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.


Mentorship

  • 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 working with minors will have completed a child safety protection training and will have passed a criminal background check.

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

  • Discerners and mentors will be in touch via email, phone, or video call every 3-4 weeks throughout the program.


Community

  • 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 who are under 18 will be paired with a critical friend who is also under 18.

  • Program participants will also have the opportunity to join a monitored 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. 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 Adults: Fr. 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 will run for the course of 6 months.