Tag Archives: vocation


“From discovering a community to taking the vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience

Religious sisters are called by God to live a special life as brides of Christ in service to the Church. Because becoming a religious sister is a serious commitment, there are several stages in the process:

1. “Come and See”

A time of visiting various religious orders to learn about them, meet the sisters, and explore different charisms. At this time, a woman feels called to religious life, but doesn’t know which order to join.

2. Aspirancy/Pre-Candidacy

When a woman feels called to a particular religious order, she starts the application process. While in application, she is called an ‘aspirant’ because she aspires to join the order.

3. Postulancy/Candidacy

When a woman’s application has been accepted, she joins the day-to-day prayer and work of the order, albeit in an exploratory way. She learns more about the sisters, and begins formation, perhaps taking classes in theology and scripture. This is a time of further discernment. Length can vary depending on the person and the order.

4. Novitiate

At this stage a woman is called a ‘novice’ because she is new to the order. For a period of about two years, the novice lives the life of the order in nearly every way and continues formation. This period is analogous to being engaged; the dating is over and now she is moving toward making vows.

5. Vows

When a woman and the community feel sure about her call, she vows poverty, chastity, and obedience, which together are called the ‘evangelical counsels.’ In most orders (though not all), members profess perpetual vows after a period of three or more years after they first take vows. Note that while the process of formation is similar, each religious community has its own particular nuances. It’s best to ask the vocation director of a particular order about their process.”

– From the leaflet: “Archdiocese of Southwark, Vocations” – web address, further reading: (external link).


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If we understand the divine dignity of priesthood, we shall comprehend more fully the infinite greatness of Mass.


St Ignatius, Martyr, says that the priesthood is the most sublime of all created dignities.


St Ephrem calls it an infinite dignity.


Cassian says that the priest of God is exalted above all earthly sovereignities and above all celestial heights. He is inferior to God alone.


Pope Innocent III says that the priest is placed between God and man; inferior to God, but superior to man.


St Denis calls the priest a divine man and the priesthood a divine dignity.


St Ephrem says that the gift of the sacerdotal dignity surpasses all understanding.


Hence, St John Chrysostom says that he who honours a priest honours Christ, and he who insults a priest insults Christ.


St Ambrose has called the priestly office a divine profession.


St Francis de Sales, after having given orders to a holy ecclesiastic, perceived that in going out he stopped at the door as if to give precedence to another. Being asked by the Saint why he stopped, he replied that God favoured him with the visible presence of his angel guardian, who before he had received the priesthood always remained on his right and preceded him, but now since the moment of ordination walked on his left and refused to go before him. It was in a holy contest with the Angel that he stopped at the door.


According to St Thomas, the dignity of the priesthood surpasses that of the angels.


St Gregory Nazianzen has said that the angels themselves venerate the priesthood.

All the Angels in Heaven cannot absolve from a single sin. The Angel Guardians procure for the souls committed to their care grace to have recourse to a priest, that he may absolve them.


St Francis of Assisi used to say: If I saw an angel and a priest, I would bend my knee first to the priest and then to the angel.


St Augustine says that to pardon a sinner is a greater work than to create Heaven and Earth. To pardon a single sin requires all the omnipotence of God.


St Alphonsus: The entire Church cannot give God as much honour, or obtain so many graces as a single priest by celebrating a single Mass. Thus, by the celebration of a single Mass, in which he offers Jesus Christ in sacrifice, a priest gives greater honour to the Lord than if all men, by dying for God, offered Him the sacrifice of their lives.


St Ignatius: Priests are the glory and the pillars of the Church, the doors and doorkeepers of Heaven.


St Alphonsus: were the Redeemer to descend into a Church and sit in a confessional, and a priest to sit in another confessional, Jesus would say over each penitent: “Ego te absolvo.” The priest would likewise say over each of his penitents: “Ego te absolvo”, and the penitents of each would be equally absolved. Thus, the sacerdotal dignity is the most noble of all the dignities in this world.


St Ambrose says that it transcends all the dignities of kings, of emperors, and of angels. The dignity of the priest far exceeds that of kings as the value of gold surpasses that of lead.


St Cyprian said that all who had the true spirit of God were, when compelled to take the Order of priesthood, seized with fear and trembling.


St Epiphanius writes that he found no one willing to be ordained a priest, so fearful were they of so divine a dignity.


