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How long have you been involved in vocation ministry?

Twenty years ago I attended the Orientation Program in Atchinson, Kansas with three new vocation directors from the Augustinians.  

Are you part of a vocation team? 

I am a full-time vocation director covering Arizona, Nevada, Oregon, Idaho, Washington, and Northern California. I have an associate who takes care of vocations in Los Angeles and San Diego. For 20 years, I've been writing the province newsletter, which is sent to every inquirer to tell what the Augustinians are doing today.

Has being a member of NRVC been helpful? 

Everything I learned about being a vocation director I have learned from NRVC workshops and publications. I have taken every workshop by Father Ray Carey, as well as many others, including this fall's "The Art of Accompaniment and Discernment." Workshops are great for learning; they are refreshing and helpful for motivation.

I've also attended every convocation since I have been a vocation director. In addition, I'm involved in the West Coast member area, especially the northern area. It is very helpful that we often we use Skype for meetings.

What programs, ideas, or approaches have you used in vocation ministry lately that you have been excited about?

I am not a very excitable person, but I like our discernment weekends, including the fact that I don't have to put them together. Those in formation coordinate it. All I have to do is invite men who are discerning. I interview them first before they come to the discernment weekend. 

Would you like share any fun facts about yourself?

I have been studying Spanish for about 18 years. I love music; I am a piano player who doesn't practice anymore. And I volunteer weekly at a Saint Anthony's Dining Room, which serves free meals to 2,000-3,000 people daily in San Francisco. 

Contact Father Tom Whelan, O.S.A. at vocations@calaugustine.org.



























































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