What is this “discernment” all about and why do people keep mentioning “mutual discernment”?

This is a question we often hear and to put it simply, “discernment” is the process of figuring out where God is calling you to be.  Furthermore, the process of “mutual discernment” is not only seeing if you are called to a particular place (in this case the Salesian Lay Missioner program) but also if the place is a good fit for you as well.  We want you to feel comfortable with the program that will be representing overseas.  There can be a lot of excess stress put on you while serving outside your comfort zone – it’s important that you are with a program that you are comfortable with during those times.

Unfortunately, the discernment process can be filled with “maybe’s” or “I’m not sure’s” and other forms of indefinite responses.  If we could only receive a text message from God saying what it is we are suppose to do!  At some point along the path there is a necessary leap of faith that must take place.

With the Salesian Lay Missioner program you won’t receive an “acceptance” letter.  Rather, if we feel that you are a good fit with our program we will send you an “invitation” to the formation/orientation program.  This simply means that based on the application, references, phone interview, discernment weekend, and all the forms associated with the application process, we feel that you would make a good SLM.

We feel strongly that the discernment process should be taken seriously, and because of that we have incorporated Discernment Weekends into our Application Process.  These weekends give you a great insight as to how the Salesians operate and what it means to be a Salesian Lay Missioner.  More importantly, you can be with others who are going through those same struggles you’re going through and have the same questions.

Here are some initial questions* that can help at the start of the process:

  • Do I find myself wondering if there is more to life?
  • Do I have a desire to know God more deeply and give my whole self to God?
  • Do I have a sense of adventure?
  • Do I want to experience a new culture?
  • Do I enjoy living a simple lifestyle?
  • Am I drawn to pray and participate in the liturgy?
  • Do I take an active role in the life of the church?
  • Do I feel called to live out the Gospel?
  • Do I feel called to share life, ministry and faith with others?
  • Am I concerned with the unmet needs of others, especially the impoverished and those treated unjustly?
  • Do I believe we can do more together than alone?

Discernment Resources

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