What is a Samuel Group?

Samuel Group is a discernment group for young adults, ages 18-39, who meet together once a month from October through May in order to study, pray, and discover their individual vocations or lifetime call from God. The purpose of the program is to equip young adults with the tools they need to approach vocational discernment with peace, joy and confidence.

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History of Samuel Group

The program began in 1987, when Cardinal Martini of Milan led a group of 100 young men and women on a spiritual journey to discover their call in life. Cardinal Martini’s talks and spiritual direction were based on the spirituality of St. Ignatius of Loyola, a master in the Discernment of Spirits. Cardinal Martini gave the Apostles of the Interior Life his blessing and encouraged them to teach discernment as part of their apostolate. The Samuel Group was then brought to the United States in 2001 and has since been offered on different university campuses.

The commitment to the program lasts one year and helps give direction to a young person’s freedom and creativity so that he/she may discover his/her role in the Church and in the world.

The program has a three-fold goal for each candidate:

 to know oneself

 to know Jesus

 to know one’s role in the Church and in the world

The means by which to reach this goal are: prayer, spiritual direction, and interior discernment.

They involve three main aspects: 

Meditation involves daily reflection on the Word of God and spiritual writings.

Purification is the process of detachment from sin, wrongful inclinations, selfish affections, and illusions.

Scrutiny involves spiritual direction and self-reflection on the interior movements of the soul, where Jesus speaks to us.

Why Should I Consider the Samuel Group?

Every Christian has a vocation, a special invitation from God to become holy and whole, to walk a unique, earthly path that leads ultimately to heaven. Each Samuel Group participant is encouraged to bring his or her unique questions, desires, strengths and weaknesses to God, and to learn to respond to His loving voice. Each discovers what he or she needs to do to know the Lord better, which in turn leads to a deeper knowledge of the true self and what it means to live in the joy of Christ.

Just as St. John Paul II encouraged young people to devote one day each month to prayer and reflection, so too the Office of Youth, Young Adult & Campus Ministries invites you to set aside a few hours on a Sunday afternoon in order to learn more about God and yourself and investigate your vocation, a special call from God.


Samuel Group is open to all young adults ages 18-39 who:

  1. have at least a minimal prayer life,
  2. wish to seriously discern the will of God in their life, and
  3. have a spiritual director (or find one to begin the program).

For more information:  Call Sr. Ann Kateri at 609-343-1545

Structure of the Program:

  •  Each meeting involves a brief social period, time for guided reflection, an hour of Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, including the possibility for Confession, a purification talk, small group sharing and “spiritual assignments” for the month.
  •  Throughout the month students must meet at least once with their personal spiritual director, develop a regular schedule of prayer, and abide by the rules of the Samuel Group
  •  At the end of the year candidates must submit a letter to the Bishop expressing plans for the future. If they are still uncertain about their vocation they are able to choose among many opportunities to serve in the local Church and continue to discern.