Choose Your Language

Priest praying handsDiscernment is the process of discovery through which an individual discovers how God calls him or her to love and serve him through prayer, reflection, and discussion.

Thank you for taking the time to discern, discover through prayer and time, your vocation. God only wants your ultimate happiness, so make sure to take the time to find out which vocation will bring you that kind of joy. With the help of the Holy Spirit, the Blessed Mother's powerful intercession, you will receive the grace needed to continue this journey.

What is My Vocation?

Short video that discusses the three vocations, how to discern them, and some words of wisdom from Bishop Burbidge, Diocese of Arlington!



I encourage you to visit your closest adoration chapel often and ask God to bring clarity to your vocation call. Lean on our Blessed Mother Mary, asking her for her powerful intercession. Here is a perfect prayer for you during this time, and I hope you will pray it often.

"Prayer to Know One's Vocation"

Lord, my God and my loving Father, you have made me to know you, to love you, to serve you, and thereby to find and to fulfill my deepest longings. I know that you are in all things, and that every path can lead me to you.

But of them all, there is one especially by which you want me to come to you. Since I will do what you want of me, I pray you, send your Holy Spirit to me: into my mind, to show me what you want of me; into my heart, to give me the determination to do it, and to do it with all my love, with all my mind, and with all of my strength right to the end. Jesus, I trust in you. Amen N.p., n.d. Web. 16 Feb.

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Vocational Discernment Rosary

Vocational Discernment RosaryThe Holy Rosary is a precious gift in our vocational journey. In meditating upon and contemplating its mysteries, we can grow closer to Mary, our mother, intercessor and model of every vocation. We can delve deeper into the heart of the Trinity, which is the final end of all devotions. In light of the mysteries we penetrate, we can grow in knowledge of ourselves and begin to see where God might be leading us next in our vocations.

The IRL is making available a free e-book devotional, Vocational Discernment Rosary: Discovering God's Purpose and Plan for Your Life. This small booklet will help you find, follow and fulfill God's calling for your life by meditating upon the mysteries of the Rosary. To obtain a copy: Click Here




I encourage you to use the following books and resources to help you discern fully God’s will in your life.


For Men

For Men:

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Learn more about Diocesan Priesthood from This website has a wealth of knowledge including:

  • Helping you discover “Am I Being Called”
  • What does it look like?
  • Who do I talk to?
  • What can I read?
  • What do the saints say?
  • What do the Popes say?



Video: Do you want to be a Priest?

Vocation Ministry partnered with Vianney Vocations and That Catholic Couple for a series of discernment videos. The first one features Fr. Michael McCandless, from the Diocese of Cleveland, who shares his thoughts on discerning the priesthood!


Video: Do you want to be a Religious Brother?



Father Brett A. Brannen's book is the definitive guide for men discerning their vocation, explaining the priesthood, where they are in the discernment process, and the next step in the process. Young men affirm that this easy-to-read book answers most of their questions about discerning their vocation, and many seminarians cite its important role in their decision-making process.

001 To Save a Thousand Souls 198x300

To Save A Thousand Souls: A Guide for Discerning a Vocation to Diocesan Priesthood by Fr. Brett Brannen.

This book is written for young men asking the questions:

Does God want me to become a priest? How can I be sure?

How do I know if I have the gifts and abilities to be a priest?

How do I know if I am holy enough?

How do I know that I will be happy and fulfilled?

Find a copy of this ultimate discernment guide here : To read it in Spanish, find it here:

Find a free copy of Saving Thousands of Souls: A Guide to Discerning the Vocation to the Diocesan Priesthood Here:



The Priest Is Not His Own book cover

The beloved Archbishop Sheen, whose cause for canonization is open in Rome, presents a profound and deeply spiritual look at the meaning of the priesthood and relationship of the priest with Christ as an "alter Christus".

Sheen delves deeply into what he considers the main character of the priesthood, and one not often discussed, that of being, like Christ, a "holy victim". To be like Christ, Sheen emphasizes that the priest must imitate Christ in His example of sacrifice, offering himself as a victim to make His Incarnation continually present in the world.

Buy online at

UK: Buy online at




Christ The Ideal of the Priest book cover

The great spiritual writer, Fr. Columba Marmion, wrote this classic work on the priesthood to show the holiness that priests are called to, and how that holiness can only be attained through close union with, and imitation of, Jesus Christ. While aimed at the clergy, this profound spiritual work will also be of immense inspiration for laity in coming to a deeper understanding of the true nature and calling of the priesthood.

Echoing the thought and writing of St. Paul, Marmion stresses that the priestly life must be dominated by Christ and in constant dependence on His merits, His grace and His activity in the soul of the priest. In all his actions, in the sacred acts of worship, the administration of the sacraments, private prayer and devotions, and serving the various needs of his flock, Marmion says the priest must always see himself as the minister of the Savior, as Alter Christus.

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UK: Buy online at




The Lord book cover

The only true and unedited telling of the life of Christ—his life and times, in historical context, but not lacking the psychology behind his physical being and spirit. Unlike other books seeking to strip Jesus' story to reveal only the human being, Romano Guardini's The Lord gives the complete story of Jesus Christ—as man, Holy Ghost, and Creator. Pope Benedict XVI lauds Guardini's work as providing a full understanding of the Son of God, away from the prejudice that rationality engenders. Put long-held myths aside and discover the entire truth about God's only begotten Son.

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UK: Buy online at





Check out resources online that are specifically geared to helping you to find your way. Your diocesan office of vocation may have excellent resources on their own website, too.

