ity of life as a priest or brother, myfirst thoughts were: What, really?
Do I look desperate? Does it seem likeI can’t figure out my life and have toresort to a life in the church?
Over time, however, I grew to
Desire for community
appreciate that it is a great compli-
ment to be seen as someone who
could live a life of service as a priest,
sister, or brother. People recognize
that you have a gift of service and
dedication to the church, an ability
to bring the gospel to others in a real
way. I had difficulty embracing these
compliments for myself, but I had to
investigate this crazy idea that had
been presented. So, at the age of 41,
I began a discernment process that
forced me to be vulnerable and ex-
amine my feelings about a calling to
religious life. I kept all this a secret
for a few months, slowly reveal-
ing myself to my family and closest
friends. Life remained normal on the
surface, but I began checking out
At first, I didn’t know if I was
PRAYER IS theanchor for everyvocation. Pacquingspends a quietmoment in thechapel at St. Mary’sUniversity.
DARREN SHIVERDECKER, ST. MARY’S UNIVERSITY
I grew to appreciatethat it is a greatcompliment to beseen as someonewho could live a lifeof service as a priest,sister, or brother.