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Home > Academics and Advising > Career Guidance & Discernment > Religious Vocation Discernment Resources
Religious Vocation Discernment Resources
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By choosing to school at home with a classical, Catholic curriculum, the vocation of your children is probably in your mind. As you prepare your child academically and morally for the future, you begin to wonder where God will call them as far as their vocation. God has placed a unique call on each of their hearts and through their formation at home they become closer to discerning their call. Many will be called to marriage but some may have a call to be a priest, brother, monk, nun, or religious sister. This is a special calling and needs to be nurtured. Below are some resources to help them. 


For a general overview of religious life, you can purchase our book Of Bells and Cells by Cristina Borges. It is a picture book used in our younger grades’ curriculum that is a great resource to learn about religious life and the different orders. 


Finding a spiritual director, choosing a college with a vibrant and authentic Catholic presence on campus, frequenting the sacraments, and going to adoration also are great aids in discerning one’s vocation. Most of all, our prayers and support for them in this journey are what they need to discern the path God has in store for them. 


A Guide to Religious Ministries for Catholic Men and Women

A Guide to Religious Ministries for Catholic Men and Women is a comprehensive directory of Catholic men's and women's communities in the United States. They have a searchable database, and a hard copy book available for a nominal price. This is the only comprehensive directory of Catholic men's and women's communities in the United States.

“The Guide explains the nature of a religious vocation, the steps involved in entering the religious life and a description of the ministries engaged in by priests, brothers, sisters and lay people. Listings are provided for diocesan vocation offices, religious communities active in the United States, lay ministry organizations, secular institutes, associate societies, and retreat centers.”


The Institute on Religious Life

The Institute on Religious Life was founded in 1974 by Servant of God, Fr. John Hardon, S.J., “in response to the Holy See’s plea to help save religious life in the United States.”


The website has a vocation search option with maps showing the locations of the 185 affiliates, and filters for:

“Type of Community (monastic, consecrated lay, active, etc.), Spiritual Tradition (Franciscan, Carmelite, Dominican, etc.), Primary Apostolate (cloistered, education, missionary, etc.) and finally, communities that consider Belated Vocations.

When you select a community, you can learn more about their charism, mission, formation program, and qualifications for entry.  There are links to the communities’ website and an email address for the vocation director and often articles and videos about the community.”


The Council of Major Superiors of Women Religious (CMSWR)

The Council of Major Superiors of Women Religious (CMSWR) is composed of the major superiors of 112 communities of women religious in the United States. (The orders that belong to this organization typically wear habits and they have a younger average age.) There is a free digital catalog for download on their website.


National Religious Vocation Conference

A publication of the National Religious Vocation Conference, this site has an interactive vocation match. This is a helpful resource that allows you to browse communities, search for vocation events, read through resources, do an interactive vocation questionnaire, and find help matching them up with religious communities that may be compatible with their calling.

Note: Students must enter an email address, but a fake address can be used, and the site offers information on how to create one so that it’s not rejected as being false. A valid password must be created if the student wishes to return to their account. An example of a dummy account for a Kolbe student would be the student’s first name and a number followed by the word homework at Kolbe homeschool dot org. For example: [email protected]. Please follow the this format as the website states: “it's helpful for us to know that the cluster of false addresses hitting our system is a class of students working on an assignment rather than a malicious attempt by a spammer to hack our system. After entering a dummy email address, the user will be presented with a dialog box asking "Have you mistyped your email address?" Click the "I want to continue with an invalid address" button.”

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