Discernment Insights E-Newsletter - Diocese of Arlington - Office of Vocations
Discernment E-Newsletter Archive
Below you will find an archive of Diocese of Arlington - Office of Vocations' monthly Discernment Newsletter. Browse through the issues below, or follow the link located at the bottom of this page to subscribe.


Discernment 32 - "But I Feel Called to Have a Family" (Feb 2018)
HOME | SEMINARIANS | DISCERNMENT RESOURCES | VOCATION FAQS February 2018 "But I Feel Called to Have a Family" Celibacy isn't just about "not having sex." There's an aspect of celibacy that is more important to consider when discerning the priesthood or religious life: the inclination to natural fatherhood or motherhood. Healthy men and women usually have a natural inclination to want children. They are, after all, one of God's greatest gifts, and a family can bring great j

Discernment 31 - Dating and Discernment (Jan 2018)
HOME | SEMINARIANS | DISCERNMENT RESOURCES | VOCATION FAQS January 2018 Dating and Discernment Can someone continue to date while exploring a vocation to the priesthood or religious life? Every situation is different. Literally hundreds of thousands of people have gone to seminary or entered the religious life without ever having dated, and have lived fulfilling and happy lives as priests and religious sisters or religious brothers. Other men and women will only

Discernment 30 - Mom, Dad... I have Great News (Nov 2017)
HOME | SEMINARIANS | DISCERNMENT RESOURCES | VOCATION FAQS November 2017 Mom, Dad... I have Great News Ask most priests and religious, and they can remember the precise moment when they told their parents they felt called to the priesthood or religious life. Some received overwhelming support right away. Some encountered raised eyebrows. And some found themselves having to defend their decision against Mom or Dad's vehement opposition. Sometimes, pursuing a sup

Discernment 29 - Christian Poverty (Oct 2017)
HOME | SEMINARIANS | DISCERNMENT RESOURCES | VOCATION FAQS October 2017 Christian Poverty “How I long for a poor Church for the poor!” Pope Francis voiced this urgent desire shortly after his election, and much of his papacy has been devoted to encouraging the Church to live Christian poverty. But what exactly is Christian poverty? The Holy Father questioned a crowd of 6000 young people discerning their vocations whether “owning the latest smartphone model or...an attentio

Discernment Special - St. Elizabeth Ann Seton (Aug 2017)
HOME | SEMINARIANS | DISCERNMENT RESOURCES | VOCATION FAQS August 2017 St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Though St. Elizabeth Ann Seton is not officially a patron saint of vocations, she is the co-patron of our diocese along with St. Thomas More, and moreover, she is an excellent model for vocation discernment. Specifically, her abandonment to the Divine Will, her concern for the formation of children, and her foundation of the the Sisters of Charity, commend her to us as pattern a

Discernment 27 - St. Isaac Jogues (Jul 2017)
HOME | SEMINARIANS | DISCERNMENT RESOURCES | VOCATION FAQS July 2017 St. Isaac Jogues When people think of strength, of manliness, of courage, how likely is it that they think of the example of a saint? Holiness and virtue are frequently maligned by common opinion, but that certainly doesn't mean that a saint is weak, or ignorant, or that he has turned to religion because he has failed to become successful in the world. On the contrary, a man who lives his vocation well, w

Discernment Special - Ordination Homily (Jun 2017)
HOME | SEMINARIANS | DISCERNMENT RESOURCES | VOCATION FAQS June 2017 Exerpts from the 2017 Ordination Homilies of Bishop Burbidge Bishop Burbidge ordained two men to the transitional diaconate on June 2nd and three men to the priesthood on June 10th. The following are excerpts from his homilies at those ordinations. Consider how they may apply to your own discernment, regardless of where God is calling you, and please pray for these men as they begin their ministry as mi

Discernment 25 - God Equips Those He Calls (May 2017)
HOME | SEMINARIANS | DISCERNMENT RESOURCES | VOCATION FAQS May 2017 God Equips Those He Calls “Without question, I have spent more time helping Carla than any other person during my priesthood,” says Fr. Joe Hirsch, a priest from Wisconsin. “I remember the first time I saw her. I was working as a high school chaplain, and saw a timid 14-year-old girl nearly hiding in her locker. She was so shy that when I said hello, she couldn’t even respond. Right away, I knew I was call

Discernment 24 - What Will You Do With Your Life? (Apr 2017)
HOME | SEMINARIANS | DISCERNMENT RESOURCES | VOCATION FAQS April 2017 What Will You Do With Your Life? This meditation from Archbishop Maurice Couve de Murville is a great reflection on vocational discernment. While it is written specifically to address discerning a priestly vocation, it can be equally useful to those discerning a religious vocation. As we enter the Easter season, I encourage you to consider where God wants to send you so that you can work with Him to rede

