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Discerning A Vocation

To fall in love with God is the greatest of all romances;
to seek Him, the greatest adventure;
to find Him, the greatest human achievement.
- St. Augustine



Sister Joseph Marie of the Child Jesus, O.P.
Vocation Directress
Corpus Christi Monastery
215 Oak Grove Avenue
Menlo Park, CA  94025
650-322-1801 x. 19



Discerning a vocation is a romance and an adventure!  Here are some tools that may help you on your journey.

steps for discerning
your vocation

Consecrated life...  Marriage...  Ordained life…  What comes to mind with these words?  Excitement?  Romance?  Confusion?  All vocations start with an invitation by God, rooted in our baptism, to grow in holiness in a particular way of life and to live the mission of the Church – that is, to proclaim the Good News of Jesus to others.  All vocations.  Your vocation is a gift from God that when fully embraced enables you to become perfect in charity, which is union with Him!  Imagine, union with the Holy Trinity!  That is the life God wants us to have, for all eternity, and your vocation is His plan for you that leads to Him.

Perhaps you feel apprehensive or think, “I could never be drawn to a life of …  I’m not the right type of person!”  Yet, because our vocation starts with God, our choice is really whether to accept God’s invitation or not – do we cooperate with His grace, or don’t we?  God choses first!  And, in fact, His choice is often quite opposite from what we would think it should be.  “My ways are not your ways, and my thoughts are not your thoughts,” He reminds us through the prophet Isaiah.

So, how does a person know whether God is calling her  to consecrated life or another vocation, such as marriage (or, in the case of men, ordination)?  It’s not as complicated as you might think. 


the romance of religious life:
steps in formation

Religious life is not a career or a social movement.  It is a divine romance.  Our spouse is Christ Jesus, our children are the souls for whom we pray and offer our lives.  And for those called to this holy vocation, every day is an opportunity to love more deeply by conforming ourselves to our Bridegroom and be swept off our feet by Him.  After all, we not only wed “Mr. Right” – He’s “Mr.Perfect”!


A Day in the Life

So what is it like inside the monastery?  How do the nuns spend their day?  Get a glimpse of our daily routine here.


retreat days

Currently we offer two kinds of retreat days: Janua Caeli Retreat Days and "Come and See" Days.  All retreat days include Mass and Divine Office, reflections by speakers, time for prayer before the Blessed Sacrament and an opportunity for fellowship with the nuns.  These retreats are open to single, Catholic women, ages 18-38.


frequently asked questions

How do I know if I have a religious vocation?  I don't think I'm the "contemplative type" - could God really be calling me?  I'm attracted to both marriage and religious life - does the fact I would love to be married and have a family mean I'm not called to consecrated life?  I can't sing well - is that an impediment?  These questions and more are addressed here.


additional resources

coming soon