Close-up, high-key photo of a newborn baby getting examinedI often am asked what it is that I do. I’ve learned that simply answering, “I’m the vocation director for the Ursuline Sisters in the United States” isn’t the clearest answer. Because the next question usually is, “Oh. You’re a recruiter?”

Actually, I’m a listener, and something like a stethoscope. My work is with seekers. Seekers usually have lots of questions and are open to new ideas. They are committed to keep searching until they hear that still, small voice, “This is the way, follow it” (Isaiah 30:21). A vocation director helps seekers listen for new life within them. As I talk with women discerning a religious vocation, I listen carefully for the heartbeat in their words and reflect back what I’ve heard. In this way, I help them hear God’s voice, the heartbeat, more clearly within them. It’s always there, but can be drowned out by other sounds and concerns. Our foundress, St. Angela, said it best, “Above all, listen to the Holy Spirit speaking in your heart.”

If you’re discerning your vocation, it helps greatly to have a spiritual director, someone who is trained to listen and accompany you as you search. Some good places to look for a trained spiritual director are the campus ministry office of a local university, or a retreat center. Often a local parish office will have a list of spiritual directors in the area. If you need help getting started, please let me know. I’m happy to help you.

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