Discernment 23 - Two Things to Do While You’re Discerning (Mar 2017)
HOME | SEMINARIANS | DISCERNMENT RESOURCES | VOCATION FAQS March 2017 Two Things to Do While You’re Discerning For years, Jacob has thought about being a priest. Sometimes it has been just a passing thought. A few times, especially during Mass, it’s been a very strong attraction. And sometimes—especially when he is dating—the thought seems to be altogether absent. Jacob’s experience is actually very common among young people who enter religious life or seminary. While some

Discernment 22 - Vocation of Last Resort? (Feb 2017)
HOME | SEMINARIANS | DISCERNMENT RESOURCES | VOCATION FAQS February 2017 Vocation of Last Resort? Consider this remarkable statement: " The vocation to marriage is written in the very nature of man and woman as they came from the hand of the Creator." CCC #1603 That's a strong statement. It makes it sound as if everyone is called to the vocation of marriage. If everyone is called to marriage then, what about those who have searched and searched for the right person to mar

Discernment 21 - Check Your Baggage (Jan 2017)
HOME | SEMINARIANS | DISCERNMENT RESOURCES | VOCATION FAQS January 2017 Check Your Baggage "You can forget the past, but it will never forget you." When discerning your vocation, it's essential to deal with wounds from your past that may be keeping you from moving toward God's will for your life. Past events can be damaging even years after they happen: hurt feelings, physical injury, guilt, childhood trauma, or poor self-esteem. It is easy to pretend the bagga

Discernment 22 - Total Abandonment (Dec 2016)
HOME | SEMINARIANS | DISCERNMENT RESOURCES | VOCATION FAQS December 2016 Total Abandonment The way to perfect happiness is by giving up the pursuit of happiness. While this is not the conventional wisdom of the world, it is a staple of Christian spirituality. Ask most people you meet what makes them really happy and you'll probably get answers like “family”, “friends”, “a satisfying career”, or some other transitory thing. Some people may even mention material goods as a

Fisher's Net Fall 2016 (Nov 2016)
View this email in your browser Diocese of Arlington - Office of Vocations. Please reconfirm your interest in receiving emails from us. If you do not wish to receive any more emails, you can unsubscribe here. Vocation Director's Corner Happy Vocation Awareness Week! This week reminds us to ask ourselves, “Am I living my vocation to the full?” If you haven’t yet determined your life’s vocation, this week can serve as an invitation to renew your commitment to G

Discernment Special - More Than Just A Desire to Serve (Oct 2016)
HOME | SEMINARIANS | DISCERNMENT RESOURCES | VOCATION FAQS October 2016 More Than Just A Desire to Serve This article is excerpted from the larger article titled Discerning a Call to Priesthood? Some questions you should be asking yourself available from Homiletic and Pastoral Review. Are you considering the priesthood primarily because you feel drawn to “serve others”? Such a motivation is laudable. And candidates to the priesthood had certainly better want to

Discernment 17 - Priest Hero: Fr. Vincent Capodanno (Sep 2016)
HOME | SEMINARIANS | DISCERNMENT RESOURCES | VOCATION FAQS September 2016 Priest Hero: Fr. Vincent Capodanno In 1966, when the bloody Vietnam War was raging, Fr. Vincent Capodanno volunteered for service as a United States Navy Chaplain serving with the U.S. Marines. His mission was to minister to soldiers on the battlefront—an assignment that cost him his life. Born on Staten Island, NY in 1929, Vincent entered seminary and became a Maryknoll missionary priest in 1957.

Discernment 16 - The Merits of Having a Spiritual Director (Aug 2016)
HOME | SEMINARIANS | DISCERNMENT RESOURCES | VOCATION FAQS August 2016 The Merits of Having a Spiritual Director St. Teresa of Jesus said that a good spiritual director is one who combines spirituality and learning. You've been working hard to live as faithfully as you can, receiving the sacraments, and especially going to confession regularly. You are doing what is necessary, but you feel like there's another step you need to take - but you just can't quite

Discernment 13 - How to Talk to the Vocation Director (May 2016)
HOME | SEMINARIANS | DISCERNMENT RESOURCES | VOCATION FAQS May 2016 How to Talk to the Vocation Director If you wanted to be a journalist, it would make sense to talk to someone who works at a newspaper. If you wanted to be a chef, it would make sense to talk to someone who works at a restaurant. Just so, if you feel an attraction to the priesthood or religious life, sooner or later you have to talk to a Vocation Director about it — especially because these vocati

Discernment 12 - Seminary 101 (Apr 2016)
HOME | SEMINARIANS | DISCERNMENT RESOURCES | VOCATION FAQS April 2016 Seminary 101 Many people, even many Catholics, have a vision of seminary as a very strict monastery. They imagine men walking around in hooded robes with folded hands, observing strict silence, and never smiling or laughing. But that is not even true of a monastery, much less a seminary. The truth is that modern seminaries are much like small universities, albeit with a very strong spiritual and com

