Discerning a vocation to religious life is always challenging — both in the positive sense of the word, and the not-so-positive sense. Men and women, young and old, who discern a religious calling often find themselves doing so in a vacuum of sorts, swimming against the cultural current in a world that prizes pleasure and material success above sacrifice and humility.

That makes discernment retreats — like the one being offered for young women in June in Waukesha — so important.

“Discernment can be so daunting for a young woman in today’s culture,” said Fr. John Burns, vocation promoter for the Archdiocese of Milwaukee. “Many young women say they have never even met a religious sister, and so discernment can feel like it doesn’t have a context or frame of reference when the Lord is drawing her to ponder vocational questions.”

Young women ages 18 to 35 who are interested in deepening their identity as women and receiving the tools and encouragement to respond to God’s will in their lives are invited to the Fiat Discernment Retreat, held from June 3 to 5 at the International Schoenstatt Retreat Center in Waukesha. Consecrated sisters from various religious communities will assist at the retreat by offering testimony, leading small groups and more.

Fr. Burns calls the retreat “a gentle starting point for discernment, a first glance at whether the Lord is inviting more of the young woman whose heart is open to sharing in Mary’s ‘yes’ in a particular, consecrated way.”

“It is beautiful to be in a room full of other women striving to respond to God’s Will, sharing experiences, and asking questions to sisters who are equipped with the helpful knowledge and personal experiences of discernment,” said Emily Savage, director of Fiat Ministries. “This retreat is an extremely unique experience to live life for a few days with many different religious sisters. By the end of the retreat, (women) have received the opportunity to be guided in the next best steps in discerning (God’s) Will and/or been given encouragement where needed.”

For more information and to register for the weekend, visit fiatministries.org/retreats.