New Vocation Survey Probes the Heart

A new survey aims to help single Catholic women sort out what is one of the most common questions about religious life: How do I know if I’m called?

The seven-question survey, developed by Kevin Banet in cooperation with the Dominican Sisters of the Immaculate Conception in Justice, IL, plumbs one’s desires and interests to help a young woman discern whether she is called to become a sister.

“The survey offers probing, thought-provoking questions about the interests and desires of the heart,” notes Kevin Banet, a vocation promotion expert who serves religious communities. “It asks questions and then has answers, or affirmations as, ‘The zeal to live and share God’s love is something that won’t lie dormant within me,’ and ‘When I see a religious sister, I think about what it would be like for me to become a sister.’”

There are three such affirmations after each question, and the survey suggests that if a person checks off eleven of them, which is just over half of the 21 affirmations, they may have a calling to religious life.

“It’s not supposed to be a scientific way to determine a calling from the Holy Spirit,” Banet said. “It’s just a way to prompt one’s thoughts and heart.” Banet said he got the idea after noting an unusually large number of questions by Catholics on a popular blog site, wondering how they were to tell if they had a religious vocation.

“The survey has attracted a fair number of respondents already, even though no publicity has yet been done,” Banet said, noting that the Dominican sisters have an opportunity to follow up with respondents through their email address.

Many of the survey questions were adapted from the website of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Concordia, KS.

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