Fiat: Let it be done to me as you have said! (Luke 1:38).
Mary’s “yes” and her willingness to open herself to God’s invitation is a reminder that God has a special plan for each person’s life. In the Magnificat, Mary sings of the greatness of the Lord. “The almighty has done great things for me.” God indeed does great things for each one of us.
Fiat is a discernment group for single women who wish to learn more about religious life and the vocation of Sister. Many women tell me that they have thought about becoming a Sister but are not quite sure what to do next. How can I meet Sisters? How can I learn more about who they are and what they do? Our meetings attempt to answer these questions.
Each month we focus on a topic related to religious life. Recent topics have included: discernment, Ignatian Spirituality, spiritual direction, signs of a vocation and community life.
Begun in 2013, Fiat just celebrated its 6th anniversary. Twenty five women have attended at least once. Eighteen have attended more than one session. The usual attendance for each meeting is five discerners and six or seven sisters. Sometimes the attendance is larger. Sometimes it is fewer. Four members have recently entered religious life.
The curriculum created by the National Catholic Sisters Project has been very helpful in developing the content for each Fiat meeting. The "Called & Consecrated" curriculum is an excellent reference for participants who want to take the next step in their vocational discernment. Every aspect of religious life for women is covered in an inspiring and user-friendly way. Grants received from the project over the past two years have enabled those involved in planning Fiat to attract dynamic speakers and cover the expenses related to their particular session.
Sister Ann Oestreich and the staff of the National Catholic Sisters Project have been very helpful with suggestions for additional ways to tell the amazing stories of sisters, their dedication and their service. We are grateful to be a partner diocese with her talented team.
All of the women who attend appreciate the opportunity to be together for prayer and conversation. Experiencing the call to religious life can be confusing.
“The Fiat group is great because it gives this friendly, low-key, safe environment for women to come and interact with many religious communities,” one member said. “There is no pressure to follow up with them. You are just getting to know them and their charisms, their personalities, why they went into it.”
She said the sense of community and the support of like-minded women and women religious provided through Fiat became a valuable asset in her journey toward a life devoted to God.
For the Sisters who participate each month, Fiat is a moment of blessing and recommitment. At the end of each meeting, we pray that God will give each participant the grace to respond generously to God’s plan for her.