What do I do if I feel I want to explore my vocation?
Pray about it, asking God for the guidance of his Holy Spirit, for the grace to be open to what God asks of you, and the courage to say “Yes” to his call. You may feel that what God is asking is beyond you, but he often calls those who think they are not up to it, or who are surprised by the call. When he calls us to do something, he equips us to do it.
You will need to talk to people who will help you discern your calling. Your first stop is usually to talk to your local priest or chaplain. They may put you in contact with a diocesan Vocations Adviser. Try to find out about and contact your nearest convent or monastery and ask for some information, a chat or a visit. Think about what you might look for in a community e.g. type of work, number of Offices, a habit and veil (either or both or none), number and ages of Sisters, geographical position etc. Religious Communities are very different from each other in the way that they live the Religious Life, so you may wish to contact a few to get some idea of the variety that there is. Anglican Religious Communities tend to have a good level of contact with each other, so any community should be able to point you in the right direction if you’re looking for a community with a particular ethos or style. Sometimes it’s a case of searching and visiting until you find the one for you. However, no community is perfect! Until you are sure that you are going to test your vocation at a convent, it may be best not to discuss it too readily with family and friends. Encouragement may not be forthcoming, even from clergy. Instead, share your thoughts with someone you trust, perhaps someone who has personal experience of the Religious Life.
Read as much as you can! There is a suggested reading list at the bottom of this page. One of the signs of a calling is that it is well-informed, so you need to develop your understanding of what you feel called to do. Try to read up on what is involved in the Religious Life as well as other different types of community within the Church of England.
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