Connecting discerners with professed religious


“surrounded, led and guided by the friends of God… I too can say that with renewed conviction: I am not alone. I do not have to carry alone what in truth I could never carry alone.”

-Benedict XVI; Homily April 24, 2005

Vocational discernment can be difficult and confusing, especially if it is done alone. Utilizing content created by the Catechetical Institute at Franciscan University, Vocations Outreach has created a mentorship program that connects young adults with professed religious to help them discern God’s will. Read about the main components of the program below.


  • Discerners are connected with a professed religious who will act as a mentor as they go through an online formation program.

  • Vocations Outreach has partnered with religious from a variety of different communities who are mentors for this program. Meet them here:  Women’s Mentors  |  Men’s Mentors

  • After discerners are accepted into the program, they will submit a list of the top 4 mentors from our program they would like to work with. Vocations Outreach will then pair them with a mentor, most likely from this list.

  • Mentors will provide feedback on written tasks from the online formation workshops described below.

  • Discerners and mentors will talk via phone or video call every 3-4 weeks throughout the program.


  • Program participants will also be paired with another discerner participating in the program. They will be known as their “critical friend” (critical in the sense of important rather than criticizing) who will be a peer they will walk with as they go through the formation program.

      • Critical friends are meant to give participants a spiritual, supportive friend who is on a similar level as them. They can help keep participants accountable and can be someone they can candidly share their thoughts with.

  • Vocations Outreach will pair discerners together based on age and gender.

  • Program participants will also have the opportunity to join a closed online social media group where they can share general thoughts on the program and can connect with other young adults discerning religious life.

Online Formation

  • Discerners receive formation on discernment and religious life by watching video workshops created by Vocations Outreach and the Catechetical Institute. Each workshop is composed of 5-10 minute video segments.

  • Discerners will complete tasks and activities connected to those workshops which are meant to help them grow in their spiritual lives. These tasks may involve taking steps forward in prayer, responding to the material presented in the videos, and reflecting on passages from relevant reading.

  • Video workshop topics and presenters include:

Personal Vocation: Dr. Joshua Miller
Lectio Divina: Ann Lankford, MA
Overcoming Obstacles in Discernment: Fr. Jonathan McElhone, TOR
Universal Call to Holiness: Dr. Petroc Willey, STL
Vocational Discernment for Young AdultsFr. Dave Pivonka, TOR
God’s Call in Scripture: Barbara Davies
The Theology of Religious Life: Fr. Daniel Maria, TOR
Monastic Practices: Sr. Marie Genevieve, OP

Program Details

  • The program takes place exclusively through the Catechetical Institute’s online Learning Management System (LMS). View a sample workshop on their LMS here.

  • The program is free and takes 6 months to complete.

  • New mentorship program groups start on the first Monday of every month. The cut-off date to apply for the next month’s group is on the Wednesday prior to the Monday start date. Vocations Outreach is currently accepting applications.

Ready to get involved? Read more below if you are interested in becoming a program participant or mentor.

Questions? Contact us here. One of our team members would be happy to speak with you!

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