Something in the water?

January 30, 2012

L to R – Br. Leo Checkai, O.P., Sr. Teresita Maria Misericordiae (Sister of Life), 
Br. Philip Neri Jordan Reese, O.P. (not UMD alumnus but friend of the others), 
Sr. Mara Rose McDonnell, O.P. (Nashville), Br. Peter Martyr Joseph Yungwirth, O.P.
Not pictured – Sr. Veronica of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, O.Carm. (Wahpeton, ND), 
Sr. Maria Porta Caeli Harper, S.S.V.M., and Sr. Mary Joseph of Jesus of Nazareth (Dominican cloistered nun)

In recent years, a number of religious vocations have come out of the University of Maryland, College Park.  Was there something in the water?  I’m not sure, but I do think that the Lord often puts certain people together so that they can foster one another’s vocations and be a support to each other in the discernment process.  This seems to work out with any vocation, but it is particularly noticeable with regard to priesthood and religious life.

Often the Lord uses His friends to draw their friends into a deeper relationship with Him.  Whether it’s the witness of a life where someone is discerning or it’s a conversation about discernment itself, there is something beautiful that can happen during the period of discernment.  One’s own discernment can be such a help to someone else.  When I was in college, I remember when the first guy, now Fr. Kevin Regan, entered seminary.  After that, the men around the Catholic Student Center started wondering if maybe they were called to the priesthood too.

This was true in the Dominican Order as well.  Holy Father Dominic’s own brother, Bl. Mannes, became a Dominican.  Also when Bl. Jordan entered the Order, he wanted to enter with his friend Henry of Marburg, and they did in fact finally enter together (see Bl. Jordan’s Libellus, para. 67-78).

So as you continue the discernment of your vocation, remember that this time is both a gift to you and to the Church.  Whether you inform others or not, the Lord can manage to use this time for the spread of His Kingdom.

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