Thursday, February 24, 2011

Questions about Applying to Glenmary Home Missioners

“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I dedicated you, a prophet to the nations I appointed you.” Jeremiah 1:5

In my short time as Vocation Director I have learned that nobody’s discernment process with Glenmary is exactly the same. Some people get to know us quickly and feel that Glenmary is the perfect fit for them and they apply within a year, while others, like me, take a long time to discern. I made my first mission trip as a prospect in 1990 and then waited ten years before I started the formal application process with Glenmary and finally entered into formation in 2001. There are lots of steps in the discernment journey but the most important aspect of the process though is to stay in communication with God through it all. “Remain in me, as I remain in you. Just as a branch cannot bear fruit on its own unless it remains on the vine, so neither can you unless you remain in me. I am the vine, you are the branches. Whoever remains in me and I in him will bear much fruit, because without me you can do nothing.” (John 15:4-5)

During the discernment journey many questions arise which are good and natural. For example... Am I being called? Am I good or holy enough? What can I offer? These types of questions are important to wrestle with and to share with God and with your spiritual director. Other important and frequently asked questions by people who are discerning are specifically about the different stages of the Glenmary formation. People want to know: How long does the formation last? When does it start? What will I study? Where will I live? Etcetera... There is a really informative page about all the stages of discernment and the formation process on our Glenmary Website.

Discerners also frequently ask about the application process itself. What is the application process? How do I start? What does it entail?

After getting to know us, visiting with us and discerning your call to serve in the missions, the formal application is just one more step for us to get to know you. This step includes submitting information like your Baptismal and Confirmation records, a recent photograph, copies of your school transcripts, three letters of recommendation. We also request that you have a physical and psychological assessment. The application process also includes interviews with one of the formation directors and a couple of Glenmarians on the admissions committee. The actual application has questions about your family, school and work background as well as space for you to write about why you want to become a Glenmary priest or brother. It is all part of the process which we walk through with you and one that helps us to get to know you better and one that helps you to discern your call a little more with each step. The application process does take some time to complete but it is worth the while in order to finally enter into and to continue down the path to which God has been calling you since before you were created. “O LORD, you have probed me, you know me: you know when I sit and stand; you understand my thoughts from afar... ...You formed my inmost being; you knit me in my mother's womb.” Psalm 139 1-2.13

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