“Therefore encourage one another and build one another up…”
-1 Thessalonians 5:11

Young men and women discerning religious life have a great need for personal connections that can aid them as they discern God’s will. Vocations Outreach recognizes this need for accompaniment and provides a system in which this kind of mentorship can take place.

It is also important to note that men and women interested in religious life necessarily move into a vulnerable place in their relationship with God. As such, mentor-discerner relationships must be handled with appropriate care and attention. Our program requirements are meant to ensure the best possible experience for mentors and discerners alike, with the ultimate goal being the spiritual growth of the discerner.

Mentor Expectations

  • The majority of communication between a mentor and discerner will take place on the Catechetical Institute’s LMS system, Franciscan At Home. Mentors will be expected to become familiar with this system and to be attentive to their discerner’s progress in the online formation program.

  • Mentors should be prepared to give about 2-3 hours per month for each discerner that they mentor.

  • Religious may mentor one or multiple discerners.

  • Mentors will be encouraged to reach out to their discerner for a phone or video call around every 3-4 weeks. This relationship is not meant to take the place of spiritual direction, but rather will allow mentors to provide more thorough feedback on the tasks the discerner has completed and will give discerners the opportunity to ask pertinent questions.

  • This program is designed to help discerners better understand religious life and how to discern God’s voice in every area of their lives. Mentors are expected to aid discerners in understanding God’s will for them in a way that respects their freedom rather than attempting to “recruit” discerners to their own communities. Therefore, any mentor who is pressuring discerners in this way may be dismissed from the mentorship program.

  • Active mentors will be “on-call” to be paired with young adults. Discernment groups start on the first Monday of every month, and mentors will receive an email on this day if they have received any new discerners to work with.

Mentor Requirements

  • Vocations Outreach has partnered with the Institute on Religious Life and the Council of Major Superiors of Women Religious for this program. Only applications from members of religious communities that are affiliated with the IRL and CMSWR will be considered.

  • Religious who wish to serve as mentors must have professed first/ simple vows.

  • Mentors must have frequent access to a computer.

  • All mentors accepted into the program must complete a series of online training workshops within their first year serving as a mentor.

  • Religious interested in being mentors must submit an online Application.

  • Applicants who are accepted into the program must submit a Superior Approval Form completed by a Major Superior of their community. This includes proof of safe environment training and a criminal background check. Details on this will be provided after an application is submitted.

Ready to become a mentor? Fill out a Mentor Application.

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