Discernment group for young adults to begin

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Calling all young adults, men and women, ages 18-39 years old: are you seeking to know yourself, to know Jesus, and to find your place in the world and in the church? Then the Samuel Group just might be what you are looking for.

Sponsored by the Franciscan Sisters of the Renewal in Atlantic City, the Samuel Group, so-called because of the Prophet Samuel’s cry to God (“Speak, Lord, your servant is listening,” 1 Samuel 3:9), is a discernment group for young adults that will gather in fellowship, study, prayer and discovery every first Sunday afternoon of the month from October until May.

Mother Clare Matthias, Community Servant (Superior General) of the Franciscan Sisters, shared her experience of the Samuel Group in the Apostles of the Interior Life’s book, “Samuel Group: Teaching Young Adults How to Hear the Voice of God,” saying that those 18-39 years of age are trying to “navigate through a society which is increasingly secular and hostile to faith, religion and the vocation they are choosing to discern,” be it to single, married or religious life.

The formation program, she wrote, could “better prepare (young adults) for a life of holiness and living their lives guided by the will of God …helping them learn to pray, grow in self-knowledge, experience inner healing and forgiveness of past wounds, and learn the tools of discernment.”

Sister Agnes, vocation director for the Franciscan Sisters of the Renewal in Atlantic City, believes the Samuel Group is an effective way for young adults to “step away from the (noisy) world, and begin to hear the Lord speak (his will for their lives) to them in silence,” finding peace, joy and confidence for their spiritual journey.

The Samuel Group gatherings will take place at Saint Anthony of Padua Church, 285 Route 206, Hammonton, from 1:30-5:30 p.m. every first Sunday of the month, beginning on Oct. 6 and ending on May 3. Meetings include fellowship, talks, guided reflection, meditation before the Blessed Sacrament and an opportunity for confession.

Interested men and women must have a phone interview with Sister Agnes before being accepted into the program; attend all meetings; and have a spiritual director (the program can help you find one).

For more information, visit www.camdendiocese.org/samuelgroup

To register for the program go to https://goo.gl/forms/C6oy5Z1NL5RoN09e2 call Sister Agnes at 609-343-1545, or e-mail Gregory.Coogan@camdendiocese.org