I’m still enjoying the glow of the Institute on Religious Life’s National Meeting several weeks ago in the Chicago area. The talks and fellowship at the meeting, attended by hundreds of religious, were informative and inspiring.
One of the conversations I had was with Abbot Austin Murphy, OSB, of St. Procopius Benedictine Abbey in the Chicago area. I brought up the observation that the great saints of the past, such as St. Anthony of the desert, and St. Benedict, seemed to be expert at attracting vocations.
And they didn’t even want to be.
St. Benedict aside, good communities must get the word out. These two Sisters of St. Joseph the Worker explain how our Come & See Vocation Promotion Program works for their community.
These men sought the desert, or a lonely place, to be away from everyone so they could devote themselves to prayer.
Anthony, the founder of monasticism, kept running away from men, into the desert. But they kept following him, even breaking down his door at one point to get to him.
Benedict, founder of western monasticism, fled the city and lived in a cave. Yet his admirers sought him out and asked that he become an abbot of their community.
And yet today, vocation directors of good communities must toot their horns to attract vocations.
Why the difference?
The upshot of my conversation with the abbot was that even though most of us are not gifted stalwarts of holiness and prayer, we must still promote vocations. The early founders were great men of prayer, and received many special graces from God.
We must get the word out about consecrated/religious life.
That’s where my Come & See Vocation Promotion Program comes in. Read more to find how we bring in candidates every month for authentic religious communities around the United States.