5 STEPS OF DISCERNMENT
1. Private Prayer and Reflection
Before one is comfortable to talk about their discernment, there is a process of private reflection through prayer and study. Throughout this period, the internet and spiritual literature will be an important guide. At the Vocation Office we are working hard to provide you with a website that will be a helpful resource throughout your discernment.
2. Speak To Someone You Trust
After a period of reflection, it is important to move on to the second stage of discernment by confiding in someone that you trust. This person may be your parish priest, a priest that you know well, or even a close friend or family member that practices his/her faith and understands your love for God. This step is important for two reasons:
1. It will help you begin sharing your relationship with God
2. It will provide you with healthy feedback and support
3. Find A Spiritual Director
Throughout your discernment, it is important to be assisted by a Spiritual Director. A Spiritual Director is a priest that will help guide you on your spiritual journey. You will meet with your Spiritual Director once or twice a month and, during those meetings, he will help you to determine where you are on your spiritual path and identify which areas
in your life need growth, improvement, and healing. A Spiritual Director will provide you with important steps to strengthen your relationship with God.
Contact Fr. King if you would like to find a Spiritual Director in your area.
4. Discern With Others
On your spiritual journey it is helpful to surround yourself with peers who are also in the process of discernment. For example, discernment groups, vocation weekends, or vocational retreats are all excellent experiences to help strengthen your faith and provide you with a community support system. Praying with others and sharing experiences of God's work will help bring clarity to your vocation.
Contact Fr. King if you would like to participate in one of our Discernment Groups or register for a Come and See Weekend.
5. Make A Move: Don't Get Stuck As A Perpetual Discerner
One does not enter the seminary or a religious community because they have finished discerning, but because they would like to continue discerning in a more serious way. Formation for the priesthood is an intentionally long process. The time spent in the seminary will help a man understand God’s will for him, and the path to better understanding takes time and work.
Do not be afraid to take this step. If you have taken time to discern God’s call by using the steps above and you still feel a shadow of uncertainty, the seminary will help guide you on your journey to discover God’s will.