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About Discerning Religious Life

A Solid Guide for Discernment

Avow is based on Discerning Religious Life by Mother Clare Matthiass, CFR, a comprehensive guide to help women discern their vocations with clarity, confidence, and joy. Thousands of women have found it to be a trusted source as they seek God’s will for their lives.

A Sister’s Perspective

When she was Vocation Director for the Franciscan Sisters of the Renewal, Mother Clare Matthiass has worked with hundreds of young women who felt called to religious life. Discerning Religious Life distills her wisdom into clear advice, especially for women who are struggling to discover their vocations. Mother Clare was instrumental in creating the film For Love Alone and coordinates the Samuel Group for young adults in New York City.

“I absolutely loved this book! Sister Clare captures so much of what young women should know when discerning a religious vocation. Truly a work inspired by the Holy Spirit.”

– Sr. Peter Marie, Nashville Dominicans

"I wish I had read this when I was discerning my vocation! Countless women will benefit from reading this book.”

– Sr. Megan Mary Thibodeau, SOLT

“The tools offered in Discerning Religious Life will help you not only discover the will of God, but also give you the courage to respond with joy.”

– Bishop Andrew Cozzens

Book Review from Imagine Sisters

From Imagine Sisters website

Feeling called, but not sure what to do? Sorta wishing you were called to marriage instead? Worried you couldn’t be truly happy as a religious sister?

Sr. Clare Matthiass, CFR, has been there. And she wrote a book about it! She even left in the parts about sitting next to a cute guy at Mass right before she felt “The Call,” and bringing four pairs of shoes to visit the convent. The book is packed with poignant stories and funny anecdotes from her 20 years as a sister.

More importantly, though, Sr. Clare walks readers step-by-step through the entire discernment process. She answers the big questions about how to find the right community, talk to your parents, pay off student loans, and much more. If you’ve wondered about it, chances are, Discerning Religious Life addresses it.

What people are saying about the book: “Readable,” “Poignant,” “Down-to-earth,” “Wise”

“Whether you are just beginning to think about a vocation to religious life or have been wrestling with it for years, you will find great wisdom in this book.”
From the foreword by Cardinal Timothy Dolan, Archbishop of New York

“I am so excited about this book! It’s a wonderful resource that will inspire and empower women to listen attentively to God’s will. We’ll definitely be using it in our ministry.”
Emily Savage, Founder of Fiat Ministries

“A real compass to guide women… I highly recommend the practical steps in chapter seven, and how to deal with fears in chapter six. Entrust your vocation to Our Lady, and the rest will fall into place.
Fr. Andrew Apostoli, CFR

“I cannot recommend this book highly enough! If you are a woman in the throes of discernment, let Sister Clare put your fears to rest. These anointed words will gently point you toward the Father’s will.”
Fr. Brett Brannen, Author of To Save a Thousand Souls

“What a gift! This book is packed with practical and sound advice to take you step-by-step from the first stirring of a call to crossing the threshold of the convent, should that be your vocation. ”
Anne Brawley, Founder of Youth 2000

“Sister Clare has blessed the Church with an insightful work filled with clear pastoral guidance. I’ll be giving this book to many young women!”
John Beaulieu, Steubenville Conferences

“A great resource not only for discerning young women, but also for bishops, priests, teachers, and lay faithful who seek to understand more deeply the gift of religious life and to accompany others as they embrace this call.”
Mother Mary Clare, ACJ, Founder of the Handmaids of the Heart of Jesus