Six Men 'Come & See' What Glenmary Is About
By Pat McEntee, Associate Vocation Director
Seeking to discern the will of God for their lives, six men from different states came to Glenmary's House of Discernment in Hartford, Ky., for a weekend retreat July 14-17, 2011.
This was the setting for Glenmary's summer Come & See retreat. When the men arrived on Thursday afternoon, house director Father Jerry Dorn put them to work immediately. It may seem strange for individuals to come for a retreat and instantly be asked to go to work. However, Glenmary is a mission society, and our missioners waste no time in getting to work.
In addition to the discerners, others participating during the weekend included Father Jerry; Brother David Henley, vocation director; me; and Brother Joe Steen, co-director of the candidacy and post-novitiate programs.
The group spent Thursday evening getting to know each other by sharing brief stories about their life journeys. Then the retreat kicked into high gear Friday morning with a presentation by Father Jerry. He shared some insights about discernment and vocations, then discussed some of his experiences in the missions over the years. He said, "I love—no, no—God loves through me." This became a mantra throughout the weekend for the attendees.
Talks were also given about the five categories of mission in Glenmary (Catholic nurture, evangelization, ecumenical cooperation, social outreach, connection to the universal Church); brotherhood; the Glenmary Oath; and the application and formation processes. "It was great being able to offer our visitors a number of different perspectives from the Glenmarians there," says Brother David.
There was also plenty of time for recreation and visits with some of the local residents, as well as time to worship and share fellowship with members of Holy Redeemer Church in Beaver Dam, Ky., a former Glenmary mission.
On Friday evening, all the participants drove to Rosine, Ky., to take in the weekly "Barn Jam." While there, the group was treated to a hospitable welcome from the locals and some terrific bluegrass music not far from the home of its founding father, Bill Monroe.
The group attended Spanish Mass on Saturday evening at Holy Redeemer and then headed to the home of Flor Casteneda to share a traditional Mexican meal with her and her children.
The retreat ended Sunday morning with English Mass and fellowship, again at Holy Redeemer. After brunch, each of the visitors headed home to continue the journey of discernment.
"We are very pleased with the enthusiasm the men showed in participating and asking questions during the retreat," says Brother David. "It showed they were seriously seeking to do God's will."
This article originally appeared in the July 2011 Vocation Office E-News.