless you and all of our families! Are you interested in a summer discernment option with us? Call or text Sister Julie Ann at 920-323-9632.

Franciscan Sisters and Cistercian Nuns Discernment Retreat

Together Franciscan Sisters of Christian Charity and Cistercian Nuns of Valley of Our Lady Monastery, Prairie du Sac, Wisconsin offered a Discernment of Spirits Retreat on the feast of Saint Anselm. Saint Anselm’s writing was used as a focus to begin the day:

O insignificant man, escape from your everyday business for a short while, hide for a moment from your restless thoughts. Break off from your cares and troubles and be less concerned about your tasks and labors. Make a little time for God and rest a while in Him.

Enter into your mind’s inner chamber. Shut out everything but God and whatever helps you to seek Him; and when you have shut the door, look for Him… -Prayer of Saint Anselm

Cistercian Nuns offered hospitality in one of their visiting parlors and developed prayer booklets for The Divine Office hours. Franciscan Sister Jacqueline Spaniola facilitated the talks offering Saint Ignatius’ Rules for Discernment, as well as his guidance to discerning the will of God.

This is what touched the hearts of the retreatants regarding the day long retreat:

  • Taking a step back from everything helped me to let God back into my heart today. The knowledge and joy you have brought to this retreat is really inspiring to me.
  • Distinction between memorized prayers and silent prayer/meditation and need for silence
  • The need for Step 1 on Discerning God’s will, how God will help us through this all-and how important His peace is.
  • The Silence! Talking to the Sisters.
  • Having the freedom and tools to take my life to pray with God. Thank you for outlining why it matters to us and to God to take the time and attention needed for discernment.

If you are interested in a retreat, visit or conversation on consecrated life with Franciscan Sisters, we invite you to call or text Sister Julie Ann at 920-323-9632 or click here.


Discernment of Spirits Retreat: Career or Calling

Franciscan Sister of Christian Charity Sister Jacqueline Spaniola offered a recent Discernment of Spirits Retreat at St. Anne Parish, Chassell, Michigan. We’d like to share thoughts from the retreatants in hopes that others might still consider an April 21 retreat that we are hosting with the Cistercian Nuns at the Valley of Our Lady Monastery, Prairie du Sac, Wisconsin.

Here’s what touched the hearts of the young women from St. Albert the Great Campus Ministry, Houghton, Michigan.

  • Biggest thing was learning about discerning spirits.
  • The way in which struggles I have are connected.
  • After learning the process of discerning God’s will, I went and prayed for Holy indifference. I would never have thought to ask for that grace.
  • Some of the information were ideas that I had contemplated, but had a hard time putting into words. The time of silence to reflect and learn more touched by heart most.
  • Today, God reiterated to me the goodness that He created me with and asked me to go back to just being with Him instead of always trying to ‘do’.
  • Having the silence during the Reflection periods was a really beautiful way to help me to be open to listening to God in Scripture. He is so good!

To register for the April 21st Discernment of Spirits Retreat with Franciscan Sisters and Cistercian Nuns of Valley of Our Lady Monastery, Prairie du Sac, click here. Call or text Sister Julie Ann at 920-323-9632 with any questions or for more information. One on one time with Sister Jacqueline or one of the Cistercian Nuns is also built into the day for those who desire this time.

Franciscan Sister Facilitates Eau Claire Discernment of Spirits Retreat

Franciscan Sister of Christian Charity Sister Jacqueline Spaniola directed 20 young people in a Discernment of Spirits Retreat day at the Eau Claire Ecumenical Religious Center March 3, 2018. Father Dan Oudenhoven and Campus Minister Savannah Siegler were open to exposing students to St. Ignatius’  22 Rules of discernment.

Here’s some feedback from the students about the silent retreat day.

What touched your heart?

  • Realizing that prayer is not always talking. Prayer is listening.
  • Developing my relationship with Christ through desolation
  • The ability to sit in silence and reflect the Lord’s plan and direction
  • The silence really helped me think about things that I needed to work on and let God into my life.
  • Learning the rules of discernment especially patience and how God tests us
  • Really sitting down and understanding a discernment process
  • I really loved learning the rules of discernment and having tangible ways of knowing what is from God.

What part of the retreat was the most helpful?

