More women than you might realize sense God drawing them toward a life of fulfilment and happiness as Catholic sisters, but often they miss the opportunity to explore because they aren’t sure what to do once they are tuned in to this prayerful intuition.
Walking the path of vocation discernment begins, for many women with a “Come & See” weekend at a residence of Catholic sisters. The Dominican Sisters of Springfield, Ill., have eleven such events scheduled throughout 2023-2024.
There are six in-person weekends and five virtual events planned for September 2023 through December 2024. Single Catholic women ages 21-45 are welcome to register for any—or more than one—of each event. The first event is in-person September 15-17, 2023. Registrations for that and all events are now being accepted at springfieldop.org/comesee.
These events—commonly called “Come & See,” or, in the case of the virtual events, “Zoom & See,”—provide an immersion in the day-to-day lives of the sisters. They help women develop skills for their own prayer and discernment. And they give women who may feel alone in their search an opportunity to meet others who share their desire to seek a deeper relationship with God through consecrated religious life.
There is no cost to the participants for either the in-person or virtual events, though those who travel to Springfield are responsible for their transportation expenses. Each weekend event begins on Friday evening and concludes on Sunday afternoon.
Don’t want to come alone?
No problem. “We are happy to welcome friends of discerners, too, even if those women are not on a path of discernment,” said the Springfield Dominican Sister Denise Glazik, who is the vocation minister for her community. “That is a healthy option for women who know themselves and have good friends who support and encourage them.”
A vocation minister is a trained spiritual guide who accompanies women seeking their vocation.
Women who join the sisters in person will experience a balance of time for interaction, conversation, and activity along with time for rest, prayer, and reflection. They will experience first-hand the rhythms of prayer and daily routines for sisters active in ministry. There will also be some time for private prayerful reflection and one-to-one conversations with a sister.
The virtual events involve a few intermittent hours online with the sisters and other participants. Participants are encouraged to carve out a few additional hours each day for reflection, reading, and recreational time on their own.
"It's not always feasible to travel long distances for weekend events," Sister Denise observed. "The "Zoom & Sees” provide interaction with our sisters and an opportunity to learn about our life of prayer, common life, study, and service before going to the expense of travel."
“For many women, a Come & See event is the first step toward deciding whether they want to further consider God’s invitation to join God’s mission to the world as a Catholic sister,” explained Sister Denise. “Coming to a weekend or joining us for a few hours online doesn’t commit you to anything. It gives you a safe space to explore, ponder, and pray. It’s really a great introduction to our Dominican way of life.”
Depending on timing, in-person events may take place at the Dominican Sisters' motherhouse, Sacred Heart Convent, 1237 W Monroe Street, or at Cor Unum House, 925 N. Fifth in Springfield’s historic Enos Park neighborhood. Cor Unum is the ministry site for the Dominican Sisters’ outreach to young adult women, who gather regularly at the house for prayer, study, and social events. Each weekend will include an opportunity for participants to experience the Dominican Sisters’ mission-in-action.
Events are free of charge and housing and meals are provided. Space is limited, so those who are interested should register here soon.
“If you are interested but on-the-fence please call me,” Sister Denise said. “This is really a wonderful opportunity for you to get to know yourself better and to meet other women who, like you, are wondering whether God would be able to use your gifts for the life of the world.”
The Dominican Sisters of Springfield are part of a worldwide Dominican family, the Order of Preachers, and in 2023 are celebrating 150 years of ministry For the Life of the World. Their sisters minister in the United States and Peru. For more than 800 years, Dominicans worldwide have communicated the Gospel in word and action. Today, thousands of Dominican sisters, nuns, priests, brothers, associates, and laity minister in more than 100 countries around the world.