Any new initiative (especially in Ireland) that sets out to help people discern their call towards a religious vocation is to be heartily welcomed. So I am delighted to hear of the new project of Vocations Ireland who have launched a new programme which offers an opportunity to men and women aged between 21 and 40 years to explore religious life in a prayerful and reflective environment over a number of residential weekends throughout the year. Entitled 'exploreAway' the programme envisages that those considering the vocation of a sister, brother, priest, nun or monk would spend some time in quality discernment with the assistance of trained professionals in the field. The project has a website that is simple, helpful and clear and can be accessed here.
This new initiative is based loosely on the 'Compass' programme, based in the UK and which has been quite successful in attracting candidates to various forms of priesthood and religious life over the past number of years.
This new project deserves our prayerful support, and hopefully this venture will enourage all the various religious orders in Ireland to redouble their efforts at vocation promotion and discernment.