Next Steps in Finding Your Way
How to Keep at it
Perhaps you’ve determined that you are eligible to consider religious life and you have some qualities that are useful for women who choose this path.
But now you need to know more! You are ready to travel on further. Here are some of the common questions that arise for women considering religious life in general and Springfield Dominican life in particular. See what you think!
How do I choose the best way to spend my life?
Theologian Frederick Buechner once wrote that our vocation in life is determined at the place where our great joy and the world’s deep hunger meet. So, start there. Where do you find your deepest, most authentic happiness? What God-given gifts, passions, and skills do you have to share with the world?
Learn more! This preaching by Ellie Hildalgo for the 3rd Sunday in Ordinary Time might inspire you!
Here are the scripture texts about which Ellie is preaching:
First Reading: Jon 3:1-5, 10
PSALM: Ps 25:4-5, 6-7, 8-9
Second Reading: 1 Cor 7:29-31
GOSPEL: Mk 1:14-20
Feel free to go to your Bible or read the texts online.
Am I alone in this search?
This might surprise you, but the world is full of people who hunger for more in life, who are looking for purpose and meaning. Would you like to meet some? When you are ready, contact any Springfield Dominican Sister you know, or call Sister Teresa Marron at 217-787-0481. She can help put you in touch with others who, like yourself, value and desire a fulfilling, meaningful life.
Still want more? Here’s a list of Sisters Who Blog! Dig in!
What good is a Catholic sister?
Even if you already know some Catholic sisters, you might be surprised to learn about our global impact.
Catholic Sisters are the founders of schools, hospitals, and social service agencies around the world.
They are pioneers in higher education.
Catholic Sisters run antipoverty programs throughout the U.S. and Latin America.
Every day, one in six patients in the U.S. is cared for in the Catholic health care system.
For many people uncertain about the role of institutional religion in their lives, Catholic sisters remain as among the most trustworthy spiritual guides, mentors, and friends.
When we recognize the impact of Catholic sisters, it is difficult to imagine what the world might look like if Catholic sisterhood had never been “invented.”
How do I know if becoming a sister is right for me?
How do you know anything that you know about yourself?
Think of that for a minute. Try this. Make a list of three things you know to be true about you. Here is an example:
- I’m 5’4 inches tall. (I know this because I can measure myself. There is evidence to prove it.)
- I am a good listener. (I know this because my friends have told me so. They often come to me when they need someone to listen. What I know about myself is confirmed by others.)
- I’m happiest when I can see that I’ve made a difference for someone else. (I know this because I’ve experienced it. At the end of every day when I’ve been of service, there is an inner satisfaction, peace, and joy that stay with me.)
So, knowing whether being a sister is your thing requires these same processes. What can you observe, learn from the people around you, and experience within yourself that might point in the direction of further discernment about a call to religious life?
Now try something fun! Use the VISION Vocation Match tool to discover what type of religious community might be a good fit for you. You may receive communications from religious communities that you “match” with, but there is absolutely no obligation.
But how do I know if it is God’s will for me?
God’s only will for you is your happiness. Period. Full stop.
Ironically, this truth can complicate vocation discernment. Here’s why: until we understand what it means to be happy, we can easily chase the superfluous. Once we “get” happiness, it is much easier to know what God wants for us because what God wants is what we want for ourselves.
Learn more! Read stories about Catholic Sisters at Global Sisters Report.
Do vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience have value in today’s world?
The vows are at the heart of consecrated religious life. They are what make the life of Catholic sisters distinct and meaningful. They inscribe the parameters of our relationship with God, our religious community, all people, and creation. They determine everything: our daily living, how and who we love, and the way we use our power.
Poverty, chastity, and obedience–living simply with just what we need, choosing to love expansively, and listening intently to the needs of the Church and the world–may be needed more now than ever before in human history.
Learn more. Here’s a quick overview; or you can read an essay by our Sister Teresa Marron that includes a concise and helpful introduction to the vows. You might also want to check out this collection of essays on living the vows at A Nun’s Life.
Does the world need Dominican sisters?
Does the world need women who are grounded in a relationship with Jesus, committed to a life of service, dedicated to sharing the joy of the Gospel, willing to witness to the value of simple living in a community of faith, thirsty for truth, and always ready to say to God “Here I am! Send me!”
You tell me.
If I feel called to religious life, how do I choose the right community?
There are several options open to you, and people who can help you discern the best fit for you.
Here are some ways of living consecrated life
Private vowed life
What’s special about Springfield Dominican life?
People who know us will often say that we are joyful, hospitable women who have a refreshing way of living community life that is authentic and genuine.
We have a down-to-earth Midwestern sensibility that some think comes from our home-base on the Illinois prairie, paired with a global awareness that starts with our presence in Peru, where we also welcome women into our congregation and have women in mission. We have an enduring bond with the Dominican Sisters of St. Catharine of Sienna, Iraq, whose lives have become increasingly intertwined with our own.
We take great care with our liturgical prayer. At the motherhouse and in many of our local communities we chant the psalms rather than recite them.
We are welcoming and inclusive. Our sisters are free to choose to wear a Dominican habit, or not, as they discover for themselves which option best expresses their understanding of our preaching life.
Our ministerial commitments are rooted in our desire to serve others in a way that does not dominate, but brings us alongside of and helps us to learn from the people with whom we walk. Our lives are not about power over, but power for people who are oppressed. We are deeply engaged in the work of dismantling racism, a process which increasingly shapes the way we see and move about the world.
We believe, with Pope Francis, that Earth is our common home and we want to contribute to the healing of the planet and all who share it.