Discernment Special - Don’t miss the graces of the Sacred Triduum (Mar 2016)
HOME | SEMINARIANS | DISCERNMENT RESOURCES | VOCATION FAQS March 2016 Don’t miss the graces of the Sacred Triduum Holy Week is upon us. Jesus has made his triumphant entry into Jerusalem, and now arrest, torture, betrayal, and death await Him. Don’t miss out on the graces available in His suffering! The Holy Week liturgies allow us to accompany Jesus in the last moments of His earthly life, and so many Catholics aren’t even aware of all they involve. Wheth

Discernment Special - Called to Be a Witness of God’s Mercy (Feb 2016)
HOME | SEMINARIANS | DISCERNMENT RESOURCES | VOCATION FAQS February 2016 Called to Be a Witness of God’s Mercy It has been the longstanding charge of religious and priests to radically and generously live the spiritual and corporal works of mercy. If you’re discerning your vocation, the works of mercy are an excellent guide to prepare yourself for whatever your vocation may be. In addition to helping others physically and spiritually, the works of mercy condition

Discernment 9 - Discernment Spirituality (Jan 2016)
View this email in your browser Diocese of Arlington - Office of Vocations. Please reconfirm your interest in receiving emails from us. If you do not wish to receive any more emails, you can unsubscribe here. HOME | SEMINARIANS | DISCERNMENT RESOURCES | VOCATION FAQS January 2016 Discernment Spirituality Spirituality is the individual approach to one's relationship with God. It involves making use of the tools of prayer and devotion which help you

Discernment 8 - Dec 2015 - Pope Benedict Speaks to Seminarians (Dec 2015)
View this email in your browser Diocese of Arlington - Office of Vocations. Please reconfirm your interest in receiving emails from us. If you do not wish to receive any more emails, you can unsubscribe here. HOME | SEMINARIANS | DISCERNMENT RESOURCES | VOCATION FAQS December 2015 Pope Benedict Speaks to Seminarians "It does makes sense to become a priest: the world needs priests, pastors, today, tomorrow and always, until the end of time." In an open lett

Discernment 8 - Nov 2015 - Special Thanksgiving (Nov 2015)
View this email in your browser Diocese of Arlington - Office of Vocations. Please reconfirm your interest in receiving emails from us. If you do not wish to receive any more emails, you can unsubscribe here. HOME | SEMINARIANS | DISCERNMENT RESOURCES | VOCATION FAQS November 2015 Faith-Family-Football-Food... as means of discernment? What are your thoughts as Thanksgiving approaches and there’s more time to spend with family building holiday memories? Is

Discernment 6 - Oct 2015 - Be It Done Unto Me According To Your Word (Oct 2015)
View this email in your browser Diocese of Arlington - Office of Vocations. Please reconfirm your interest in receiving emails from us. If you do not wish to receive any more emails, you can unsubscribe here. HOME | SEMINARIANS | DISCERNMENT RESOURCES | VOCATION FAQS October 2015 Be It Done Unto Me According To Your Word I’m my own person! I’m self-made, and I alone should determine my destiny! I will let nothing stand in the way of what I want. There is no

Talking to Friends and Family about Interest in Your Vocation (Sep 2015)
Maybe you’re considering a vocation to the priesthood or religious life...how do you start to talk to others about it?

Why Celibacy for Priests? (Jul 2015)
You might think that the issue of priestly celibacy is a “newer” matter in the Church. The fact is, clerical celibacy has been a difficult issue from the beginning...

Consecrated Life: A Look at the Vows (Jun 2015)
At the beginning of this Year for Consecrated Life we discussed the how to discern Consecrated Life; in this article, we take a closer look at poverty, chastity and obedience.

Discernment 3 - April 2015 - Be Not Afraid (May 2015)
HOME    SEMINARIANS    DISCERNMENT RESOURCES     VOCATION FAQS May 2015 Be Not Afraid Perhaps the possibility of being a priest has crossed your mind, but fear pushes the idea away: My friends would laugh if they heard I was thinking about the priesthood! My parents would be shocked. My mom wants grandkids. I'm scared to death of speaking in public. I'm nowhere near holy enough. I don't want to give up sex. I'

Gaining Peace Through Prayer (Apr 2015)
Is God calling me to the priesthood or consecrated life? How can I know for sure? What's the best way to make a decision like this? As you contemplate what to do with your life, be confident that God has a specific plan for you, and that you can discover it through prayer. This article provides some practical ideas for praying about you

The Elements of Religious Life (Feb 2015)
How does one go about discerning Religious Life? Let’s look at five elements of religious communities which make good starting points for discernment: charism, the founder or notable members of the community, rule of life, apostolate, and community.

