Applying to Glenmary

Brother David Henley Glenmary Vocation DirectorFebruary 2011

"Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I dedicated you, a prophet to the nations I appointed you." (Jer 1: 5)

In my short time as vocation director, I have learned that nobody's discernment process with Glenmary is exactly the same. Some people get to know us quickly, feel that Glenmary is the perfect fit for them, and apply within a year. But others, like me, take a long time to discern. I made my first Glenmary mission trip as a prospect in 1990—and then waited 10 years before I started the formal application process with Glenmary. I finally entered the formation program in 2001.

There are lots of steps in the discernment journey, but the most important aspect of the process is to stay in communication with God through it all. "Remain in me, as I remain in you. Just as a branch cannot bear fruit on its own unless it remains on the vine, so neither can you unless you remain in me. I am the vine, you are the branches. Whoever remains in me and I in him will bear much fruit, because without me you can do nothing." (Jn 15: 4-5)

During the discernment journey, many questions arise that are good and natural. For example: Am I being called? Am I good or holy enough? What can I offer? These types of questions are important to wrestle with and to share with God and your spiritual director.

Other important and frequently asked questions from people who are discerning are about the stages of Glenmary formation. People want to know, for instance: How long does the formation program last? When does it start? What will I study? Where will I live? Here are some answers to help you along!

Discerners also ask about the application process itself: What is the process? How do I start? What does it entail?

After getting to know us, visiting with us and discerning your call to serve in the home missions, the formal application process is just one more step in our getting to know you—and one that will also help you continue your discernment.

This process involves submission of documents such as your baptism and confirmation records, a recent photograph, copies of your school transcripts, three letters of recommendation, and a physical exam report from a physician.

It also includes interviews with one of the formation directors, a couple of Glenmarians and a psychologist. Finally, it calls for completion of the actual application form, which asks you to answer questions about your family, school and work background as well as write a statement about why you want to become a Glenmary priest or brother.

We will walk through the entire process with you. It does take some time, but it is worth the effort in order to finally start down the path to which God has been calling you since before you were created.

"O Lord, you have probed me, you know me: you know when I sit and stand; you understand my thoughts from afar.... You formed my inmost being; you knit me in my mother's womb." (Ps 139: 1-2.13)

Please feel free to contact me to discuss any other questions you may have.