CV NEWS FEED // Parents in the Diocese of Wichita recently formed a support group for mothers and fathers of children discerning religious life.
Named after Sts. Louis and Zelie Martin, the parents of St. Therese of Lisieux whose four other daughters also entered religious life, the support group aims to support and connect families whose own children are answering a call to religious life.
The Diocese of Wichita reported that the group’s founder, Kathleen Timmermeyer, has had three sons discern priesthood and one daughter discern religious life. While two of her sons discerned marriage in the end, Timmermeyer’s third son is still considering the priesthood.
At first, Timmermeyer belonged to a local group that only included mothers of diocesan seminarians. There, women could find community and support in accepting the joys and challenges of having a son in seminary.
“There is a lot of emotional support, and friendships were built because our sons were walking similar walks,” Timmermeyer said.
Timmermeyer added that when her daughter became a postulant, she realized that religious life is more “isolating” for parents than the daily life of a seminarian. After talking to the diocesan director of seminarians, Kathleen began looking for ways to create a “sodality” or “guild” of parents of men and women discerning religious life.
“There are families that struggle when their child comes and says, ‘I want to enter a religious order,’ because there is a separation from the family unit in a unique way,” Timmermeyer said. “Although there is a separation, which can be difficult to navigate, there is beauty and joy in watching your son or daughter pursue a calling only from God.”
To join the Sodality of Zelie and Louis Martin or ask questions, email Kathleen Timmermeyer at firstname.lastname@example.org.