Discernment Resources for Religious Life and the Priesthood
It seems like it was so easy for biblical characters like Saint Paul and the other apostles to follow Jesus! The Gospel of Mark tells us that as he walked along the Sea of Galilee, Jesus saw Simon and his brother Andrew fishing. He said to them, “Follow me and I will make you fishers of men,” and immediately they left everything and followed him (see Mark 1:1-18).
Amazing, isn’t it? They dropped everything, left their former way of life behind, and became Jesus’ special disciples whom he made Apostles (see Mark 3:13-14). They had the opportunity to meet Jesus face-to-face and they heard his voice calling them to serve. But what about you? How do you know if Jesus is calling you to serve as a priest, deacon, sister or brother? What about marriage or living a holy life as a single lay person?
This section has resources to assist you in the process of what is called discernment. From biblical stories for your prayerful reflection, to pertinent questions to ask yourself and others like a priest or trusted adviser, and much more.
If you have questions along the way, please contact our Vocation Director. He’s available to assist you as you discern if Jesus is inviting you to a eucharistic life in service to the Church as either a Blessed Sacrament priest or brother. Call (440) 442-6311 or email: Fr John Thomas Lane SSS
Discernment Resources FAQs
Have a question? Want to know more about religious life and priesthood? Interested in a Eucharistic life?
Below are some commonly asked questions we received in the vocation office from men discerning their vocation.
First it is important to be active in your parish or campus ministry and speak to someone about your desires and thoughts such as your parents, a priest, a teacher, a religious sister or brother.
You don’t have to be certain, but if you’re considering this vocation probably the most important thing to do is pray about it, especially before the Blessed Sacrament. Try participating in daily Mass and listening to the scriptures and think about what they tell you about your life.
A vocation is not about “worthiness” but about a “calling.” Understanding what Jesus might be calling you to is a process of discernment. If you feel that you would like help in discerning God’s will for you in your life, please contact our Vocation Director, at (440) 442-6311
You are not alone. There are many who ponder this way of life, visit religious communities, and pray about their possible vocation. You might want to meet regularly with a spiritual director or your parish priest.
The Vocation Director will help you through the discernment process. Call (440) 442-6311 or e-mail us at (current information). It is not easy to make such a lifetime commitment, but God’s love and grace sustain each person in their vocation.
S.S.S. stands for three Latin words, Societas Sanctissimi Sacramenti, which in English translates to Congregation of the Blessed Sacrament.
These letters after our name mean that we have professed vows to God in this religious congregation.
Like Jesus, we wish to live a life of evangelical poverty. The vow of poverty that we profess proclaims that God is our only real treasure, our inheritance. Our life is marked by simplicity and moderation. By putting all our resources in common, we free ourselves from all attachment to riches so that we may depend entirely upon God.
The short answer is no! God made us with free-will and the Church respects each person’s free will and conscience.
After the example of Christ who, out of love, completely fulfilled his Father’s will, even to the giving of his life, we profess (make a vow of) obedience, in order to serve the Church in complete freedom and to share in the mission of our Congregation. By the vow of obedience, we commit ourselves, in openness to the Holy Spirit, to obey our legitimate superiors, according to our Rule of Life and the norms of the Church.
During his life, Jesus remained totally free to devote himself to the Kingdom. Following his example, we vow ourselves to celibate chastity. We attach ourselves to Christ and his mission.
Our vows express our consecration to God in the service of the Church, with an undivided heart and we bear witness to a world yet to come in the spirit of the Beatitudes.
By our profession of religious vows we respond to the call of the Lord who invites us to leave all things to follow Christ, and so we publicly commit ourselves within the Church to live in chastity, poverty, and obedience.
The reason for these vows, in short, is that religious profession incorporates us into a community of brothers and expresses our determination to live the Gospel in a radical way.
We discern how we can best be of service to the Congregation and the Church with our Provincial Superior who determines and assigns us to our particular ministries and communities.
We are an active apostolic community. Our mission, modeled after Saint Peter Julian Eymard, is to respond to the hungers of the human family with the riches of God’s love manifested in the Eucharist. While our houses do have private areas for silence, prayer and study, we occasionally have visitors in for meals and social events as well as functions outside of the community.
Our communities do not live for themselves, but create an environment wherein our men search for God and make Christ’s eucharistic love known to everyone.
We pray Morning and Evening Prayer from the Liturgy of the Hours together daily. We also gather together to celebrate Mass every day. Since we primarily staff parishes, Mass is usually celebrated with the parish community. Faithful to the tradition received from our Founder, we spend at least one hour each day in prayer in the presence of the Blessed Sacrament. This prayer forms part of our mission and has priority in the life of each religious.
Dinner is usually taken together in common. Often, we gather prior to the evening meal to share community life and the stories of one’s day and ministry.
The rest of one’s own day is filled with the particular ministerial work of each religious. Our religious do many different things, from parish ministry to writing, teaching, chaplaincy, etc., all trying to witness to our eucharistic life and spirituality.
Prayer for Vocations:
Loving God our Father, your servant Saint Peter Julian Eymard, who was captivated by your Son’s love as revealed to us in the Eucharist, greatly desired to manifest this love to his contemporaries.
He established a new form of religious life which is nourished by the Eucharist: celebrated, adored, and enriched with ministries of all kinds.
Through his intercession, call forth many young people who will labor in your Church as priests, deacons, brothers, or sisters.
Give us the grace to become like the bread of the Eucharist which is broken for the life of the world.
Through Christ our Lord. Amen.