Vocation Sparks Inferno of Joy

Posted: 5/13/2013

"Your vocation in life is where your greatest joy meets the world's greatest need."—Frederick Beuchner

It's hard to imagine a greater need in the United States than in the mission regions of our country. In places where the Catholic Church is unknown, misunderstood, mistrusted, or even despised, there is a tremendous need. In places where the poverty level is twice the national average, there is a tremendous need. In places where the greatest number of people are not Baptist but rather unchurched, there is a tremendous need.

The Church needs missioners to bring a true understanding of the Catholic faith, to help ease all people's suffering and meet their spiritual and material needs, and to bring Christ to people who don't even know they are longing for him. The Church also needs these forgotten people to be part of the Body of Christ. We cannot forget St. Paul's words: all the parts of the Body serve an important purpose, and without them, the Body of Christ is incomplete.

The many needs present in the mission areas of the United States are clear. Now we need to continue our search for those whose greatest joy will be to fill one of the "world's greatest needs."

This is where you come in. At some point, you have expressed interest in receiving information about Glenmary from our Vocation Office. There is in you, at the very least, a spark of interest in finding out if Glenmary might be where you will find your greatest joy. So why not take the next step?

If you just returned a survey to Glenmary through Vision Vocation Network, Vocations Placement, Guide to Religious Ministries or some other venue, check back with us. If we haven't heard from you since you sent in a questionnaire, we will try a couple of times to reach you but will not hound you.

If you've had some back-and-forth communication with us, you have no doubt been asked to send in a profile form. This form gives us a chance to get to know you a little better so that we can begin the mutual discernment of a possible vocation. If you have only been in contact with us one or two times, completing and submitting this form is the next best step to take to discover if God may be calling you to the joy-filled life of a Glenmarian.

If you've been in conversation with us and have already submitted this form, our next step is to ask if you'd like to make a visit to a Glenmary mission. If we have a Come & See mission trip planned in the near future, we'll ask if you're interested in attending. Fortunately, Glenmary has two trips scheduled this summer, June 14-17 and July 12-15. Contact us for more information or to register. In taking this next step, you may find that what was once a spark has now turned into a flame.

If you've attended a Come & See, you have had a great chance to encounter Glenmary priests, brothers and possibly even some current students. You should also have had the chance to meet some parishioners and celebrate the Eucharist with them.

The next step might be to spend a couple of weeks or up to a month living and working in a Glenmary mission. The Come & See visits can be very fast-paced and you may see several different missions. Then going back later and spending a significant length of time in one mission area is a great opportunity to see what day-to-day life might be like if this is your vocation. If you've come this far, perhaps your flame has become a full-fledged fire to serve God in the rural missions of the United States.

Once you've been through all these steps to investigate the possibility of becoming a Glenmary Home Missioner, you may find that the tiny spark you began with is well on its way to being an inferno of joy. If you sense this joy is building within you, Glenmary may be exactly what you need to find your true life's calling. You may also find that your true joy is exactly what this world—the world of Mission Land, USA—needs.