I was a senior in high school when I first met the Sisters of the Resurrection.

During that time, I was seriously discerning religious life. There was a strong tug in my heart that would not go away. My heart felt drawn to a life that is lived through complete dedication of oneself to God and the Church.

Inspired by the lives of various saints who lived the consecrated life, such as St. Faustina Kowalska and St. Théresè of Lisieux, I sensed that God was calling me to religious life.

Since I had no idea what to do about this "tugging," I began to attend monthly discernment meetings offered in the Diocese of Albany for women who were considering religious life. I was very happy to go to those meetings. I was able to meet sisters from different religious communities who serve in the Diocese, and I met other women who, like myself, were discerning religious life.

During the meetings, I learned about the different aspects of religious life and how to discern God's will in my own life. Now, a little more than 20 years later, I am excited to revitalize these monthly discernment groups for women who feel that same tugging in their heart.

As a "graduate" of the diocesan discernment meetings for women, I know from personal experience the importance of providing women discerners with an opportunity to meet religious sisters and other women who are also discerning.

Women who are yearning to know the plans God has for them and are seeking to learn more about religious life are highly encouraged to come to the women's discernment meetings, which are hosted by the diocesan Vocations Awareness Council. These meetings take place the third Tuesday of the month at 6:45 p.m. at the diocesan Pastoral Center in Albany.

(Sister Laurie-Marie is coordinator of religious life and vocations awareness for the Diocese. For information on the discernment groups and to RSVP, contact lauriemarie.parisi@rcda.org.)