Discerning Your Vocation - Path to Maryknoll Overseas Missioner

The mission of the Maryknoll Vocations Ministry team is to facilitate and accompany Maryknoll prospects interested in a lifetime commitment to priesthood or brotherhood during their process of discernment for mission.

During this Discernment Phase of mission -- which typically lasts about 6 to 8 months -- you will meet regularly with members of our Maryknoll Vocations Ministry team in a prayerful spirit of dialogue, discovery and, ultimately, decision. We are here to help you determine, with peace of heart and enthusiasm of purpose, if a lifetime of missionary priesthood or brotherhood is "right" for you.

To do this, we will arrange regular opportunities to meet and correspond with you at least once every 4-6 weeks. You will be invited to attend special retreat opportunities, community encounters, and overseas immersion experiences. You will also be encouraged to participate in regular spiritual direction with a trained director. Together, we will journey with you through four steps of vocational awareness:
   •  Deepening understanding of yourself and your call to mission
   •  Gathering information and exploring options
   •  Arriving prayerfully and mutually at a decision that feels "right" for you
   •  Allowing opportunity for confirmation that your decision is sound

As you advance in vocational awareness, we'll conduct a set of formal interviews designed to help you and Maryknoll arrive at a point of understanding and clarity about your readiness for overseas mission. In true, prayerful, honest and successful discernment, there are no "bad outcomes". Rather, there's a sense of peace in deciding that the next steps in your life will or will not lead you into initial formation with Maryknoll. The ministry of our Vocation Ministries Team is ultimately directed toward helping you experience the kind of joy and purpose in life to which God calls you as a Maryknoller or through another way of life.

Ideally, our Discernment process with you should begin on a regular basis no later than August of the year before you intend to enter our Initial Formation program.


Pray every day, at the very least, in the morning and at night.

Go to Mass (if possible, every day) and be sure to receive the Eucharist at Mass.

Participate at least monthly in the sacrament of reconciliation (confession).

Talk regularly (via telephone, email or in person) to a member of the Maryknoll Vocation Ministry team.

Enter Spiritual Direction with an experienced Director who has served in mission.

Make a formal commitment to service, by volunteering in some type of social ministry sponsored by your Parish community or Diocese/Archdiocese.

Read and pray with the Gospels.

Practice devotions to the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Mother of God, and in particular pray the Mission Rosary and ask for the intercession of Our Lady of Maryknoll.

Participate in Eucharistic adoration and Holy Hours, opening your heart before the Blessed Sacrament.

Live a life of virtue by practicing imitating Christ in both attitude and behavior.

Engage in regular spiritual reading focused upon understanding Mission Spirituality and the theology of mission: find Catholic books on discernment and/or spiritual traditions and carefully read them.

Socialize with good people, and allow this positive energy to inspire your discernment.