  • – Check out your Vocation Profile. Whether you are interested in becoming a sister, brother, priest from a religious order, diocesan priest, or secular institute/consecrated life this quick online survey will take into account where you are spiritually and your gifts and match you with a possible community or order with which you might have a match.
  • also has great resources, such as a free discernment magazine called VISION and many articles to guide you in this process.
  • – Website for women discerning a call to become a Sister. Take an online retreat that will help you discern more fully if you have a call to be a religious sister.
  • Take a Vocation Retreat:
    • - You might want to start with one of our Vocation Online Retreats. Each retreat consists of eight emailed meditations, one sent each day. The emails consist of meditations and reflections that help you find your vocation in life.
    • A discernment retreat is a prayerful visit with a religious community, perhaps for a weekend or even a week. Such a retreat is a good way to test your vocation. You can get to know the community, its charism, and find whether God may be calling you to its way of life. Many communities hold retreats for groups for just this purpose. Or you may be able to visit them as an individual. See Upcoming Women's Retreats
  • Quick and informative “quiz” to help you find out which vocation you should discern more fully! - What Vocation Are You Called To: Single, Married, or Religious Life?




adorationAfter praying, reading, and researching, if you still feel called to the priesthood or religious life, reach out to a trusted priest or religious sister to ask for their guidance through the process. Having a spiritual director can aid your process tremendously. If you both think that you are on the path to a vocation to the priesthood or religious life, contact your diocesan office of vocation to discuss your possible vocation further. They want to help you along this journey to being what God wants you to be.

Find your Diocesan Vocation Director here:


Buy the Book

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For a full overview and step-by-step instructions for 50+ vocation activities, buy Hundredfold: A Guide to Parish Vocation Ministry. Purchase from

Also available in Spanish.

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Priesthood Vocation Testimonies

Fr. Joshua Waltz Vocation Story

Fr. Joshua Waltz, vocation director and priest of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Bismarck, ND, shares the crazy story of his trip to Rome in high school and how his heart converted to Jesus Christ, who ultimately called him to be a Catholic priest.

From Pro Soccer to the Priesthood: The Witness of Fr. Chase Hilgenbrinck

Prior to discovering his vocation to the priesthood Father Chase Hilgenbrinck was a Division I Soccer star, and played professionally in Chile and with the New England Revolution of the MLS. He shares his powerful vocational story and how a higher calling eclipsed his love for soccer.

I Will Follow

I Will Follow, is a powerful 10-minute film by Ascension Press featuring the testimonies of Fr. Mike Schmitz and Fr. Josh Johnson and their journey to the priesthood.

Consecrated Sisters Testimony

Light of Love

Sisters are a powerful witness to the world, and a film must be made to showcase the lives and service of these amazing women. Following boldly in the footsteps of great vocations films like Fishers of Men, Light of Love will tell the beautiful story of four sisters from across the United States.

Sr. Miriam James Heidland, SOLT - Women's Session

Sr. Miriam James Heidland, S.O.L.T., was raised in Woodland, Washington, and is a graduate of the University of Nevada-Reno, where she played volleyball on a scholarship and majored in communications. Although originally hoping to work for ESPN or another news organization, Heidland’s life was transformed in a very slow but deep way during her college years. Spending most of her time living a typical college life of parties, sports, and freedom, Heidland seemed to have it all. In reality, her life was empty and broken. Through the friendship of a holy and caring priest, Heidland’s life began to transform as she realized Jesus was real and that he was the great love that her heart desired.

Contact Us

If you have questions or suggestions for vocation events that could be used to enhance this website for others, please email me at: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


I think this book will do so much good. I know you wrote it with much prayers and love, and it is a product of your dedicated works in the ministry of vocation. You have blessed our vocation office and the vocation ministry at St Cecilia and here in the Archdiocese abundantly! May the Lord bless you and He abundant fruit to your work!

Fr. Dat Hoang, Former Vocation Director for Archdiocese of Galveston Houston

Vocations to the Priesthood and religious life can only evolve in a culture which nurtures a positive response to God’s calling whether that be in the home, school or church. Without a doubt, a robust parish vocation mission is the perfect means of cultivating such an environment in all three places. Rhonda Gruenewald has developed a full proof method of creating and sustaining a bountiful vocation mission in every parish. Her work is truly the fruit of the Holy Spirit.

Margo P. Geddie, Vice President for Communications for Serra US 

This book will be a useful tool for parishes in our Archdiocese and beyond. We frequently have pastors and parishioners who ask for help to initiate or revitalize their parish vocation committees. Having a manual coming from a parish’s practical experiences and with electronic forms available on the website will enable us to respond to their needs. We look forward to having it as a resource as we continue to build a culture of vocations for the sake of our Church and society.

Sr. Anita Brenek, CDP, Associate Director, Office of Vocations Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston

To have all of these activities in one well thought out piece with such prayerful consideration and documented practice is a lovely example of Divine inspiration paired with the willingness of servant's hearts in answering His call. This is a beautiful example of what can be done with the collaboration of gifts bestowed to us while listening to the call of our Lord. It will become a gift to many in seeking a clear path to promoting vocations. "Well done, my good and faithful servant" Matthew 25:21. It is a masterpiece!

Anne Shepherd-Knapp, Chairman, Serra US Vocation Committee Deputy Governor, District 10 President, The Serra Club of Spring-1960 Area

The workshop provided practical steps to address a pressing need in our diocese. The wide gamut of possibilities allows large and small parishes to DO something. Rhonda is good at responding to questions and has lots of practical experience, both positive and negative.

Very Reverend Jay Peterson, Vicar General Diocese of Great Falls-Billings

The most beneficial aspects of the workshop are the book, the website and downloadable materials, and the practical nature of “how to”. You were also encouraging in the many ways pastors/priests are trying to encourage vocations.

Monsignor Mark Merdian, Diocese of Peoria, Illinois  

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