A Vocation of Love

As Saint Augustine tells us, “You have made us for yourself, O Lord, and our hearts are restless until they rest in you.” All of us were called by God to know, love and serve him. Being called to union and friendship with God, we are called to share in His very life. Whether the calling is to married life, religious life or to be a consecrated lay person, we are called to a vocation of love.

What is the vocation of man? What and who are we called to be? (CCC 1691-1717)

We were created in the image and likeness of God, which gives us a special and unparalleled dignity among creatures. We are called to union and friendship with God, a sharing in His very life. We are drawn naturally toward the good and love. When we act in goodness and in love, we are fulfilling our natural vocation; we are being what we were created to be. Because we still bear the marks of original sin (concupiscence), our entire lives are a battle between doing the good we were made for and are called to and doing the evil with which we are constantly tempted. Since we were created for good and for love, we only find our fulfillment and happiness when we choose goodness and love in all things.

St John Paul II exhorts us, “Everybody, especially if he is young, must intelligently ask himself the fundamental question about Christian life: ‘What is it that God calls me to?'” How many, who are engaged or married, were interested in determining whether God favoured them with something “better” (in itself) namely, the consecrated vocation, instead of something merely “good”, namely, the vocation to marriage?

How do I know if God is calling me to religious life?

“To know whether God will have a person become a religious it is not to be expected that God Himself should speak, or send an angel from heaven to signify His will. It is not necessary that ten or twelve confessors should examine whether the vocation is to be followed. But it is necessary to correspond with the first movement of the inspiration, and to cultivate it, and then not to grow weary if disgust or coldness should come on. If a person acts thus, God will not fail to make all succeed to His glory. Nor ought we to care much from what quarter the first movement comes. The Lord has many ways of calling His servants.” – St. Francis De Sales

Is God is calling you? Do you.. ?

  • Have a desire to be close to God?
  • Have a sense of wanting something more in life?
  • Have thoughts of religious life surfacing occassionally?
  • Experience an increased love for the Eucharist?
  • Feel that God is calling you to something more?

Taking the time to discern and pray, and spend time in the various communities that are available to you.
An integral part of the discernment process is also learning more about religious communities with charisms (ways of life) that you feel attracted to. Spend time in the community that you are attracted to.

Other Practical Tips in Discernment

  • Spend time with Jesus in daily prayer to deepen your love for the Lord
  • Be open to Him
  • Adore Him in the Blessed Sacrament
  • Cultivate silence as a discipline, to grow in prayer
  • Pray the Rosary, ask our Blessed Mother to guide you
  • Learn to discern the various movements within you
  • Go for Daily Mass (as often as you can)
  • Talk to a priest, sister or brother about religious life
  • Share your aspirations with a Spiritual Director so he/she can discern alongside you in your journey
  • Explore the different communities available

Let everyone seriously consider the words of Jesus, “What does it profit a man to gain the whole world, and suffer the loss of his soul?” (Matt 16:26) Echoing the words of Jesus, St Paul exhorts us: “I beseech you, brethren, be not conformed to this world” – be not worldly minded; but be reformed in the newness of your mind that you may prove what is the good and the acceptable and the perfect will of God” (Romans 12: 1-2).

Often repeat these words of St Paul and St Francis of Assisi, “Lord, what will you have me to do?” – and listen to your heart –  a heart open unconditionally to fulfil His will.

Related Articles
Discernment 101
How do I know if God is calling me?
Practical Tips for Fostering Vocations in the Home

Prayer for Discerning God’s Will

My Lord God, I have no idea where I am going.
I do not see the road ahead of me
nor do I really know myself
and the fact that I think
that I am following Your Will
does not mean that I am actually doing so.

But I believe that the desire to please You
does in fact please You and I hope that
I will never do anything apart from that desire.
And I know that if I do this,
You will lead me by the right road
though I may know nothing about it.
There I will trust You always,
though I may seem to be lost and in the shadow of death.
I will not fear, for You are ever with me and
You will never leave me to face my struggles alone.

