The “Come and See” programme is a step towards discerning one’s vocation – it is a two-week residential programme in the houses of the Congregation of the Sisters of Our Lady of Mercy. The programme is specially designed for girls manifesting the grace of vocation and aims to provide a closer insight into the Congregation, its charism, spirituality and apostolic mission and the climate of everyday life, as well as giving the girls who are discerning their vocation in life a better chance of making an informed decision.
The person taking part in the “Come and See” programme is partially incorporated into the religious com- munity, so that through prayer and work, even to a small extent, she can have some experience of everyday life in the convent, and also face the mystery of the call to spousal love with Christ. The programme has been designed so that the person who is discerning her vocation does not stop at the superficial level only, but has a chance to enter into the essence and meaning of a life dedicated exclusively to the service of God. Hence the days spent in the convent slightly resemble the atmosphere of a religious retreat, because a fundamental role is given to the personal involvement of the candidate in the community and individual prayer, and her entrance into silence and solitude. Supporting elements of the programme include conferences on various aspects of development in the spiritual life, reading about the history and charism of the Congregation, and conversations with the sister leading the “Come and See” programme’s meetings. The girls also work alongside the sisters, but only for 2-3 hours per day, and only doing whatever work the sisters are involved with in ordinary everyday life, yet selected in such a way as to encourage serenity, meeting with oneself and with God in the depths of the heart.
The complete “Come and See” programme lasts for two weeks and is held in one of the communities of the Congregation. The sister in charge of running the programme arranges with the potential participants when it should take place so as not to interfere with their work or school. Usually the girls spend this time in small groups of up to six.
Participation in the “Come and See” programme is an important condition for admission to the Congregation.
Translated by Orest Pawlak