The Year of Consecrated Life (Jan 2015)
To discern a vocation properly, it's important to understand the options you have. You may already know that Religious Life is often called Consecrated Life, but there are other forms of Consecrated Life...

The Real Joy of Christmas (Dec 2014)
“We're accidents floating on a rock in the emptiness of space. Billions of years preceded humanity, and after our inevitable extinction, there will be billions more years of silent emptiness. Human existence is a blip that means nothing in the vast history of the universe.”

The Shepherd's Voice (Nov 2014)
Our Lord said that His sheep would know His voice; but when it comes to discerning your vocation, you’ve probably found that it’s not as simple as it sounds. How can you tell what if what you're hearing is God's voice?

What is a Priest? (Oct 2014)
It’s easy to forget the awesome office the Priest. How often to we stop to think about what the Priest really is?

Cyber-Discernment (Sep 2014)
You can’t discern totally online - you need to talk to a person!

Vocation and Free-Will - Whose Choice Is It? (Aug 2014)
Did you realize that you do not get to choose your vocation? That does not mean you have no free will regarding your vocation. On the contrary, a vocation cannot be lived without free will.

St. Vincent de Paul - Becoming God's Instrument (Jul 2014)
Holy priests don’t always start out holy. Take the case of St. Vincent to Paul. His beginning was rough, but in time, Vincent became an exemplar of priestly virtue and holiness.

Come and See: Allowing God to Lead You (Jun 2014)
You’ve heard the term, made popular by Bl. Mother Teresa, “Come and See”. It’s used commonly now to refer to an immersion experience of discernment, whether it’s a short visit or an extended period of active discernment. It can be a great help if you're doing everything you are supposed to, but seem "stuck" in your discernment.

Discernment Advice from St. Ignatius (May 2014)
Ever experience the feeling of uncertainty or a lack of clarity, or worse have you found yourself feeling one day one way and another day the opposite? One of the most difficult parts of discerning your vocation is knowing when to accept a motivation as being from God or contrary to God’s plan.

Two Saint Popes Inspire Discernment (Apr 2014)
Two Popes will be canonized this Easter! On April 27th, Divine Mercy Sunday (the first Sunday following Easter), Popes John XXIII and John Paul II will receive the title “Saint” as a testament to the holiness of their lives.For those who are discerning their vocations, both Popes have given inspiration, encouragement, and wisdom.

What St. Joseph Can Teach Us About Discernment (Mar 2014)
We know almost nothing about St. Joseph. Scripture tells us relatively little, and pious tradition should be taken with a grain of salt. But what we do know about his life can be a great help and consolation to one who is in the turmoil of discerning his vocation.

Discernment and Desire (Feb 2014)
When Pope Francis was a young seminarian in his twenties, he had to think about celibacy very carefully. A few years ago, when he was a cardinal, he recalled in an interview:"I was dazzled by a girl I met at an uncle's wedding... I was surprised by her beauty, her intellectual brilliance...and, well, I was bowled over for quite a while..."

Cultivate Your Vocation (Jan 2014)
It’s easy to think of vocational discernment as a problem to be solved. Plug the right information into a computer program (I like this, I don’t like that; I am good at this, I am not good at that; people say this about me, etc.) and voila...you get an answer.

Advent: the Season of Mission and Vocation (Dec 2013)
Advent is a time to prepare ourselves for the coming of Jesus Christ. It is both a remembrance of his coming to earth as a child, teacher and Savior, and a real preparation for our final meeting with Him at the end of our lives. The mission of Christ is summed up in our celebration of Advent.

How to Pray (Dec 2013)
In the previous E-Newsletter, we discussed what prayer is (and what it is not). This article focuses more specifically on how one ought to pray.

What is Prayer? (Oct 2013)
We hear a lot about how important prayer is in the Christian life, and especially when discerning one’s vocation. It’s the the essential way we connect with God. So it’s obvious that prayer is important -- but maybe it’s less obvious what prayer actually is. Understanding pra

Gospel Poverty (Sep 2013)
“How I long for a poor Church for the poor!” Pope Francis voiced this urgent desire shortly after his election, and much of his papacy has been devoted to encouraging the Church to live Gospel poverty. But what exactly is poverty, in this sense? The Holy Father questioned a crowd of 6000 young pe

Discernment Special - God's Gift to the World (Dec 2017)
HOME | SEMINARIANS | DISCERNMENT RESOURCES | VOCATION FAQS December 2017 God's Gift to the World The world has been given by our Loving Creator a great gift, a person. This person was born under very humble circumstances, but destined for great things - to change people’s lives in a dramatic way, helping them to turn back to God. Of course, this person is obviously Jesus Christ...except He’s not the person I am speaking about. The person is you. Needless to say,




Diocese of Arlington - Office of Vocations

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