Prayer for Discerning One’s Vocation

O Lord, help me to know Your Will for me.
Let Your Light shine in the depths of my heart and
I may know what You want me to do in my life.
Help me to believe that You have a special plan for me.
Lord, I know I pass through this life only once;
help me decide how You want me to make a difference.

Like our Blessed Mother, give me the wisdom to hear Your Voice
and the courage to answer Your call.
Above all give me peace of mind and heart.
I offer this prayer in the Name of Jesus Christ, Our Lord.

– prayers by Thomas Merton, Trappist Monk

Getting Connected. What’s your next step?

Explore the various communities, religious orders, congregations and societies in Singapore.

Diocesan Priesthood
Men called by God to help shepherd the local flock in Singapore, caring for their spiritual and sacramental needs, with joy, passion, dedication and humility, after the heart of Jesus Christ, our Chief Shepherd.

For more details, please visit their website or contact
Fr Valerian Cheong
Diocesan Vocation Director
E: [email protected]

Download the 2016 edition of Journey Magazine,
an annual publication of the St. Francis Xavier Major Seminary.

Religious Communities

Carmelite Friars, Order of Carmelites Discalced, OCD
“If beginners with the assistance of God struggle to reach the summit of perfection, I believe they will never go to heaven alone; they will always lead many people along after them” (St. Teresa of Jesus, Life, ch. 11, n. 4). This is the Carmelite apostolate of prayer and service in the Church.

For more details, please contact
Fr. Ferdinand Purnomo, OCD
E: [email protected]

Franciscans Friars, Order of Friars Minor, OFM
We live passionately the gospel following the footsteps of St Francis to love and serve God’s creation and humanity.In Singapore and Malaysia we serve the local Church in various ministries and apostolate. Some of us are priests but all are brothers, we live, pray and serve as a community of Friars minor in the local context.

For more details, please visit their website or contact
Fr Justin Lim, OFM
E: [email protected]
Tel: 6567 3866

Jesuits, Society of Jesus, S.J.
The Jesuit community in Singapore takes its inspiration from the Formula of the Institute of the Society of Jesus – to strive especially for the defence and propagation of the faith and for the progress of souls in Christian life and doctrine.

For more details, please visit their website or contact
Fr Jerome Leon, SJ
E: [email protected]lic.org.sg

Redemptorists, Congregation of the Most Holy Redeemer, CSsR
Founded in 1732 by St Alphonsus Liguori, the Redemptorists mission is focused on preaching this Good News to the poor and abandoned.

For more details, please visit their website or contact
Fr Simon Pereira, CSsR
E: [email protected]


Brothers of Mercy (FMMA)

To have closer union with Jesus and increasing love for God, leading men to Christ and implanting the love of Mary in the hearts of men through caring for the sick and elderly out of Christian love.
For more details, please visit their website or contact
Bro Ambrose Heng
E: [email protected]
T: 6256 2532

Brothers of St. Gabriel (SG)
To live in God with our Brothers, and for all men/women to know Jesus Christ through Mary. The Brothers’ mission is the evangelization of the world chiefly in the field of education, and they seek to establish a special communion with the Church and her mystery.

For more details, please visit their website or contact
Bro Francis Chua Soo Ngee, SG
Provincial (S’pore/M’sia)
E: [email protected]
T: 6769 5711

Brothers of the Christian Schools (FSC) – De La Salle brothers
For more details, please visit their website or contact
Bro Paul Ho, FSC
Sector Leader
E: [email protected]
T: 9746 6776

Canossian Daughters of Charity (FDCC) – Province of St. Anthony
Life-giving women
Passionate for God and all
Walking the extra mile
With a big big heart

For more details, please contact
Sr Theresa Seow, FdCC
Provincial Leader
E: [email protected]
T: 6288 2709

Carmelite Fathers, Order of Carmelites Discalced, OCD
While providing a manifold service in the Church, the Carmelite Friars give priority to that special apostolate of the Order of Carmelites, Discalced which, as it were, grows out of the nature of its charism of fostering and promoting a life of prayer and contemplative spirit according to St Teresa of Avila, St John of the Cross, as well as the Little Way of Spiritual Childhood of St Therese of the Child Jesus. In this way, our service and apostolic works are an outward expression of our contemplative prayer life and community living.

