From the Vocation Director


"People would do nothing if they waited until they could do it so well that no one could find fault with what they have done."

That is one of my favorite quotes. The original source of this quote is unknown but it certainly does describe my life at times and challenges me to step up in those difficult moments trusting in God and knowing I will be able to complete the task at hand.

I think it happens all too often in life that people get caught up in indecision because they can't be sure of the outcome or they believe that they are "not good enough" to complete the task. Sometimes if the decision involves something very new or very big, people are paralyzed because they don't know where to begin.

Glenmary Brother David HenleyPeople don't use words like vocation, discernment, and formation on a regular basis and therefore may not know what they mean. This Web site can help clarify the meaning of these words and how they relate to discerning a call to become a Glenmary priest or brother.

All of us have a particular vocation in life but sometimes finding that vocation is not easy. The key in the discovery process is to be open with God, yourself and to all possibilities. It's helpful to pray and to share your reflections and concerns with someone you can trust.

Once you discover your particular vocation, you will feel certain that you are where God has called you. No matter where that place is, upon discovering it, you will feel a happiness and fulfillment like none you've ever felt before. Martin Luther King, Jr., once said "If a man is called to be a street sweeper, he should sweep streets even as Michelangelo painted, or Beethoven composed music or Shakespeare wrote poetry. He should sweep streets so well that all the hosts of heaven and earth will pause to say, 'Here lived a great street sweeper who did his job well.'"

Reading the lives of various saints can be helpful in the discernment process. Like us, the saints didn't know at birth where they would be called in life, let alone that they would eventually become saints.

Some, like St. Francis, used prayer and action in their process of discernment. St. Francis was not always the leader of a community of brothers serving the poor. It was only after he became ill that he renounced his wealth and began discerning his future. He eventually answered God's call to religious life. And St. Juan Diego pleaded with the Virgin Mary to send someone else in his place because he wasn't "important enough" to carry a message to the bishop. Remember, God calls us as we are, not who we hope to be. Calling us as we are is humbling but truly shows God's love for us.

God calls us at unexpected times in our life and has a special plan that only we can carry out. Perhaps God is calling you to serve in the mission regions of the United States. Glenmary's discernment process is just that—a process. You don't have to know the answers to all the questions or be 100 percent certain that home mission ministry is your future on the day you inquire with Glenmary or enter into the application process.

God gently invites you to take the first steps and you have to trust and know that God will be taking every step right there with you. Don't let the uncertainties that you might have as you enter the discernment process cause you to do nothing!

Questions and doubts are a normal part of the discernment process. Just trust in God's grace. It will provide more than sufficient spiritual and emotional nourishment for your journey.

Follow the latest news from the Glenmary Vocation Office on Facebook and read Brother David's latest reflections on Church vocations—among other things—at his blog, Brother David