Nuns sitting under tulip tree02 IMG_4107.jpg

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



I'm glad you've found your way to our community website and hope it provides you with some useful information about our life as cloistered Dominican nuns. 

I am delighted to be able to walk with you as you discern God's will for your life.  In discerning my own vocation, the love of God and the desire for the salvation of souls inspired me to consecrate myself totally to God; the four pillars of the Order of Preachers - prayer, study, community life, and preaching - were the magnets that drew me to cloistered Dominican life.

If you have experienced a tug on your heart to prayerfully consider religious life, do not be afraid!  It is not uncommon to be surprised or even fearful about considering religious life, especially cloistered life.  But discerning God's will is ultimately a romance of the soul and He wants only the very best for you - what will make you most happy.  I encourage you to trust in Him, taking one step at a time, and see where He leads.  

I also encourage you to entrust your vocation to our Blessed Mother by consecrating yourself to Mary and praying the Rosary daily.  As our Holy Father Pope Francis pointed out, Mary is “the Woman of the ‘yes.'  Mary said 'yes' throughout her life! She learned to recognize Jesus’ voice from the time when she carried him in her womb. May Mary, our Mother, help us to know Jesus’ voice better and better and to follow it, so as to walk on the path of life."

I am happy to help you in your discernment any way I can and invite you to contact me with any questions you may have and to share with you more about Dominican life at Corpus Christi Monastery.  Be assured of our daily prayers for you before our Eucharistic King and Lord!

God bless you,

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