Category: discernment


According to the Oxford English Dictionary, vocation is:

1. a. The action on the part of God of calling a person to exercise some special function, especially of a spiritual nature, or to fill a certain position; divine influence or guidance towards a definite (esp. religious) career; the fact of being so called or directed towards a special work in life; natural tendency to, or fitness for, such work.

b. The action on the part of God (or Christ) of calling persons or mankind to a state of salvation or union with Himself; the fact or condition of being so called.

2. a. The particular function or station to which a person is called by God; a mode of life or sphere of action regarded as so determined.

b. One’s ordinary occupation, business, or profession.

For at least six years I have felt that my call to the priesthood is to be my vocation. More specifily it will be the vocation of my life. It wasn’t until just a few months ago that I even had an idea of what a vocation I could do if I didn’t head off to seminary and become a priest.

One of my main tasks during this process is to convey to the people along the path that the priesthood is my vocation.

In my mind…its not a matter of if I become a priest, but when I become a priest. I can’t see a reality without that as my vocation. Sure, I could do something else and be succesfull and happy. But something would always be incomplete.

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the beginnings

So my journey officially began on Feb 10, 2006. We met at Sam’s Billards close to St. Michaels for our first discernment committee meeting. The four members of my committee are: Carolyn, a Priest and Professor of History; Rob, a spiritual director; Ann, the Ministry for Youth person at church; and Jack, a retired member of the congregation (who i know best from the men’s group).

Our first meeting was a “getting to know each other better” time. Each of the four members told me (and each other) their life+spiritual stories. As preparation for the meeting I had provided a copy of my CV. Because of time constraints, it was decided that I would share my story at the next meeting. I would also provide the group with a Spiritual Autobiography before the next meeting.

I was definitely relieved to finally depart on this journey.

Our second meeting was held on March 17, 2006. This time I would be in the spotlight for the meeting…I was a little nervous. After opening with prayer, we began to talk about what was going on in my life. So I touched base on what was going on with work (not having an attorney in our law office). The discussion really took off when I began to talk about the upcoming Province 8 Young Adult & Higher Ed Conference. The passion I spoke with was pointed out to me after I had finished speaking about the conference. We then transitioned to my spiritual autobiography. As I went through the timelime of my spiritual journey, I talked about my call and the seeds that had been planted along the way to get to where were at this moment. Again my passion and conviction came through in my words. However the members wanted more…they wanted me to discribe my call in feeling language. As time was again running short…it was decided that this would be my assignment for the next meeting.

Rob (with a second by Carolyn) suggested I read Practicing Resurrection by Nora Gallagher as a way to help spur the language to explain the feeling of my call. So I purchased a copy of the book and will be reading through this during the month before my next meeting.

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