Handing on Our Spirit: Discerning Life Choices

July 12, 2017

Handing on The Spirit: Sisters in Ministry is a series of writings that feature our Sisters in action! The Sisters share how their ministries advance the Society’s mission and hand on our Holy Child values — compassion, confidence, creativity, respect, and joy — to others.

By Elizabeth Loomis, SHCJ

I have lived for 17 years in beautiful San Diego. For a number of these years, I was a member of the team at the Spiritual Ministry Center where we offered spiritual direction and directed retreats. Currently, I see people for direction at home. I meet with retreatants at the Spiritual Ministry Center. I am also involved with the Ignatian Volunteer Corps (IVC) and help in the direction of the University of San Diego’s six-week Lenten Retreat for faculty, staff, and students.

Several years ago a few sisters from different religious orders were approached by young adults asking for help in making life decisions. Four of us met and agreed to offer a program for young adults for five months (January – May). We called it Discerning Life Choices. The program included a three-hour evening meeting once a month, and each participant met with one of the directors once in that month.

Individuals applying to the program were seeking clarity on life decisions. They were discerning decisions about marriage or professional direction, or they wanted to learn about religious life. They sought a deeper understanding of God’s action in their lives. Their backgrounds varied — teachers at all levels, law, barista, research physicist, parish secretary, and a physician assistant in the Navy. Ages of the applicants ranged from 21-35. We decided on 12 participants as a good number.

The program for the monthly gathering always included Lectio Divina and sharing, input on discernment and discussion. We were not able to offer the program this year but are planning to do so for the following year. It was a wonderful experience for us all.

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