Calling All Women Discerning Religious Life (Men, Too)

A few months ago, a friend from high school reached out to me wanting to hear about my discernment process from when I entered religious life. I was happy to discuss but surprised that she was asking, as she’s not a Christian. Discernment–particularly vocational discernment–is something that we usually talk about only with other Catholics. But I’m generally happy to discuss anything about Jesus, so I was game. It turns out that Eve is working on a piece for The Huffington Post investigating the way young Millennials discern. She’s a brilliant writer and a beautiful soul and I think her contribution to this conversation (especially when it’s published on a site like The Huffington Post) will be a gift to the Church. Here’s what Eve has to say:

I’m a Jewish-American writer based in Johannesburg, South Africa, who’s profoundly interested in the spiritual experience throughout history and how it occurs in an age many people think of as thoroughly secular, science-minded, data-driven, and beyond the reach of the mystical or necessitating the presence of faith. For a long essay I’m writing for The Huffington Post, I’m looking to talk with American women under the age of 25 in the process of discernment to enter the religious life. I’m interested in how you experienced your call, the tangible ways that changed how you interacted with the world (for instance, did you come to use Facebook differently? The push to have a good “career” differently? Did it change how you related to the uncertainty of the contemporary economy and the loneliness often present in contemporary friendships?). I’m deeply interested in the kinds of experiences of the modern world, and of God, that led a young woman to pursue a vocation. If you’d be willing to chat with me by phone, FaceTime, or Skype about your journey, please get in touch with me on Facebook. I’d ideally love to speak with women from a range of backgrounds, including families that were not religious or professed a different religion, and different parts of the country or economic backgrounds. We can speak casually first and then discuss if you’d like to be quoted by name in the story. While my interest is primarily in young women, I’d also REALLY love to talk to some young men discerning about the priesthood, too.

Here’s a brief example of my work. Among others, this piece, from an experiential point of view, argues hard against the modern conception that we are the best, or real, architects of our own lives.

If you’re interested in speaking to Eve, leave a comment here (anonymous or not) or send me a message and I’ll put you two in touch. Please DON’T tag a friend or share it to her Facebook wall–her discernment might not be something she’s ready to be public about. Send it in a private message and she can contact me herself. I know that Eve is particularly interested in speaking with a diverse group of young people discerning with traditional communities, especially people from non-religious families, people of color, immigrants, and the very poor and very wealthy. She’s come to the right Church, hasn’t she? You’ve never met a body more diverse than the Catholic Church, and I’d love to help her write a piece that shows how the love of Christ breaks down all the divisions we erect between ourselves to call hearts to deep holiness and deep joy. Plus she’s offered to let me look it over before publication to make sure the theology’s on point, so you don’t have to worry about the Church being misrepresented. What a great opportunity to witness to the Love of Christ that invites us to be completely his! Who’s in?

About Meg

I'm a Catholic, madly in love with the Lord, His Word, His Bride the Church, and especially His Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity in the Eucharist. I'm committed to the Church not because I was raised this way but because the Lord has drawn my heart and convicted my reason. After 2 degrees in theology and 5 years in the classroom, I quit my 9-5 to follow Christ more literally. Since May of 2012, I've been a hobo for Christ; I live out of my car and travel the country speaking to youth and adults, giving retreats, blogging, and trying to rock the world for Jesus.
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6 Responses to Calling All Women Discerning Religious Life (Men, Too)

  1. Tonia Borsellino says:

    Hi, Meg!

    I’m 21 and entering the Mercedarian Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament at the end of July. I’d love to speak with Eve about my call/journey!

  2. Stacey says:

    Hey Meg, I’m a bit over her ideal age range, but I did discern in the convent and now work in youth ministry. I’m happy to talk to her, or to connect her with some of my kids (one did NET, one is entering the monastery in July, and another discerned religious life, but never entered the convent).

  3. Didymus says:

    Peace, I’m discerning monastism but not priesthood. My religious background is complex to say the least. I was once a radical Protestant before spiritually spending a decade in the Christian East. I also hold a masters in the study of religion. I am a Millennial but seeing I’m now 31, I may be beyond the scope of your project. Nonetheless, please feel free to contact me if you wish.

  4. Gina says:

    Hello Meg and Eve,

    I turned 22 this month and have been seriously discerning Religious Life since 2013. Whether you can reach me through my submitted email or not, use my story/advice or dearest wish for any article/post on this topic (be it in small or large publication) is that it comes alive to the reader. I hope they experience the people or experiences speaking earnestly through this vocation so much that they’re taken aback by this lifestyle and say a prayer for those of whom the post speaks. Eve, you will be the voice for Millennials that really hasn’t been heard before (anywhere that I’ve seen –except maybe that one tv show The Sisterhood:Becoming Nuns) outside Catholic circles. I just want to say, we are counting on you to express this desire to draw so close to God in the truest, most sincere way through your research. It is a continuous battle. There are Jesus highs and discouraging lows. Dating Jesus isn’t easy. Abundant joys and graces, sorrows and struggles! Staying away from sugarcoating, I guess is the word. Good Luck and God bless.

  5. brendan says:

    Hi meg, I don’t know if I can help but I’d be willing to. I’m 18 and discerning to be come a contemplative order member and a priest. I’m the only catholic in my family, having only joined the church about 2 years ago and also have SSA which has been a unique factor in my discernment process. Like I said I would love to contribute to Eves work if you think I have any thing to offer.

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