Around this time of year, many people try to make predictions about what events might occur in the upcoming year. I too enjoy daydreaming about what next year and the many years beyond might bring. This year as I reflected about the annual predictions, I opted NOT to make predictions for 2012 but instead make predictions for ten years from now - the year 2022.
I choose the year 2022 because as vocation director for Glenmary Home Missioners, my job is to think about and meet with the future generation of missioners, those who will undertake the challenge to serve in Mission Land USA in 2022 and beyond. For example if someone contacted me today to discuss their vocation we might be in discussion for about a year or two. After the initial discernment they would enter the Glenmary formation program which depending on how much education they had coming in could take between six and eight years. Therefore someone just starting to discern their call, who entered the formation program, might take their final oath and be ready to serve in the missions in the year 2022
If you are interested in learning more about Discernment, Glenmary's formation program or about the men who are currently in formation be sure and check out all the information on our website. The page titled "Stages on the Journey" explains the discernment and formation process in detail.
One of the positive aspects about formation lasting a few years is that you don't have to be ready to go out and be a missioner when you decide to join Glenmary - that is what the formation and training does, all you have to be is be ready to answer your call to be a missioner. One aspect of the formation program that I believe to be instrumental is "living in community;" all along your formation journey you would be living with other students as well as with Glenmary Priests and brothers who will assist you to become the best possible missioner you can be. Therefore Glenmary Home Missioners is preparing the men who decide to enter into religious life today to be missioners for the year 2022 and beyond!
And contrary to popular belief, Formation Programs are not only classroom work. Throughout your formation you would have ample time to experience life in the missions where you would be able to discern if this is where God calling you to serve. The formation also includes a novitiate year which allows you time for deeper discernment, prayer and in depth learning about Glenmary's charism.
You can meet our current students and see where each one is in his formation. Glenmary's men in Formation.
As we enter into 2012, I am day-dreaming about the mission needs in the year 2022. I predict that in these next ten years Glenmary Home Missioners will have founded 22 new missions, much like the new ones we started in Eastern TN in 2011. I predict that in 2022 the Challenge to serve the spiritual and material needs of the people in this land of ours will still be very much needed. I predict that in 2022 both our Seminary and Brothers-in-Training programs, preparing the future missioners, will be overflowing with prospects. I also predict that in 2022 all of Glenmary's missions will have in residence two priests, two brothers, two students, two sisters and two co-workers to serve the needs of the people in those areas and work with them towards building the Kingdom of God.
Please add your own predictions about the missions and mission needs in 2022 in the comment box below. Pray for those men who are discerning a commitment to live the rest of their life serving in the people of God in the neglected mission areas of the USA in 2022 and beyond!