Discernment FAQ's

How do I inquire about attending a discernment retreat weekend?
  • The first thing to do is call or email one of the sisters in the vocation office.
  • She will speak to you  about the retreat and get to know you a little so that she will know if the retreat will best meet your discernment needs.
What will I do on a discernment retreat? The discernment retreats are two-fold:
  • giving you the opportunity to discern whether you feel you have a call to religious life
  • and then to explore more specifically how religious life is lived as an IHM sister.
  • On the retreats, there is time for both private and communal prayer, recreation and meals in common with the sisters, and the opportunity to meet and interact with our sisters in formation
What is the age range of those who are able to come to the retreat?
  • Ordinarily, those who attend are between the ages of 18-35.
What do I need to bring to the discernment retreat?
  • You, your personal items, items you like to use for prayer (i.e. Bible, journal), comfortable clothes, something dressier for Sunday Mass… and an open heart!
  • We provide the sheets, towels, and meals. If you have specific dietary restriction, please let us know beforehand.

How does a person know that she is called to religious life?
Here are some thoughts that sisters and discerners have shared with us:

  • “I just have a gentle nagging nudge to explore what religious life is about.”
  • “I want to follow Christ more closely and more whole-heartedly and I’m not sure what is the best path to do that.”
  • “Even though I would love to be a wife and mother, the thought of being a sister seems even stronger than that.”
  • “I finally landed my dream job and everything is going well, but something is missing in my life.”
  • “I want a piece of the joy I see in the sisters.”
  • “My Google-searching always ends up navigating toward religious life, consecrated life, what do sisters do, tell me more about nuns, etc.”
  • “Even though it seems absurd, and I don’t feel worthy, for some reason I think Christ wants me to be his instrument in the world,”
  • “Most of the things I follow on Instagram and Twitter are Catholic-related.”
  • “I have a great desire to serve, to help other people, and to try to make the world a better place.”
  • “Prayer is important to me,”
  • “I am inspired when I see the sisters praying and working together.”

If you’ve ever had a similar thought to any of the above statements, God may be calling you. God’s call is as gentle, simple, natural and real as the movements in your own heart, mind and soul. It is important to pay attention to these, to explore and ask questions, and to “Come and See.”

What are some things I can do to help me hear God’s call?

  • Make time for prayer each day.
  • Attend Mass, daily if possible.
  • Receive the sacraments frequently.
  • Make visits to the Blessed Sacrament and attend Eucharistic adoration whenever possible.
  • Read the Scriptures daily and make time for spiritual reading each week.
  • Listen to music that will inspire and encourage your spiritual growth.
  • Reach out and get to know sisters in your area.
  • Attend a “Come and See” event and/or a discernment retreat.
  • Ask God about his plans for your life… and then, just listen.
  • Be open to all possibilities.
  • Contact the IHM vocation directresses.

What educational requirements are there for a person to enter the convent?

  • A young woman interested in entering our congregation must have graduated from high school. College experience is helpful, but not a requirement. Typically, most young women enter with a college degree.

What is the age range of those accepted for entrance to your congregation?

  • Ordinarily, those accepted for entrance are between the ages of 18-35.

How much contact do sisters in formation have with their families?

  • The sisters in formation have periodic visits with their families. Typically, the visits may be once a month; however, visits vary due to distance and schedules. Ordinarily, the sisters in formation enjoy a home visit four times a year. The sisters also keep in touch with their families via periodic phone calls, emails, and social media connections.