Discernment Challenge #5:
Visit a Few Communities

We continue our reflection based on the book Discerning Religious Life by Sister Clare Matthiass. The below is a paraphrase, taken from chapter 7:

You may be wondering: Even if I feel called to religious life, how will I know which community to choose? Indeed, there are more religious communities than you could ever keep track of. Thankfully, God has a way of putting before us the things we need to focus on. Your first step should be to consider the communities that you are already aware of. If none of these are a fit, don't hesitate to look for communities on the Internet. Of course, finding communities and visiting communities are two different things.

You will want to be sure to experience the life of a few communities at a "come and see." At one of these visits, you will get the perfect opportunity to simply live life as the sisters do. It might be tempting to turn this into a discernment retreat, but try your best to simply enter into the experience and live life as a sister. Never hesitate to ask questions and share your thoughts. In turn, if advice is given to you, take it to heart.

Once you complete a "come and see," collect your experiences and impressions and return home with the intention of praying about and evaluating what it means for your call. "What you are looking for is the deep peace which many sisters describe as the feeling of being at home," Sr. Clare advises. Remember, your discernment is not just about religious life in general, but it is about a religious community in particular. Consider deeply how well you feel you fit into the community.

If you feel you need more input, don't hesitate to schedule another, less formal visit. These things can take time, and you should never expect to have to know from one visit if it is the right community for you. The important thing is that you follow where God is leading you.

Order and read Sr. Clare Matthiass' book, Discerning Religious Life.

Tap or click and review all of our discernment steps:

Discernment Step 1

Discernment Step 2

Discernment Step 3

Discernment Step 4

Discernment Step 5

Discernment Step 6

Why not make the Mercedarian Sisters of the Most Blessed Sacrament one of the communities that you visit? Call Sr. Jeanette at 216-526-6435 or email her at sisterjeanette@hotmail.com.