Curious about a Roman Catholic religious vocation? A vocation is a divine call from God. God does not contact us directly by phone or email, but often in prayer, in reflection, in quiet discernment.

There are a variety of means for us to begin to hear God’s call. Reading a spiritual book or a blog post, visiting a website of a spiritual organization, or even visiting a Facebook page.

Yes, religious organizations today use Facebook, and even Twitter and Instagram to share the message about their organization, their members, and their work.

There are also local means, in our parishes through the readings at Mass and the homilies by our priests. Discerners can talk with one of the priests, or the youth minister of their parish. Some parishes have Serra Clubs, part of Serra International, whose members actively promote religious vocations.

Dioceses have Vocation Awareness Days, and many religious orders have Come and See weekends, Vocation Awareness Retreats, and even virtual Zoom Come and See events.

To be able to discern God’s call, our eyes and ears must be open, ready to discover new ways of living and serving God and others.

This spiritual discernment often begins with a quiet sense of curiosity, and an interest in learning more about religious life. The formation process allows people to grow and mature in their response to God’s call, to ask questions, and to receive help and encouragement.

This quest, this discernment process is not done alone, but with the guidance, openness and help of others. Also, a religious vocation is not limited to a specific area of work.

Some priests give homilies, preach retreats, work with the poor and the homeless. Others teach in schools and universities, serve as chaplains, offer spiritual direction, plan liturgies, use their artistic talents. Still others work in social media, creating blogs, social media posts, podcasts, Zoom presentations and more. The list is large, and the good news is that you do not have to fit into a specific narrow niche.

Vocations at Daylesford Abbey

Daylesford Abbey is the home of Norbertine priests, who live together in community, and serve in a variety of ministries. The word community is important to these priests, communion with one another and communion with God. They follow the Rule of St. Augustine, “We are called to be of “one heart and mind on the way to God.” (Rule of St. Augustine. Acts 4:32).

Common prayer is also important and the Norbertines chant the Liturgy of the Hours in communion with one another and with God. Following the Rule of St. Augustine, “the Norbertines seek God alone together.”

Their ministries flow from their daily liturgical prayer and strong common life. They encompass parishes, teaching, spiritual direction, chaplaincies, outreach to the poor and other services within the local church.” Crucial and needed in these troubled times, “the Norbertines at Daylesford Abbey have committed themselves to peace, justice and healing.”

Are you considering the Peace Corps or working with the homeless in your city or town? You can do that as a Norbertine. Bethesda Project, is a major ministry to the homeless of Philadelphia.

Do you have a passion to help others learn, as a teacher or professor? “In the past, many of the men at the Abbey have been involved in the educational apostolate.

Two men are assigned full time to Archmere Academy a college preparatory school founded by the Norbertines and currently sponsored by Daylesford Abbey. One of their men is also the chaplain at Villa Maria Lower School

catholic vocationBecoming a Norbertine is a gradual process, occurring in stages, with several steps in the journey.

They are:

Affiliate

Novitiate

Temporary Profession

Solemn Profession

Ordination

Click here to see details about the process.

Ministries

Father Michael J. Lee, O.Praem. entered Daylesford Abbey in 1961 and died in February 2021. He earned his M.A. degree in History from Loyola University and an M.A. degree in Religious Studies from Villanova University.

For many years he taught at Bishop Neumann High School and was later appointed Principal and then President.

He later served at two different parishes, and he marched in the annual St. Patrick Parade in Center City Philadelphia. Teacher, principal, school president and a marcher in the Philadelphia St. Patrick’s Day parade, and all of this by just one Norbertine priest!

There are many other possibilities for ministry too. Bethesda Project is a major ministry to the homeless of Philadelphia. It has grown from one residence for women to fourteen facilities ranging from emergency shelters to permanent supportive residences. It serves over two thousand different individuals per year.

catholic priest vocationFr. John Zagarella, O.Praem offers reflections on how God communicates messages of love, forgiveness, and healing in an abundance of ways, including through rock and roll music. Click here.

A Norbertine priest has many opportunities- teaching, serving the homeless, migrants, those seeking spiritual direction, working in parishes, creating Podcasts, Rock Music series and more. All are possible as a Norbertine.

In addition, you serve in these ministries with other like-minded men, who offer education, support, prayer, and laughter too. Learn more about our vocation by clicking here.  Happy Exploring!