What first drew you
to religious life?
The idea that I could order my life
around the liturgy was attractive, as
was praying with a community.
How did you meet
A priest friend of mine in my home
diocese is an alumnus of the seminary
my community runs, and he encouraged me to visit. I made a vocation
retreat and entered four years later.
How did your family and
friends respond when you
told them you were joining
a religious community?
They weren’t surprised but had lots
of questions about what life as a
monk would be like and how much
contact I would be able to have with
them. They were supportive but
worried I was going to completely
cut ties with the outside world once
I joined. Although my relationships
have changed, I still have wonderful
friends outside the monastery.
What’s the most fun
you’ve ever had with your
The most fun I have is in daily
interactions—whether at our
community recreation in the evening
or throughout the day as we work
together. I work with our youth
program, One Bread, One Cup, in
our development office, and I’m the
assistant archabbey sacristan.
I love to ride my bike and get outside
and see nature. I’ve biked across my
home state of Iowa five times and try
to ride parts of an Iowa group ride
on my vacation if I can. I also enjoy
reading and watching movies.
Your favorite way to pray?
I love lectio divina, our practice of
praying with scripture. We block out
two times a day for it. Lectio is my
favorite because it helps me connect
with Christ and better understand
BROTHER JAMES JENSEN, O.S.B.
It’s not surprising that Brother James Jensen, O.S.B. considered
life as a priest or brother when he was young. He grew up in a
church-every-Sunday family and attended Catholic schools for
12 years. An avid teenage golfer, he daydreamed about a combo
career as a pro-golfer priest, “but that wasn’t realistic,” he
realized. His early interest never left, however, and five years
into a career as an accountant Jensen started exploring religious
life seriously—a move that ultimately led him to become a
Benedictine monk, praying seven times a day.
VocationNetwork.org | VISION 2019 |