Our Lady of the Angels Online Discernment Retreat

Virtual Discernment Retreat at Our Lady of the Angels Monastery
September 25 & 26, 2021
Learn to recognize God’s voice in your life

We are planning to offer on a discernment retreat on September 25 & 26, 2021.  It will be held virtually. It will consist of three talks followed by Q&A.  We will also provide some materials for prayer and reflection after each presentation, and we count on the participants to devote some special time to prayer during these days, according to their possibilities.  We are open to the possibility of the participants not being able to attend all the talks.  We basically want to provide as much help as we can to young Catholic women trying to discern God’s will for their lives.

The goal of the retreat is to give the participants tools to discern their own vocation, particularly to learn to listen and follow the Lord’s voice in their lives.  Even though we will speak from the perspective and the richness of the Cistercian tradition, the talks are not intended to focus mainly on the monastic vocation, but to reinforce our relationship with Christ and our trust in him.  Only within this context of strong trust and Christian discipleship can we discern with joyful and free hearts, and find light and strength to follow the Lord wherever He leads us. The Church and the world are in great need of generous souls eager to bring the healing love of Christ through prayer and service in any of the vocations through which we can learn to love God and one another as He has loved us.

The schedule and the content of the retreat will be as follows:

Saturday 9:30 am             Who am I? Whose am I?  Growing in self-knowledge.

Saturday 2:30 pm             Whom are you looking for? (Jn 20:15) Listening to the Lord’s voice in your heart.

Sunday 9:30 am                Discernment: The Way of Discipleship

The approximate length of the talks will be and hour and fifteen minutes, including the Q&A.

We welcome to participate any Catholic single women between the ages of 18 and 40.

Anyone interested can email me at sr.maria@olamonastery.org.  I will email them a link (we will use Skype, but you don’t even need the program if you don’t have it).  Please feel free to send me any questions and comments.

After the retreat, there will be ample possibilities to come to visit our community for those specifically interested in the monastic vocation.  We can adjust the dates according to the needs of those interested.  During the actual visit to our monastery there will be a fuller presentation of our charism and monastic way of life, plus the possibility to pray, work, and interact with the sisters, and receive vocational orientation from Sr. Maria, the Vocations Director of our community.


Our Lady of the Angels monastey. Large brick building in green field and hills under blue cloud filled sky


“Listen”, the first word of the Prologue of the Rule of Saint Benedict, opens the spiritual path of the Benedictine-Cistercian tradition. This way is embedded in the Word of God: “This is my Son, the Beloved; with him I am well pleased; listen to him” (Mt 17:5). Listening to the master who wrote the Rule teaches us how to listen to Jesus, our true Master. St. Benedict teaches us about community—the place where we learn to listen. He encourages us to foster silence, the necessary interior space where we can welcome God’s word in the liturgy and fraternal life. And he presents to us humility and obedience as the essential lessons of his school of divine service. These are among his greatest tools for returning to God because they are basic attitudes which make listening possible, freeing us from self-centeredness.
Jesus needs souls who listen to him in silence. As noise and chaos seem to get louder in the world, these words of our dear Rafael, the latest canonized saint of our Order, resonate today with even greater urgency. Would you respond? Our spiritual tradition has led thousands of men and women through the centuries in the search for God; thousands who realized that there is nothing sweeter than this voice of the Lord calling to us. See how the Lord in his love shows us the way of life (Rule of Saint Benedict Prologue 19-20). Don’t be afraid, the first lesson of our school of love and divine service is very simple: incline the ear of your heart and say “Speak, Lord, your servant is listening” (1 Sam 3:9).