Many of us may have wrestled with our vocational discernment. However, once we feel called to a specific vocation, we find that there is still a long way to travel. For those called to religious or consecrated single life, there is the matter of choosing an order or community. It can be quite overwhelming to sift through the hundreds of religious orders to find the match for you. This is where Vocation Network’s “Vocation Match” program comes in to lend a hand. Located at http://www.vocationnetwork.org/match, Vocation Match takes you through a series of questions to help match you with the religious communities that best fit your interest and calling. The questionnaire begins with simple questions like gender, age and denomination (such as Roman Catholic or Greek Orthodox Catholic).
Next, questions move towards your specific interests such as places you’d be willing to live, what type of community interests you and what kind of commitment you’re looking for (such as religious sister, consecrated single or lay minister). With each questions you’re given the opportunity to rank how important this specific issue is to you. Also, each of these questions gives a space to say a little more, so your expansions can be sent to the orders in which you are interested.
The survey rounds out with questions about your prayer life and ministry experience. Here, too, you are given the option to say a little more about each question. Once you finish, you’re asked to provide your e-mail address so it can be given to vocations directors at the orders you decide to pursue.
Upon seeing your results, you’re given the option to ask for more info and/or send a personal message to your orders of interest. Each matched order has a small description and a link to the order’s website. Some may even have links to “come and see” retreats or weekends.
Although Vocation Match is a helpful tool to get you closer to finding the right place for you, it should be used along with prayer and discussion. All discernment should be done in the context of prayer, and is best pursued through meeting with a priest, spiritual director or other religious who is trained in guiding an individual on their vocational journey.
In the end, put your decision to prayer and take your time. You have your whole life to live your vocation, and God will not stop calling you until you respond. God bless!