DISCOVERING WHO I AM
When I was first named Vocation Director in the Guardian of the Redeemer Province (California) of the Oblates of St. Joseph in 1996, I was very excited to begin in full time vocation ministry. I had already experienced how the discovery of my vocation as an OSJ had centered me and allowed me to continue to discover who I am in God’s plan of creation and redemption. I was so grateful for this discovery and those who had assisted me in that (mostly my parents and the OSJ in my first years of formation), that I could not wait to return the favor, as it were. I had the privilege of ministering as vocation director for over seven years. It was truly a privilege to work with young people and help them to discover who God created them to be. Help them only, since each person needs to do the work of searching and responding to God’s call and nobody can do it for him or her. However, this work cannot be done alone and in isolation: thus, vocation ministry and guidance is essential.
Well, God has called me once again, through my confreres in the now Holy Spouses Province (USA), to be instrumental in helping young me discover God’s call for them, and especially those whom he is calling to be OSJ. It has been 17 years since I worked full time in this ministry and no doubt styles and techniques have changed. Certainly the society has changed…internet and social media were just taking off as I finished my first turn in this ministry. So, lots to learn. And yet, one thing has not changed for sure: God is calling and each one of us needs to respond and needs help in doing that. And that is very exciting! Imagine being called to assist God in helping one of his children to know who he is and what he is to do in God’s plan. Still a great privilege…and responsibility. Prayers are greatly appreciated! Both for those who God will send and for the one to whom they are being sent.
The most important aspect of vocation ministry, in fact, is prayer. This makes sense: prayer is connecting with God and since God is the one calling the only way to know his call is to make such a connection. One of the most effective vocation prayer moments is in adoration before the Lord in the Blessed Sacrament. We Oblates are called to make a holy hour for vocations each week and the fruits of fidelity to that can be seen throughout the Congregation. I invite all of you to join with us in that holy hour of prayer for vocations. At times, we can even do this together physically as many of our communities have monthly holy hours for vocations open to all, often on the first Thursday of the month. Whether together in body or in spirit, our prayers will bear fruit, of this we can be sure.
Be assured of my prayers for all of you and please remember me in yours.
Fr. Brian, OSJ