St Gregory Nazianzen says, in his ‘Life of St Cyprian’ that, when the Saint heard that his bishop intended to ordain him a priest, he, through humility, concealed himself. It is related in the life of St Fulgentius that he too fled away and hid himself.


St Ambrose, as he himself attests, resisted for a long time before he consented to be ordained.


St Francis of Assisi never consented to be ordained.


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Loving Father, you call me through baptism to the fullness of life!
Show me how, in my own way and in my own life,
I may come to experience the fullness of your promise.
Give me the wisdom and the courage,
to discover and follow the right path for my life,
free from fear and strengthened by your love –
so that through me others will know “tje lovingkindness of the
heart of our God who visits us like the dawn from on high”
(Lk 1:78). Amen.


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+ An international Congregation working in ten Provinces throughout the world +

Come & join us!

We live and work at:

Sacred Heart
Convent School
PE37 7QW

St Joseph’s Little
Scholars Nursery
Chesterfield, Derby
S41 7PL

St Theresa’s Convent Guest House
Norfolk PE36 5DP

Vocation Directress:
01760 724577 [external link]
email: [external link] [external link]
Registered Charity no 237760 “

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Posted by on September 25, 2013 in Prayers for Ordinary Time


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St John Bosco,
be my guide
as I walk the path of friendship with the Lord Jesus,
so that I may discover in Him and in His Gospel
the meaning of my life
and the source of true happiness.

Help me to respond with generosity
to the vocation I have received from God,
and to build a better world
by being a good Christian and honest citizen.

Help me to live each day by the values of the Gospel,
and to be guided by the Spirit of God in the depth of my heart
and to see God’s goodness in all the people in my life,
so that I may one day be with you
in the great family of heaven.

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Posted by on September 20, 2013 in Prayers for Ordinary Time


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“As a young man there was more life to him than religion. As a boy he was a keen footballer and as a teenager he loved to dance… He enjoyed the company of young women. Indeed, according to his sister Maria Eleana, he was planning to propose to one of the girls at his school’s annual Student Day picnic one spring morning in September – but something happened on the way.

On the impulse, passing the family church he popped in to say a prayer. There he encountered a new priest whom he had never met before.

Jorge Bergoglio was struck by a sense of deep spirituality about the man and asked him to hear his confession. ‘A strange thing happened to me in that confession,’ he later said. ‘I don’t know what it was, but it changed my life… It was… the astonishment of encountering someone who was waiting for you all along… God is the one who seeks us first.’ The priest to whom he made his confession, Fr Duarte, died within twelve months.

‘I don’t know what happened,’ he later told an Argentine radio station. ‘But I knew I had to become a priest.’ He could not face the school picnic outing, and the girl to whom he had intended to propose, and he went home instead. Over the years his sense of vocation consolidated.

When he graduated from technical school with a diploma he told his mother that he intended to study medicine. Delighted, she cleared the attic overlooking the terrace of the family home ‘so that he could study in peace, away from us,’ his sister Maria Elena recalled.

Every day, after his morning job in the lab, he would arrive home and disappear into the room and work diligently.

But one day, when he was out at work, his mother decided to clean his study. To her surprise she did not find text books on anatomy or pharmacology but only tomes on theology, many of them in Latin.

When Jorge came home she confronted him.

‘You said you were studying medicine,’ she said, perturbed.

‘I didn’t lie to you,’ Bergoglio responded cooly. ‘I’m studying medicine – but medicine of the soul’.

His mother was angry and extremely upset.

She told him to wait until he had finished university before making such a momentous decision. When, aged 21, he decided to enter the seminary he told his father first and let him break the news to his mother.

His mother was so upset she refused to go with her son when he entered the seminary.

It was four years before she was reconciled to his decision and he only knew she had fully accepted it when she knelt before him after he had been ordained a priest, 11 years later, and asked for his blessing.”
– This is an excerpt from “Pope Francis – Untying the Knots” by Paul Vallely, published by Bloomsbury at £12.99

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Posted by on September 10, 2013 in Prayers for Ordinary Time


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We would like to invite single Catholic women in their 30s, 40s or 50s to come for a discernment weekend from • 4th – 6th October to explore vocation to Religious Life.

We are looking for women with enthusiasm, energy and love for God, for whom prayer is a priority, and who would have the desire to continue and develop the ministry of Retreats and Spirituality in our small Congregation.

For more information please contact the Sisters on: 020 8941 2313 or email us at ”


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