Educators as Guides in Discernment

Educators wear many hats. We function as advocate, listening ear, disciplinarian, advisor, learner and many other blessed roles. One role that we do not consider very often is our role as a guide in a person’s discernment. Upon some reflection, we recognize that our role as an educator can be understood as helping students discover their giftedness – their talents - their passions and also helping them ascertain how those gifts, talents and passions may be used to meet the needs of our world. In other words – we can help students discern their call or their vocation.

Sounds daunting, doesn’t it? I’m not sure why, but for many educators the thought of helping a student discern how God might be calling them to use their unique set of gifts is daunting. Perhaps we believe that our educational background has not prepared us for this endeavor. Perhaps we believe that teaching our subject matter does not lend itself to conversations about call and vocation. Maybe we see ourselves as ill-equipped.

We are blessed here at the University of Dayton to have many resources to help with this. One of those resources is a small, little known office in Alumni Hall – the Marianist Vocations Office (Alumni Hall 225). This is where I spend time when I am not at Chaminade Julienne, where I work part time.

My role in the Vocations Office has many facets. I meet with students who are discerning their path in life. Sometimes we talk about religious life or priesthood. Other times we talk about major and classes, prayer and faith. I also work with a team of other Marianist religious and committed lay staff to plan evenings of reflection and discernment and other programs on campus.

I also am here as a resource to help people discover how to walk with others in their discernment. In other words, I assist those who feel inadequate or ill-equipped to talk with students or others about where God might be calling them. Here in the office are many books on discernment, prayer, how to talk with young people about their vocation and other such resources.

If you’ve ever wondered how to chat with someone who’s discerning their path in life or if you are walking your own discernment journey, drop me an email and let’s chat!

In the meantime, please join me in praying this Marianist Prayer for Vocations:

God of all hope,

we rejoice with Mary

who was chosen to be the mother of your Son.

May we follow her example

and take her advice

to do whatever he tells us.

Bless those in our midst who are discerning your call.

Give them strength and perseverance.

We make this prayer through Jesus,

our brother.


Many blessings to you all!

Sr. Nicole Trahan, FMI
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