Dennis Narlock has cooked for Hollywood stars and built a well-known local catering business throughout the past three decades. But Narlock plans to walk away from his business and his cooking career at the end of the year. He says he will also give up his personal wealth and all his worldly possessions after joining a recently established Franciscan monastery in the Diocese of Fargo.
For the full story, check out “Leap of Faith: Grand Forks businessman gives up wealth to join religious order,” courtesy of the Grand Forks Herald. Hat tip to The Deacon’s Bench.
The following piece is by Deacon Raymond (Tucker) Cordani, who will be ordained to the priesthood for the Diocese of Springfield, Massachusetts on June 4th. It originally appeared at Catholic Lane and is reprinted here with permission.
In the 1980 film Oh, God: Book II, 11-year-old Tracy Richards believes that God is talking to her. In fact, God (played by George Burns) wants Tracy to tell everybody she knows that he is real. So she does. She drafts a slogan and message, just two words, is conclusive and clear:
She posts the slogan on bumper-stickers, t-shirts, park benches, and carves it into tree trunks. But when Tracy’s parents find out what she is doing they think she’s crazy and they order her to stop. A prophet is not without honor except in his or her hometown (Mark 6:4). They didn’t believe John Denver either when he told them that God was talking to him too in the first Oh, God! movie. Continue reading Think God; Trust God; Thank God!
A few days ago I received in the mail the newsletter of the Mater Ecclesiae Fund for Vocations (MEFV). I remember when Corey and Katherine Huber were going public with the MEFV about five years ago. It seemed like a very good idea then; it seems like a great idea now.
What the MEFV does is help those pursuing priestly or religious vocations by eliminating financial obstacles. Many prospective seminarians or religious aspirants have outstanding student loans that must be paid before they can enter the religious institute. The MEFV takes over the regular student loan payments of its grant recipients once they begin their formation.
For more on how the MEFV grant program works, click here.
What really grabbed my attention, though, was the news that the MEFV awarded 18 new vocation-enabling grants in 2011! The total amount of the grants was $450,000.
It should be noted, too, that the MEFV has a carefully constructed list of approved seminaries as well as criteria for approving religious institutes. We’re proud that affiliation with the Institute on Religious Life is one of the criteria the MEFV uses in determining whether a given institute is faithful to the Magisterium.
Two other features of the MEFV site I really like are of course the numerous vocation stories and the Grant Recipient Milestones page, which provides continual updates regarding entrance into novitiate, first vows, final profession, ordination, and other such important moments in the life of a priest or religious. Those pages mean a lot to those of us who contribute to the MEFV, and they remind us of the great spiritual benefit of all the prayers and Masses that are offered for MEFV benefactors.
That of course brings me to the “Donate to the MEFV” page. For those of you who would like to financially support vocations, I highly recommend the MEFV as a “holy mutual fund” that supports an impressive “portfolio” of seminarians and religious, and which already is clearly paying spiritual “dividends.”
I came across a couple interesting vocation-related articles on the Internet this past weekend.
First, I stumbled upon this article in the Rhode Island Catholic entitled “Scouts: A vehicle of faith, vocations.” The context for the article was a scouting awards ceremony, where Bishop Thomas J. Tobin of the Diocese of Providence encouraged hundreds of young scouts to be open to a call to the priesthood:
“You need the Church and the Church also needs you,” the bishop shared. “We need your joy, your conviction, we need you to help rebuild the Church. Pray seriously to give your lives to the Church. We need so many young people to come forth. Listen and respond with generous hearts.”
One of the diocese’s seminarians, Curtis Miller, explained that his experience in scouting, especially the values and leadership skills that he learned, played a significant role in the discovery of his vocation.
The other article is an interview from Catholic Online with Fr. David Carter, assistant vocation director for the Diocese of Knoxville, who tells the interesting story of his own journey to the priesthood. I don’t know about you, but I’m a sucker for personal testimonies and vocation stories!