Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Well, that's it.

Dear friends,

After a couple years of battling off the inevitable, I have now officially left seminary formation. I am an ordinary, rank-and-file Catholic again, after five and a half years.

It has happened so suddenly and unexpectedly that I am almost too confused to say more. Right now I am moving out of the rectory and looking for work. The bishop is strongly encouraging me to take a position teaching theology at one of the local Catholic high schools.

In the last two months I have strongly contemplated entering religious life. This is still a big part of my current discernment. However, decisions that I must make soon (virtually right now) will determine whether that is a possible within the year, or whether I will live and work as a layman for a year.

The latter seems more attractive at this point because of the flexibility afforded by lay life, and the possibility of dating. Not that I have forgotten about the monastery. But coming fresh off of a "dysfunctional 5 year relationship," my desire to jump back into a specialized vocation is rather weak. This is an opportunity for me to try to do something I have never done before: live on my own.

But as yet, I do not know what I will do. I ask for your prayers.

God bless,



Br. Thomas said...

Congratulation's Jeffrey! I know the Diocese is sad to lose you, but we can all rejoice that a major weight has been lifted from you.

Was there something in particular that sparked it, Today's the day epiphany? Isn't it strangely awesome to feel free again, not that vocation isn't freeing, but that's the point. Ah, to be afloat in the hands of God. What a sign of trust you show, a sign of faith in Our Father.

I'll call you this afternoon; God bless!

Matt of CG said...

Semper alante. Father Kevin gave me that one after confession once.

Talk to him. He's more poignant than he gives himself credit for.

FluteJenn said...

I was also discerning a religious community. I am living on my own this year.

You can do so much as a lay person today. I struggle with this myself. Maybe Vatican II was a call away from the religious life vocation craze that occured in the 50s. Many of the apostles were married. The orders I looked at were aging and a huge generational gap is very evident. The younger orders have very naive young women in them. I do think lay people are going to be called to take on new roles. That may be our call but it's just not formed yet. So I am trying to find things that can sustain me as a lay person.

I came to your site because I watched your YouTube video. Hearing you, you are struggling too much with "girls" yet.
Yes there are girls out there with similar values. I am one of them. I pray daily which keeps my center where it should be. I have my Masters in theology. And I'm looking for a guy who can hold a deep conversation. I'm not saying that as a pick up line. I'm saying that to tell you that there are girls out there... and you give me hope there are guys out there because I doubt it a lot!

It's hard to say you want to be a priest and give up something like marriage at 24. You said you were in seminary for 5 years? That means you really never dated... high school stuff doesn't count in my opinion. Vocations today seem to take place later so you have plenty of time to enjoy life. I'm only a few years older so I say that from experience.

I have found my discernment as confusing. I am trying to trust that God will guide me exactly where I should be.

Matt of CG said...

Call me Elizabeth! Little Mary came to visit! Whew weee! Stick around flutejenn. He needs, I need, we need your perspective in here. Wouldn't you agree, Jeff?

This blog just keeps gettin' better every day!

FluteJenn said...

I'd love to stick around. I'd love to e-mail Jeff after his newer post. If there is a way to e-mail you Jeff, let me know. I think there may be many similarities between how I was when I left religious life and how you are feeling now, but I don't want to post them so people can see them! If you want someone to chat with, let me know. I have AIM too that I could share with you if you let me know your e-mail.

Rev. Daren J. Zehnle said...

My prayers are with you.

Matt of CG said...

Check out his post on December 16, 2006 entitled "YouTube Stuff." I fly off on a different tangent and he gives up his e-mail there. It's a viable address as far as I know. We had two exchanges on it back then and that was it. Oh, well.