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Screening and Discernment Instrument for Religious Life

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About the author:
Amy Hereford is a Sister of St. Joseph. She has been in religious life for over 30 years and has served in a variety of ministries, in education, in administration and in communication.

She has degrees in science, communication and theology, as well as doctorates in civil and canon law. This background helps her assist religious institutes with their legal needs, and help those who are making important choices about the future of their institutes.

Beginning in teaching and communication, Amy then moved into management and administration and then into consulting. As a consultant, she has worked mainly with small to mid-sized religious communities and non-profits across the US and beyond, especially in assisting organizations in moving to the next level of strategic development. She helps clients maximize their resources for the sake of their mission and uses computers and information technology effectively to enhance communication and further organizational goals.

Her recent book Religious LIfe at the Crossroads (Orbis 2013) has been hailed as a "...thoughtful exploration of religious life unfolding today."

Screening and Discernment Instrument for Religious Life

A Workbook

Authored by Sr Amy Hereford csj
Edition: 2015

This workbook is intended as a survey of a wide range of issues that arise in the screening and admission of candidates into a Religious Life. It covers areas that may arise with candidates who significant life experience. It is a screening instrument, intended to identify those areas of a candidate's background that will need more attention and discussion. It is not a substitute for good discernment, but an aid to it.

Each institute will supplement it with questions and conversations that are particular to its particular life, spirituality and mission, expanding the initial inquiry.

This is a workbook - it is not intended to be completed in one sitting. It can be used in a variety of ways.
Give one or a few sections at a time to the applicant. When meeting with the applicant, take some time to go over those sections he/she has completed. Discuss any questions, comments, etc.
Give the applicant the whole workbook - explaining that it is an instrument to guide discernment and explore issues that may arise as the process unfolds. Again, when meeting with the applicant, take some time to go over those sections that have been completed and discuss any questions, comments, etc.
The Inventory of Legal and Financial Matters can be given to the candidate to fill in preliminary answers. This will identify any areas that may need further discussion. Preliminary answers can be discussed with the vocation director after which more documentation may be obtained if needed.

This workbook is help for those discerning a call to religious life with applicants. It does not replace the discernment process. Instead it is intended to help communities and inquirers to explore important areas that may need attention in the discernment process. The workbook is most valuable when it stimulates reflection by the candidate and subsequent discussion with the vocation director. The workbook may raise civil and canonical issues that may need further discussion in the vocation discernment process. Advice of an attorney and/or canonist familiar with vocation discernment may be helpful.

The brief introduction for Applicants may be given to them when you give or send parts of this workbook to them. The checklist is intended to help you keep track of which sections have been given to the applicant, completed and reviewed within the community.

Blessings on your ministry,
Sr. Amy Hereford, CSJ, JD, JCD

Publication Date:
1517015006 / 9781517015008
Page Count:
Binding Type:
US Trade Paper
Trim Size:
8.5" x 11"
Black and White
Related Categories:
Religion / Monasticism

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