Vocational Discernment within Community… A Little help

Posted: October 24, 2012 by Ty in Musings, Spirituality
Tags: , , , , , , ,

Português: Ordem Franciscana Secular do Brasil...

Português: Ordem Franciscana Secular do Brasil : Fraternidade São Francisco(?) : Igreja Sagrado Coração de Jesus, Petrópolis, estado do Rio de Janeiro, Brasil (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Sacred Heart Catholic Church

Sacred Heart Catholic Church (Photo credit: enkrates)

Was it ten or eleven years ago when I was kneeling saying a rosary that I heard Christ speak to me? A voice calling me to rebuild the church? Before then in 1997 when seeking to learn how to pray, my minister guided me to self-discovery that led to a bookshelf at the local Smithbooks of Michael Talbot’s orthopraxy at Little Portion titled “Life Lessons of St. Francis” that began to aid me in synergizing my life lived with my pilgrimage for the holy.


Unbeknownst to me (or simply forgotten) that the Catholic Parish I would find myself in, was actually named after a Secular Franciscan, St. Thomas More, where I can honestly say I had my most gospel experience of ministry and what it meant to live out the love of Christ for community—even though I could not complete my R.C.I.A. (Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults). Guided by Sister Josie and the Basillian Fathers Bob & John serving in the (prayer) Ministry of Praise and Inn from the Cold.


Yet what was the stumbling block? This is something unique, but it could also be my wandering spirit, as I do enjoy attempting to craft new paths. It was shortly after my time in the parish that I began (or was it during?)  my pilgrimage through the churches of my past that had shaped my understanding.


It was also during this time that I joined the Order of Ecumenical Franciscans completing my inquiry and Postulancy, during this time my pilgrimage of past churches too me back to the church of my original baptism, St. George’s Anglican and saw me transfer orders into the Third Order, Society of St. Francis to complete my novitiate, and came into fellowship with the local Calgary chapter of my Roman Catholic Brothers and Sisters in the Secular Franciscan Order.


A feeling led me to complete my pilgrimage of personal spiritual pilgrimage back at Foothills United Church where I returned to the fold as it were (the church of my confirmation), surrendering my vows in my Franciscan vocation and entering discernment for ministry. Where the committee and I came through guidance by the Holy Spirit that it was not ordination or just being licensed that was my calling (even though Universalists have ordained me, and churches have licensed me as a lay pastor) was to the Diaconal ministry or more specifically those called to justice work.  Which led me to make another decision as I served at The Mustard Seed in Calgary and a call to the ministry of justice and word seemed like seeking an honourific for nothing more than having it…so I concluded my discernment to continue my work for those without voice, my call to make my own corner of this world a little bit better for my children and neighbours.


I will save the intervening of other spiritual organizations that have contributed to my journey, (see the endnotesY) , but this winding eclectic path has brought me to my current year of sabbatical, completing my M.A. and awaiting my first unit of C.P.E. it has been an interesting fall. See on October 13, 2012 a syncretise or serendipitous occurrence attending a concert promoted through Franciscan Friends that brought Tony Melendez to Calgary. The true impact aside from his story, aside from this man’s ministry truly being launched because of the loving actions of Blessed John Paul II at World Youth Day 1984 in Los Angeles, was that the concert myself, my soul mate and our friends attended was at…you guessed it…St. Thomas More Catholic Church. To find the words to explain the powerful experience of this man’s testimony that brought tears to my eyes as the parish became a convergence of soul matters. You see it was a powerful time in this church, the last time I had been at church with my Mum & Nan together when they were both still completely healthy was there, it was my most blessed time in ministry, coupled with the music and the story was overwhelming.  It felt like a home coming kind of night. These are the words that took so long to process.


Now before this night I was exploring a renewal of my monastic life, as a secular monastic one is able to have the family and be active in the world. Through my research on Mariology I had stumbled across the Ecumenical Catholic Church, which had a lay order through The Order of Mary the Theotokos (OMT) whose rule was basic Franciscanism.


