Upcoming discernment events aim to help men, women find their call
By Nissa LaPoint
Photo by James Baca/DCR
An interior prompting to follow Christ became concrete when seminarian Dakota Lane attended a discernment retreat.
“The first time I went, I really had no idea what the seminary was or what seminarians are about,” said Lane, a second-year seminarian at St. John Vianney Theological Seminary in Denver. “It was the first time I realized they were normal guys trying to live out holiness.”
Lane and other men open to the priesthood received a taste of seminarian life and an encounter with Christ through retreats hosted by the Denver Archdiocese. This year, more retreats are scheduled for high school youths and men ages 18 to 50 to see a seminarian’s life, ask questions, attend Mass and share fellowship.
“They can expect to meet guys who are in a similar situation as they are, open to discerning a vocation to the priesthood,” said Father Jim Crisman, director of the Office of Priestly Vocations. “They can expect to encounter Jesus in prayer.”
Men in high school are invited to retreats Oct. 14 and Nov. 11. Lunch is provided and there is no cost. Separate retreats are scheduled for men out of high school Oct. 28 and Dec. 16. All the retreats are held at the seminary at 1300 S. Steele St. in Denver.
Daniel Ciucci, a third-year seminarian, attended the retreats before entering the seminary and now helps lead them.
“We’re trying to invite (men) to live the life of a seminarian, even if for a day,” Ciucci said.
Retreats for men
The free retreats below will be held at St. John Vianney Theological Seminary, 1300 S. Steele St. in Denver. For more information and to register, visit www.priest4christ.com.
RAD Discernment Retreats
Men’s Discernment Retreats
Retreats for Women
Below are retreats sponsored by two religious orders for women.
‘Journey in the Footsteps of St. Jeanne Jugan’
‘Year of Faith Women’s Discernment Retreat’
The retreats were helpful for him and others in discerning a vocation. He encourages others take the initial step to explore a vocation and get to know the men behind the collar, he said.
Each retreat is unique and men are invited to attend more than one.
“They’re designed for guys to go a number of times,” Father Crisman said.
Women are invited to attend retreats hosted by the many religious orders in the Denver Archdiocese.
The Little Sisters of the Poor are offering a weekend retreat for woman ages 18 to 30 to discover how to become women of faith and learn from the journey of St. Jeanne Jugan, the French foundress of the order who gave her life to the elderly poor.
During the retreat, women will learn how to discern God’s will and how to find Christ as discussed in a conference with Father Michael O’Loughlin, pastor of Holy Protection of the Mother of God Byzantine Church.
There is no cost for the retreat at the Mullen Home for the Aged, located at 3629 W. 29th Ave. in Denver. Women may choose to stay the night.
Sister Joseph Maureen, l.s.p., said women will experience the life of a sister while working with the residents, praying, going to confession and listening to the spiritual conference.
During another retreat, women will have an opportunity to learn about the Religious Sisters of Mercy of Alma, Mich., some of whom teach at St. John Vianney Theological Seminary. Retreatants will stay in the stone house at Mother Cabrini Shrine and meals will be provided.
A series of conferences focused on the Year of Faith will discuss discernment to the consecrated life and the sacrament of marriage. The retreat will also include daily celebrations of Mass, the Divine Office, confession and eucharistic adoration.
For more information, see the accompanying boxes.