How to Discern One’s Vocation

Become A Dominican

How to Discern One’s Vocation

A Heart and Mind Open to Doing God's Will

God has given us some means to know His will, which is first and foremost for us to know and love Him. From there, we can embark on discerning our particular vocation with an honest self-examination. There is no need to wait for a mystical vision of Jesus or Mary in order to possess certainty about a religious vocation.

"Come and See" Vocation Weekends

A chance to see Dominican life first-hand

Often the best way to begin discerning whether you are called to our way of life is to attend a “Come and See” Weekend.

The weekend takes place in a “no-pressure” group setting with many other young men who are also considering the possibility of a Dominican vocation, perhaps for the first time. You will have a chance to see Dominican life first-hand, and to learn more about the Order through brief informational presentations by a number of priests and brothers.

Along with the opportunity to meet, socialize, and ask questions of the student and novice brothers in formation, guests also join the friars for the chanted Liturgy of the Hours, celebration of the Eucharist, and Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament.

Learn more about upcoming "Come & See" Weekends

Application Process

The ministry of the Dominicans has had a profound impact on my life, and we need more of them! That’s why I pray for more vocations to the Dominican Order in the Western Province! “The harvest indeed is great, but the laborers are few!”
- Dayn - Seattle, WA
I look forward to giving hope to the people of God. Despite the challenges that life brings, I want to assure everyone that Christ, in His divine mercy, loves them.
- Fr. Pius
In a new way, I can say that I belong to God. With the utterance of a few words, I became a son of St. Dominic, a brother to a family of preachers, and a joyful slave to our merciful King and His blessed mother.
- Br. Andrew Thomas
When I returned to my seat among friends and family I felt different: I now belonged totally and completely to God. No longer could I say that there was any part of my life that is not His. (On the day of his First Vows)
- Br. Nathaniel Maria
I'm delighted that vocations are up and the quality of the candidates are so good!
- Anne - Rio Vista, CA

Questions You Should Ask

As you begin, or continue your discernment, consider asking yourself:

  • What gifts has God given to me?
  • Which religious order's charism best complements these gifts?

When you humbly consider these questions, you can discover how best to offer yourself as a gift to the Lord and His Church. It is recommended for anyone discerning to frequent the Sacraments (especially the Eucharist and Confession), while deepening one’s own personal prayer life through spiritual reading and meditations on the mysteries of the Rosary. You may also find it helpful to confide in a spiritual director, and to contribute to the apostolic needs of your local parish or community.

Have I Rightly Discerned?

If you find yourself thinking about religious life, rejoice! It is quite possible that the Lord desires you to follow in the footsteps of Saint Dominic and all the other canonized saints and blesseds of the Order of Preachers. The Dominican vocation bears great responsibility, for our religious life is ordered not only to our own personal salvation, but to preach the joy of the Gospel to all those in need of Christ. Our brothers have found that the process of discernment is especially fruitful after entering the Novitiate. The Lord will help you discover, even through the novice year, whether you have rightly discerned. God will generously respond to your faithful answer to His call.

Suggested Reading

  • Vita Consecrata by Saint Pope John Paul II
  • Religious Life by Fr. Brian Mullady, O.P.
  • The Theology of Religious Vocation by Fr. Edward Farrell, O.P.
  • Thomas Aquinas and Vocational Discernment by Fr. Romanus Cessario, O.P.
  • A Living Sacrifice: Guidance for Men Discerning Religious Life by Fr. Benedict Croell, O.P. and Fr. Andrew Hofer, O.P.

Is God Calling You?

Contact Vocation Office:

Fr. John Winkowitsch, O.P.
Director of Vocations
Phone: 510-596-1806

Get Started:


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