For more details, please contact
Rev Fr Edward Lim, OCD
Vocation Director

Vocation Email: oc[email protected]

Carmelite Sisters, Order of Carmelites Discalced, OCD
In the heart of my Mother the Church, I shall be love. To be intimate friends of Christ, praying for all, especially the Leaders of The Church, those on the mission fields, the poor and suffering and interceding for them all.

For more details, please contact
Sr Mary Paula of Jesus Christ
Carmelite Monastery
98 Bukit Teresa Road,
Singapore 099750

Congregation of the Disciples of the Lord (CDD)
With fervent love for the Holy Eucharist and devoted loyalty to the Holy See, the Congregation of the Disciples of the Lord strives to evangelize to all people, especially to the Chinese, through inculturation of the faith.

For more details, please contact
Rev Fr Joseph Zhang Wei, CDD
E: [email protected]
T: 6610 7644

Daughters of St. Paul (FSP)
Called by the Divine Master in the Eucharist, the Daughters of St Paul proclaim the Good News through the media of communication and the witness of their lives. The vision of their founder, Fr James Alberione, is to live and give the whole Christ to persons in their totality.

For more details, please visit their website or contact
Sr Wendy Ooi, fsp
E: [email protected]
T: 6560 8003

Dominican Friars (OP)
We, the Dominican Friars, called to be faithful to our own charism of preaching the Gospel to all nations, try to embody the spirit of Saint Dominic in today’s world. We strive earnestly and constantly to seek the truth, through assiduous study and reflection, a life of prayer and liturgy, fulfilling thus our motto: “To contemplate and give to others the fruits of our contemplation”.

For more details, please visit their website or contact
Friar Antonio González, OP
E: [email protected]/[email protected]
T: 6282 8627

Fathers of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary SS.CC.
Our communities take their particular inspiration from the self-sacrificial love, living in the hearts of Jesus and Mary.
It is this love we want to contemplate and celebrate prayerfully (especially in the Eucharist), propagate to others and practise also in our own lives.
For more details, please contact

Rev Fr Anthony Hutjes, SS.CC
Parish Priest
E: [email protected]
T: 6474 0582

Franciscan Friars, Order of Friars Minor, OFM
We are a Catholic religious brotherhood, inspired by St Francis of Assisi, that is called to live the Gospel in obedience, without anything of our own, and in chastity.
To these ends, we are dedicated to Restoring God’s Church by:
1. Witnessing by living as lesser brothers
2. Boldly proclaiming the Gospel of Jesus Christ to the world
3. Showing the world that God can be encountered in every person and every created thing

For more details, please visit their website or contact
Friar Joe Nathan, OFM
Vocation Director
E: [email protected]
T: 9298 0801

Franciscan Missionaries of Mary (FMM)
The Franciscan Missionaries of Mary is an international women religious institute of ​pontifical right. Dedicated to universal mission through contemplation and the apostolate. We have more than 6800 sisters of 80 nationalities in 800 mission houses in the five continents. We are called to live the Gospel in minority and solidarity with the suffering world. We live in intercultural / international communities among the people of different faiths. We are ready to go anywhere to spread God’s love to all people. Our inspiration for mission comes from Mary’s “YES” and our contemplation of the Eucharist.

For more details, please contact
Sr Mary Soh, FMM
Provincial (Singapore/Malaysia)
E: [email protected]
T: 6474 2422

Franciscan Missionaries of the Divine Motherhood (FMDM)
As Franciscan Missionaries of the Divine Motherhood we are called to proclaim with our lives the joy and freedom of the Gospel. Our Charism encourages us to conceive ,birth and nurture the life of Christ – which is a life of love – in our hearts, in our communities and in our society. We are one in mission although our ministries are diverse.

For more details, please visit their website or contact
Sr Eucharia Tan FMDM
Regional Councillor
T: +65 9359 5239 (HP)

Sr Isobel Loong FMDM
Regional Leader
E: [email protected]

Good Shepherd Sisters Communities (RGS)
Our Corporate Mission as Good Shepherd Sisters in the Province of Singapore-Malaysia is to participate with our lay partners in the mission of Jesus the Good Shepherd. We seek to be living witnesses of God’s merciful love in our communities, and in our ministries directed specifically to those who are marginalized and broken, especially women, girls and their families, restoring in them their worth and dignity.