As I sit in low Mass at St. Mark’s RC Church or reading my catholic edition NRSV (New Revised Standard Version Bible) during worship with my family at Cornerstone Christian Assembly/King of Glory Lutheran Brethren Church and facilitate bible studies in my home parish of Rainbow Chapel there is a vocational call within my soul, and I wonder if I may have missed it?


So, as my beliefs rest within discernment within a community as I continue my sabbatical journey, in this the 50th year of Vatican II, in what has been declared the year of faith…I lay down where my path is right now:


Do I join the OMT even though there is no local fellowship or do I pursue concluding my R.C.I.A. and joining the Secular Franciscan Order?


What is an ol’ broken down Robin Hood to do folks?

Y Rockyview Alliance Church – My Preschool and where I served with the Young Adults

Centennial Presbyterian Church where I attended Vacation Bible School and was a youth pastor

Symons Valley United where I was a youth and young adult worker

Campbell-Stone United Church where I was a youth pastor

Central United Church – youth group volunteer, attended Alpha Course

Knox United Church- Congregant

Spiritual Directions – trained as a Shaman; didgeridoo making/playing; restorative writing; teacher

Calgary Church of Christ – youth group volunteer

Alberta Bible College- Earned my B.A.; Emerge 2012 Speaker

Canadian Theological Seminary- Earned my M.A.

St. Mary’s Roman Catholic Cathedral – Adherent

Calgary Roman Catholic Diocese  – Youth Leader Training

Unity Church of Calgary – attendee

Prince of Faith Lutheran Church – council member, professional lay leader

Taoist Society – learned Tai Chi

Robert McClure United Church – attendee

Calgary Parks n Rec- learned Yoga

Holy Cross Anglican – attendee

Anglican Cursillo weekend


Druid International Org – trained in Druidism

Great Bend Church of Christ/Rosscarock Church of Christ – Pulpit Supply

Lakeview United Church – Pulpit Supply

King of Glory Lutheran Brethren Church – Facilitator of Christianity 101

St. George’s Anglican Church – Youth & Children’s coordinator; People’s Warden; First Baby   baptized; Alpha Course Leader

Anglican Sower/Presbyterian Record/ THAW/TSSF Journal – Writer

Christian Science Church (Red Deer)/Church of Christ, Scientist (Calgary) – Attendee

FCJ Christian Life Centre – Dream Work; labyrinth; personal retreats; Companions in Mission     formation

Ordained Universal Life Church Monastery

Trained in Order of St. Luke the Physician

The Mustard Seed- Street Level Support Worker; Em-Beds Support Worked; Sunalta Team Lead; Street Level manager; Chaplaincy relief; Permanent Supportive Housing Team Lead; Community Living Properties Team Lead; Housing Team Lead; Relief Staff; Mountain Mover; Donor; volunteer Street Youth Pastor; Volunteer Apprentice Night Leader; Meal Volunteer;

St. Thomas More Catholic Church – Lay Minister of Praise; Inn from the Cold volunteer; Adherent

Crossroads Community Church – Attendee

Order of Ecumenical Franciscans – inquirer/postulant

Saskatoon Theological Union – Spiritual Direction training and international church understanding; what sanctuary is and what church is.

Third Order, Society of St. Francis – Novitiate

My own personal pilgrimages that were mixtures of spirituality, faith, outreach and history through Canadian cities of Red Deer, Medicine Hat, Saskatoon, Regina, Edmonton, Lethbridge, Ottawa, Hull, Winnipeg, and into the U.S. through Arizona.

Currently at: Cornerstone Christian Assembly/King of Glory Lutheran Brethren Church – attendee

St. Mark’s RC Parish – attendee


  1. kiwianglo says:

    My only comment, as a priest, is that you actuall make a commitment to one particular church Family, therein you may find the peace you seek. Fr. Ron

  2. What Price Vocation? « A Robin Hood's Musing says:

    […] Vocational Discernment within Community… A Little help […]

  3. Franciscan Communities? « A Robin Hood's Musing says:

    […] Vocational Discernment within Community… A Little help […]

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