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DECEMBER 2019 VISION E-Vocation Newsletter

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Discernment Matters
The choices of a lifetime


Just have faith, we’re told in times of uncertainty. But what exactly is faith? Carmelite friar and mystic Saint John of the Cross declares: “Faith darkens and empties the intellect of all its natural understanding and thereby prepares it for union with the divine wisdom.” A darker, emptier vision is probably not what most of us have in mind when we imagine the benefits of faithful living. We are used to having religion presented to us as a book of certitudes—not more wandering in the dark night of unknowing.

Yet the biblical definition of faith is trust, not knowledge. And trust indeed means putting out your hand and expecting that someone’s there to receive it. But faith is more than a confident walk in the dark valley. Visitation nun and mystic Saint Margaret Mary Alacoque sees it as the "torch which illuminates, animates, and sustains” in times of privation and consolation alike. We ride the parabola here: faith darkens the intellect, and supplies new light.

Faith is not a personal possession, Early Church theologian Saint Cyril of Jerusalem notes: “The power of faith is enormous. It is so great that it not only saves the believer: thanks to one person’s faith, others are saved also.” We’re all rescued by the faith of others: our families, teachers, mentors, friends, and personal heroes. As Pope John XXIII observed: “You can’t help feeling the fascination of a soul that knows what it wants, and lives by faith.” Just as we’ve felt that tug of fascination, we can offer that same attraction to others.

—Alice Camille,
reprinted with permission from TrueQuest Communications

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VISION VOCATION MATCH follow-up survey
Thank you for sharing your insights with us!

We are grateful to the 1,176 of you who completed our recent VISION discerner follow-up survey. Below are some quick resuts of what you wanted us to know.

Vocation status

  • 97% of you were seriously discerning when you completed VISION Vocation Match profiles
  • 37% are still discerning
  • 16% have entered/entering religious life
  • 24% have impediments (age, family commitments, debt)
  • 9% chose marriage
  • 2% chose diocesan priesthood
  • 8% are no longer discerning
  • 3% were never discerning


  • 60% women
  • 40% men


  • 55% under 40

Chosen/desired vocation

  • 36% religious sister
  • 12% religious brother
  • 11% order priest
  • 7% diocesan priest

Chosen communities of those who have entered


  • Communicate more.
  • Be present to youth.
  • Encourage discerners.
  • Be faithful and hopeful.
  • Be open and encouraging. Have hope. Young people are more courageous than you think, we just need some examples.
  • Be patient! It takes us a while to realize, and then accept God's calling.
  • Visit parishes!
  • Be happy!


  • Keep up the good work!
  • Include more communities (international and those that accept older candidates).
  • Expand outreach to youth.
  • Promote discernment.


  • Because of the resources which the VISION Vocation Network provided, I was given full exposition to what religious life & charisms meant.
  • I wouldn't have heard of or found [my community] otherwise.
  • The Vocation Match questionnaire helped me to learn more about myself and my faith.

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VISION Events Calendar
The place for local vocation discernment events!

calender-2389150_640.pngLooking for discernment & service events & retreats? Search the VISION Events Calendar for ones near you!

Does your community, parish, campus, or organization have upcoming events? Post them HERE! VISION welcomes announcements of any events related to exploring a vocation in Catholic religious life. 

U.K. and Irish communities: be sure to post your events--there are discerners seeking them!

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Cullings from VISION Vocation Network

VISION VOCATION NETWORK - Experts in matching religious communities with active, qualified vocation discerners.

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VISION Community Sponsors

LOG IN TO THE ADVERTISER AREA TO VIEW YOUR STATISTICS AND REVIEW YOUR COMMUNITY'S VOCATION MATCH PROFILE. Not part of VISION? Click here to learn of the many benefits of being an advertising community.

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Editors are standing by

VISION READERS, please let us know what more we can do to help you in your discernment or ministry. We welcome your feedback. Please share your own stories on the positive influence that priests, brothers, and sisters have had on you.

Contact Jennifer Tomshack at

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Give back

Please support the VISION Vocation Network.


For VISION reader statistics since the inception of Vocation Match.


Please be sure to contact vocation directors of the communities that interest you when you go through Vocation Match. You will find their help essential as you sort through your options and consider your best course.


Discerning readers rely on you. Be sure your Vocation Match profile is complete and post upcoming events on the VISION calendar. Email us.

VOCATION NETWORK listed as a key resource on the U.S. Catholic Bishops' vocation website. Associated Church Press and Catholic Press Association Award Winner!


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© 2019, TrueQuest Communications
published on behalf of the National Religious Vocation Conference