For more details, please contact
Sr Joan Lopez, RGS
T: 6242 1324

Jesuits (Society of Jesus)
The Jesuit community in Singapore takes its inspiration from the Formula of the Institute of the Society of Jesus – to strive especially for the defence and propagation of the faith and for the progress of souls in Christian life and doctrine.
Being servants on Christ’s mission, we involve ourselves corporately as ‘friends in the Lord’ in ministries of the Word, of interiority and of sacramental service; teaching catechism, doctrine and morals; giving the Spiritual Exercises to lay and religious alike; reconciling the estranged and facilitating works of mercy; and formation of our younger men.

For more details, please visit their website or contact
Rev Fr Christopher Soh, SJ
Local Superior
E: [email protected]
T: 6466 3225

Rev. Fr. Ravi Michael Louis, SJ
Master of Novices
E: [email protected]
T: 6466 3225

Marist Brothers
The Marist Brothers is a lay-religious (Brothers) Congregation founded in 1817, near Lyons, France, by Saint Marcellin Champagnat. Following Champagnat’s example, the Brothers strive to “follow Christ as Mary did”, living out this ideal in community. The Brothers are called to live the brotherhood of Christ with everyone, especially with young people, loving them with a selfless love. The main apostolic thrust is the Christian Education of young, particularly the most neglected.

For more details, please contact
Bro John Lek, FMS
Local Superior
E: [email protected]
T: 6382 3448

Missionaries of Charity (MC)
To quench the infinite thirst of Jesus by labouring at the salvation and sanctification of the poorest of the poor, the unwanted, unloved, lonely, abandoned and homeless.
To proclaim the Word of God by our prayers and spiritual works of mercy.

For more details, please contact
Sr Madona, MC
T: 6898 1090

Paris Foreign Missions Society (MEP)
For more details, please contact
Fr Bruno Saint Girons, MEP
Regional Superior
E: [email protected]
T: 6444 3242

Redemptorist, Congregation of the Most Holy Redeemer (CSSR)
To preach the Good News to the most abandoned.

For more details, please contact
Rev Fr Simon Pereira, CSsR
Vocation Director
E: [email protected]
T: 6445 4009

Religious of the Cenacle (RC)
The Religious of the Cenacle is an international religious congregation called to participate in the transformation of the world by awakening and deepening faith with and for the people of our times. We work to enable people to discover God in the world and in their lives. We accompany and support others in their search for meaning and direction in life, through retreats and spiritual direction, biblical apostolate, psycho-spiritual formation, parish animation, religious education and pastoral counselling.

For more details, please visit their website or contact
Sr Francisca Tan, RC
E: [email protected]
T: 6565 2895

Scheut Missions (CICM)
CICM is an international religious Missionary Institute. All members are sent to a nation and culture different from their own in order to:
– Announce the Good News of Christ among the peoples who have not heard or discovered it.
– Promote a missionary awareness among the Christian communities everywhere so that they take up their missionary responsibility as a sign of the universality of God’s Kingdom.
– Foster missionary vocations

For more details, please visit their website or contact
Rev Fr Robertus Sarwiseso, CICM
District Councillor
E: [email protected] / [email protected]
T: 6489 5752

Sisters of the Infant Jesus – Society of Saint Maur (IJ)
Our IJ charism calls us to take on the disposition and mission of Christ, to proclaim the Good News and foster growth in the image of God, especially among the materially poor and disadvantaged with particular attention to children and youth at risk. We do this in partnership with the laity.
For more details, please visit their website (http://www.chij-sisters.org/) or contact
Sr Agnes Lee
E: [email protected]
T: 9230 2515

Verbum Dei Missionaries (MVD)
We consecrate our lives to the work of Evangelisation through a life of prolonged and intense prayer, a testimony of simple life-style and preaching the Word of God by giving Retreats, Christian Formation and Spiritual direction.

For more details, please visit their website or contact
Sr Sandra Seow, MVD
E: [email protected]
T: 6274 0251

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