Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Setting our hand to the plough

The annual Ploughing Championship takes place in Co. Wexford this week. Vocations Ireland will be among the many groups with a stand in the exhibition arena.

Christ actually uses the image of the plough (Lk. 9:62) to make a powerful point about being a disciple.

"No one who sets a hand to the plough and looks to what was left behind is fit for the kingdom of God."

Jesus is inviting those who wish to follow him to live lives of radical commitment, not concerned with worldy and material posessions - "the things of the world."

He also cautions against looking back. That is certainly of limited use. I often meet men who are discerning their vocation who wonder if they are too old or if they are already too advanced in their chosen career or profession to even consider religious life.

Looking back is of limited value for the Christian mission. It’s better to look at where I’m going in my life at this time.

Look at what's happening in your life right now. The Lord invites us to continual conversion and, conscious of His great love and mercy, to move forward in hope.

If you feel called to a religious vocation, shoot me a note at vocation@PresentationBrothers.org

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

New Presentation Brothers!

The Brothers prepare for Mass in Killarney. On the left is Brother Barry Noel, the Novice Master in Killarney. On the right is Brother Martin Kenneally, our Congregation Leader. In the centre are the two men who were the centre of attention today - Brother Callistus and Brother Augustine. 

There was much celebration in the town of Killarney today as we witnessed the First Profession of vows of two young Presentation Brothers.

Brother Callistus and Brother Augustine are both from Ghana and have spent the past six months of their formation at our Novitiate in Killarney in County Kerry.

You can read all about the event over at www.PresentationBrothers.org

I was delighted to see that pupils from the local Presentation Monastery Primary School were present for the special occasion.

The commitment demonstrated by Brother Callistus and Brother Augustine is an example to other young people.

We also celebrated more vocations in Ghana! Brothers Vincent and Vitalis have now also made their First Profession of Vows.

May the Lord bless and guide them in the years ahead!

Brother Vincent and Vitalis - two new Presentation Brothers!

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Switching Continents...

In addition to being the Vocations Director for the Presentation Brothers in Ireland and Britain I'm also a member of the Leadership Team of our Congregation.

The Presentation Brothers live and work in nine countries around the world so this job also involves some travel. I'm currently heading off to visit the Presentation Brothers in North America. We recently opened a second community in Toronto city and a new community in San Antonio, Texas.

The new community in Toronto will serve as a place of Province administration for North America but it will also be a community of welcome for men discerning a religious vocation.

Brother Andrew Saul, from Guyana, made his first profession as a Presentation Brother in 2011. He is a member of that community and is studying in Toronto.
Brother Francis Schafer, a native of Ohio, works in Bereavement Ministry and is responsible for the administration of the Province.
Brother Denis Claivaz is from Montreal and is the Vocation Director. He has special responsibility for human rights and advocacy with the U.N. in Geneva.

The other new community recently opened in San Antonio is home to three Brothers whose ministries are with the poor. They collaborate in mission with the Presentation Sisters.

Brother Raphael Mario Toodle is from the United States, Francis Sebo hails from Liberia and James Needham is Irish. James works in immigration, advocating for the rights of emigrants while Raphael teaches English to emigrant Mexican people. Brother Francis Sebo works with the homeless.

Please keep my visit in your prayers.