Wednesday, 29 January 2014

How Should I Discern the Priesthood? (#AskFrBarron)

Should you wish to spend sometime discerning you vocation in one of our communities you can contact me, Br. Terence Harrington, at or visit our website at

Tuesday, 28 January 2014

Poor Clares Vocations Day.

Vocations Ireland Events 

Poor Clares Carlow Monastic Experience Day

February 22nd from 11am to 5pm
Poor Clares Carlow,Castlecomer Road,Co.Carlow
God's path for your life is made especially for you and no one else but you can travel it.
To you who are at the crossroads of life; you who are seeking what to do with your life and to know which vocation is yours.
Pope John Paul II said:
" I would like to ask each one of you; What will you do with your life ?
  What are you plans ?
  Have you ever thought of committing your existence totally to Christ ?
  Will you offer yourselves to Christ, telling Him you are available ?
To learn more about the Poor Clares way of life, consider visiting them on February 22nd from 11am to 5pm  Check out for more information

Saturday, 25 January 2014

'To Be or Not To Be'...that is conversion!'

The word 'conversion' can be used to mean a lot of things: You can convert currency, convert your attic into a bedroom, convert feet to metres, temperatures, covert a try and even yourself! What's common to all these uses is that conversion involves some sort of change.

Often people speak of conversion in terms of a St Paul-like experience, when something dramatic happened to them which made them reevaluate what they were doing and how they were doing it. Whatever this experience was, it was enough to wake them up. It could have been an encounter with illness, poverty, death or some kind of spiritual experience on a pilgrimage, retreat or during quiet prayer. That's one type of conversion but not the only one.

Small, yet deeply profound, conversions happen to us all the time. Everytime we encounter another person we are converted in someway: we learn a little bit more about ourselves and about others. We grow, slowly, in the direction of wholeness and that's what conversion is all about. When you convert your attic or kitchen, it's usually because you need more space. Spiritual conversion is no different. As we make our way through life, we expand and we need more space. The process of conversion allows us to look at the aspects our our lives that we can build upon and those that can be demolished.

I believe conversion is a process, whether it is the St. Paul type or not. To begin with we need to have an awareness of a world beyond ourselves. That there are people, around the world, that we are connected to through our shared humanity. Their suffering is our suffering to. We also need to have an awareness that we are spiritual beings. Spirituality is as much apart of our DNA as anything else. This awareness allows us to be open to experiences and not to just float through life in a trance. It allows us to really experience what we experience and to grow as a result. We have to want to be in the conversion process. We have to want to grow as human beings in the image and likeness of God. We have to want to love one another as we are each loved by God. Finally, we have to work at it. Conversion is a process and so each day we take steps that bring us closer to God and to each other.

Conversion and vocation are intimately linked. Often, it is through engaging in a process of conversion, that we begin to hear the still small sound inside which calls us to follow Christ, in a particular way. Pope Francis, in his message to launch the day of prayer for vocations, speaks of the importance of listening. We listen to a voice, God's voice. This is quite a special thing if we stop and think about it for a second: God is speaking to us and all we have to do is to listen. This shows how close God is to us and how important we are to God. The sound of God's voice is constant yet often we have turned up the volume on other noise which drowns it out. The Desert Fathers often said 'In silence you will know yourself and know your God'. Pope Francis also speaks of creating the right environment to allow a vocation to grow. This begins in the family home, in school, among friends, at work, in our parish and most importantly, in our own hearts. It is in the silence of a listening heart that we will hear the awesome still sound of God's voice calling each of us by name to 'come follow me'.

Br Martin OFM Cap