  • It was very helpful to be able to take a break from my busy life to stop and reflect and listen. Then, it was very helpful to then be able to talk to Sister J about what thoughts were running through my head.
  • Knowing how to decipher evil spirits and good spirits. Also knowing about how consolation can bring evil spirits into our thought process
  • I think it was helpful to learn how to hear God’s voice and determine how to know if you are doing his will.
  • daily discernment affects big discernment.
  • mentioning that we shouldn’t ‘break off too much to chew’ so that the devil can tempt us in that way.
  • what is God’s will for my life and not being selfish
  • the note sheets and resources-having Sisters here with us.
  • greatly appreciated how methodical it was. This really helped with clarity of mind.

Is God calling you to a Discernment of Spirits Retreat? Click here for coming options with Franciscan Sisters and contemplative nuns.

Postulant Shares Discernment Journey

Postulant Hilda shares her discernment journey to the Franciscan Sisters of Christian Charity. We invite you to our coming retreat or plan a visit with us that works for you. Click here.

I was at a point of reevaluation. My life hadn’t quite turned out the way that I had planned. I suppose I was trying to find where I belonged and figure out what I was to do with the rest of my life.
My name is Hilda Concepcion Medina. I grew up in Clovis, New Mexico but found my home in Midland, Texas and yet so much of the New Mexican spirit remains within me. Home for me is in more places than one. I have five siblings, but I am the only one to choose religious life. Currently I am the only practicing Catholic out of my parents and siblings. Even then, the Church has always called to me. I have been active in the communities that I have been a part of. Most recently I have been a member of the hospitality committee, Eucharistic ministry, and in a group called Young Fire. I was also a member of the A.C.T.S community. (Adoration, Community, Theology, Service) Read more.

Franciscan Sisters and Carmelite Nuns Discernment Retreat Review

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.

Franciscan Sisters and Cistercian Nun Discernment of Spirits Retreat Review

Franciscan Sisters of Christian Charity and Cistercian Nuns collaborated for a recent Discernment of Spirits Retreat. 12 young women responded to the invitation to learn more about St. Ignatius’ discernment process. Franciscan Sister Jacqueline Spaniola facilitated the retreat.

We share feedback from two questions asked at the end of the day-long  silent retreat held at Valley of Our Lady, Prairie du Sac, WI. We hope the young women’s responses, ages 18-33, may encourage others to consider this opportunity.

What touched your heart during this discernment day?

  • I appreciated the information of objectively being aware of thoughts and feelings over the course of a greater time and how to use this in discernment in life. ..it was also in my heart not to over analyze.
  • Taking the time intentionally to examine my life and uncover more of who I am in order to continue my pursuit of Christ.
  • I realized that I am very blessed to have learned a ton in such a short amount of time. I am glad that God is God. I have had the opportunity to see that Satan has been making me miserable from time to time. This will help me overcome future occurrences!
  • I appreciated interacting with and being around all the Sisters and praying with them (Sext and None).
  • Being in community during prayer time (listening to the Sisters chant).
  • Learning that God desires good for us and that confusion, discouragement and depression come from evil spirits influence, not good spirits. And I need to pray more.
  • The opportunity to just spend time with Sisters-that isn’t something that happens in my parish. Few female role modes in the local Church.
  • I was touched by the Sisters’ generosity, sense of humor and joy. These handouts and exercises were also deeply insightful, and I hope to be able to share them in some form with the youth I serve as a youth minister.
  • I realized I need to spend more time in silence with God. I talk too much in prayer.
  • Listening to the Sisters pray and just getting some time for silence.
  • Most of all, I appreciated the long times in front of the Blessed Sacrament.

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

  • I liked the time we were given to pray and use the reflection booklet about the rules.
  • I was able to really dive into the rules that needed the most addressing in my own spiritual journey and discernment.
  • Listening to the talks. It was all very organized and informative. With the handouts I didn’t have to worry about taking a ton of notes.
  • Talking through discernment: ways to prepare and how to put it into action.
  • Going over the rules(with great examples!)
  • It was very helpful to go through the steps of discerning God’s will.
  • Learning about the more subtle ways the devil can influence our decisions and discourage us.
  • All of it-especially examples of personal discernment. Good idea to have two different orders cooperate on a retreat and active/contemplative.
  • I really appreciated having such ample opportunities for silence, processing and journaling. It felt like just the right balance between content and solo processing time. The handouts were excellent, too.
  • Going through the rules and then having time to spend in silence and prayer.
  • I think in the future I’ll really appreciate knowing some rules!

Considering a Discernment of Spirits Day? Register for May 13 silent retreat in Iron Mountain, MI. Click here and view other options.