Welcome and Introductions - About the Course


Discerning a priestly vocation is not a matter of learning a craft but of allowing the grace of God to transform our heart after Christ’s own Heart like St. Ignatius did. Despite their great desires, young men today have difficulty understanding how to do that. In a culture saturated with noise and distraction, it is harder than ever to sift through the competing voices to hear the voice of the Father and to respond virtuously and courageously.

TRUE HEART adapts the timeless method of St. Ignatius to our own day and time. People can encounter the Risen Lord and respond to Him in a profoundly personal way in the Sacraments, prayer, and lives of virtue. Seminarians and those discerning the seminary will find that the TRUE HEART exercises and other material are useful resources in leading them to a deep daily encounter with Jesus. From this place of encounter, they will be better able to hear the Lord’s call and respond as Mary did.

-Very Rev. Daniel J. Barnett – Rector

Bishop White Seminary – Spokane, WA

The Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius of Loyola are one of the great spiritual treasures in the Church. Ignatian spirituality has formed countless saints and holy men and women over the past five centuries. We are indebted to Fr. Bill Watson for making this spiritual treasure accessible to a new generation. It is certain to bear much fruit for many years into the future.

-Steve Bollman

Founder & President – Paradisus Dei

Author – “That Man Is You” – “The Choice Wine”

In speaking with university students and listening to their concerns, certain areas always enter into the conversation. “How do I Pray?," “How can I know what God wants me to do?,” “How do I learn more about discernment?” These are areas that adults question constantly because they have a desire to grow in holiness and faith. TRUE HEART is a very approachable program that addresses these issues and more.

I cannot wait to challenge the people and implement TRUE HEART as a semester-long program at Rice University. It is set up as a turn-key program that can be led by campus ministers, chaplains, or student leaders. It can also be implemented within small group communities of men, women, or co-ed for vocation discernment. I am excited for our people to experience TRUE HEART so they, in turn, can experience the true love that God has for His children.

-Rev. Ray Cook, OMI

Director of Campus Ministry – Rice University – Houston, TX  

TRUE HEART is simply extraordinary. I personally am so excited to have these for use with my classes and in many other formation settings. I am grateful for Fr. Bill Watson’s diligent and extraordinary work. I stand in awe of what Fr. Bill Watson produced — the breadth and depth blow my mind.

TRUE HEART not only provides essential knowledge about the faith; it is the perfect balance of deep content and flexible implementation needed to create an authentic and engaging experience of the faith. I cannot recommend it more highly!  

-Matt Davidson, Ph.D.

President, Institute for Excellence & Ethics (IEE)

The Sacred Story Institute is at the leading edge of wisdom development in both children and adults. Now the Institute and its founder, Fr. William Watson, have created a very powerful set of programs for discernment called TRUE HEART. These programs help those who use them to remain grounded in real life, discover the beauty of existence at elemental levels, face the challenges of life in a high-pressure world, and protect their spiritual and emotional development from digital distress. I highly recommend the TRUE HEART program for discernment.

-Michael Gurian

New York Times Bestselling Author  "The Wonder of Boys" "The Minds of Girls"  

True Heart provides a practical Ignatian roadmap that will help people speak, heart to heart, with our Living God. As Pope Francis continues to remind us that Christ Lives (Christus Vivit), this resource helps the reader practice the art of meditation and discernment in a vivid and relatable way.

-Jonathan Lewis

Assistant Secretary for Pastoral Ministry and Social Concerns

Archdiocese of Washington

The TRUE HEART program offers resources for young adults and adults and that provide simple and practical introductions to Ignatian prayer that will help all who use them to discern and discover the deepest desire of their hearts: "selflessness” and a daily living relationship with Jesus Christ.”

-Curtis Martin

Founder & CEO of FOCUS (Fellowship of Catholic University Students)

Fr. Watson's program not only awakens a passionate longing for authenticity, it actually takes you step by step, with the wise pedagogy of St. Ignatius and his sons, away from self-centeredness towards pure, selfless freedom. I wish I had TRUE HEART’s wonderful toolkit earlier!

-Fr. Lukasz Misko, O.P.

Director – St. Catherine of Siena Newman Center – The University of Utah – Salt Lake City, UT


"In the past God spoke to our ancestors through the prophets at many times and in various ways, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son… (Hebrews 1:1-2)." This is the core of TRUE HEART that the Sacred Story Institute has given us for our work with youth and young adults. TRUE HEART is a real effort to make the Word of God as near as it can be for the new generations that hunger and thirst of an intimate encounter with their Creator. 

There are no magical tricks to change our lives, but the daring invitation to make fascinating treks to build a new way with the solid truths of what God has revealed to us in his Son. The TRUE HEART programs constantly focus on the chief cornerstone, and hold fast to it, giving it a new language so it can be better heard and understood by a new generation. 

-Rev. Hermann Rodríguez Osorio, S.J.

Jesuit Provincial of Colombia and former SSI Board Member

Fr. William skillfully adapts his wonderful Sacred Story methodologies to the needs of busy adults. He is very aware of the challenges people face and so places emphasis on topics like the use of technology and the struggle with self-respect.  

TRUE HEART program helps to understand and deepen the experience of the sacrament of Reconciliation. It provides a great introduction to reading and meditating the Scripture. 

The whole program is so constructed that it is accessible for both those who just start an intentional faith life as well as for those who want to deepen their existing relationship with God. I wholeheartedly recommend this program for Youth and Young Adult leadership teams. I also recommend it for young adults wishing to grow in their faith who also want to discern life choices in light of faith. I will use it in my own ministry. 

-Fr. Marcin Szymański, O.P.

Director – Prince of Peace Newman Center – University of Washington

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