New online matching service “frames the choice much like a
dating service" and helps those interested in religious life narrow their
search for the right vocation.
Brother Paul Bednarczyk, CSC, director of the National Religious Vocation Conference, which publishes Vision through TrueQuest Communications, was interviewed for the article. "Religious life itself is a radical choice, " says Brother Paul Bednarczyk. “In an age where our primary secular values are sex, power and money, for someone to choose chastity, obedience and poverty is a radical statement. "
A key question in making that radical choice is, “What community is right for me? " To help the thousands of visitors who come to the Vision website each month answer that question, the publishers developed Vocation Match on Vision’s Vocation-Network.org website.
Based on the same principles as popular internet sites that
help people find good colleges, service opportunities, or mates, Vocation Match
asks seekers to answer a series of questions about their prayer styles,
preferred living conditions, ministry interests and other personal preferences,
which are then matched against the hundreds of communities in the
Vision database who have completed
similar questionnaires about their preferred candidates.
The result is a list of potential community matches that Vocation Match participants can choose to contact or have Vision Vocation Match contact for them. They can also learn more about the communities by linking to their websites or viewing a list of discernment opportunities the community has posted in the Vocation Opportunities section of the Vocation-Network.org website.
Introduced this past August, VocationMatch.org (available in Spanish at EncuentroVocacional.org) is highly successful in matching those in discernment with religious orders and institutes that are potential good fits. The interactive features in Vocation Match, such as the animated guides that accompany participants through the mini-discernment process, place the service in a league of its own.
Vocation Directors, who are in charge of attracting new candidates to religious life, find the information provided in the Vocation Match profiles valuable in making initial assessments. The match service asks questions about education, age, gender, type of community, preferred ministry, preferred community size, prayer styles, whether the person would like to where a habit, and how long the person has been considering religious life. Other optional reflection questions include: When did you first feel called? What is your earliest experience of God? Why does religious life seem attractive to you? What can you bring to a religious community?
Guide and its bilingual online vocation network offer a wide range of resources
for those discerning religious life, including profiles, informative features,
recommended readings, quizzes, and a comprehensive index of religious
communities. In its 21st year of publication,
Vision Vocation Guide is considered the gold standard of religious
For more information about Vocation Match, go to www.VocationMatch.org. To read or download the current issue of Vision, go to www.VocationGuide.org.