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Catholic Vancouver Nov. 6, 2018

Marriage or religious life? Fiat helps women discern

By Sister Mary Sabina Demuth, OP

You women and religious sisters on a showshoeing trip with the Fiat Women's Discernment group. (Fiat photo)

The women’s vocation discernment group has a new name and a new approach. No longer VIP (Vocations in Progress), the group is now called “Fiat Women’s Discernment Group.” Monthly activities now include opportunities for days of recollection, recreational activities, informal meetings of “Coffee with a Sister,” and an annual weekend discernment retreat.

The name Fiat emphasizes the Marian dimension of consecrated life: as Mary gave her “fiat” to be both virgin and mother, members of the discernment group desire to hear and follow God’s call to holiness through discernment of his will for their lives.

Days of Recollection are led by religious women from different communities in the Archdiocese. Recent events included gatherings with the Franciscan Sisters of the Eucharist, the Dominican Sisters of St. Cecilia, and the consecrated women of Focolare.

Each gathering focuses on a different element of consecrated life and practical ways young women can discern their vocations. Those who want a one-on-one meeting in order to ask questions can set up a meeting with a Franciscan or Dominican sister and meet in a low-pressure setting to have coffee and chat about discernment.

Other events include hiking, snowshoeing, and a very popular movie night.

Young women who are at various stages of the discernment process can ask their questions, enjoy time getting to know the sisters, have fun, and meet others who can share their journey of discernment.

Last year Fiat hosted the first women’s discernment retreat for the Archdiocese in several years. Sixteen young women enjoyed a weekend away at Westminster Abbey where they learned about consecration, vows, how to pray the Divine Office, and the charisms of different communities. Many of the retreatants took advantage of opportunities for individual conferences with sisters, and one young woman is already in formation with the Franciscans!

Now in its fourth year, the Fiat Women’s Discernment Group is bearing fruit. Young women from the group are now in communities in the Archdiocese and around the world. Former members are with the Norbertines, Dominicans (active and contemplative), and Franciscans, while others have discerned and followed the call to marriage.

Are you open to God’s will for your life? Are you considering a vocation to the religious life? Fiat activities are open to all single Catholic young women ages 18-35. To join our email list or get more information, please contact the vocations office at 604-443-3254 or email [email protected].