Muhlenkamp, Brother Jason
On Friday, June 8, 2012, Jason Muhlenkamp professed his First Oath, the first step in a three-year period of temporary profession that will cumlunate in his Final Oath.
Jason, 38, now a Glenmary brother in training, is the oldest of four children in his family and is originally from Maria Stein, Ohio. He attended the University of Toledo for three years and was later employed as a warehouse worker and account representative. "But I felt a desire to serve God and other people, and I had to decide on the best way," he says.
So he signed up with the Catholic Volunteer Network. And his search eventually led him to Glenmary Farm, the home of Glenmary's group volunteer program. Farm director Joe Grosek offered Jason a job as a Farm manager, a volunteer who gives up a year of his or her life to do God's work in Lewis County, Ky.—one of the most impoverished counties in the state—by coordinating student volunteers in community service and acting as a liaison between the community and Farm volunteers.
It was there that that he discerned God was calling him to join Glenmary Home Missioners.
An article about Glenmary brotherhood in the Glenmary Challenge magazine opened his eyes to what his call could be. As he discerned this call, he realized the rural and home mission aspects of Glenmary's work strongly appealed to him. And when he had a chance to meet and talk with Glenmary priests and brothers—especially Brother Dennis Craig and Father Larry Goulding—"Their witness, missioners' hearts, and desire-to-serve attitude were great inspirations to me," says Jason.
What he likes most about Glenmary is its openness in allowing members to develop their gifts, the opportunity for creativity in ministry, and the support of coworkers and the Glenmary community.
After completing his Glenmary orientation in 2009, he began studies at Brescia University in Owensboro. Ky., two days a week, taking courses in Faith and Justice and the Old Testament. "School is going well but it's a big adjustment," he said then. In his remaining time, he also did prison ministry, volunteered at a nursing home, and taught seventh-grade religious education. Once his academic year was over in spring of 2010, he began a one-year assignment working at Glenmary's Windsor, N.C., mission, the Catholic Community of Bertie County and getting involved in a variety of social outreach ministry.
His novitiate year began on July 1, 2011. He spent two months at the Cincinnati novitiate house studying about Glenmary's founder, its mission and spirituality, and related topics. Then he returned to Bertie County to gain a deeper understanding of team ministry and community living while staying active in outreach work. And finally, he moved back to the novitiate house on March 1, 2012, where he studied and reflected on the Glenmary Oath and its Constitution and Directory in preparation for his First Oath on June 8.
He is now living at the house of studies in St. Meinrad and is returning to Brescia University to take theology classes.
For the future, Jason looks forward to using the skills he is learning in formation, bringing the Gospel message to people, being present for them, and walking with them on their faith journeys. "I would very much like to continue doing social outreach ministry as a brother," he adds.
Read more about Jason:
- Man Takes First Oath and Becomes Glenmary Brother
- Reflections on the Journey to First Oath
- Building Community in Bertie County, N.C.
- Thankful Convert Inspired to Give Back to Glenmary and Community
- After Disasters, Glenmary Missions' Care for Neighbors Is a Constant
- Tornadoes Hit Bertie County, N.C.: Glenmary Mission Joins in Recovery Effort
- On-the-Job Training
- North Carolina Mission Responds With Help After Flood Hits Bertie County Home