How long have you been involved in vocation ministry?

I have been active in vocation ministry since 2005. Currently I am vocation director and sub-prior for my community, the Benedictine Monks of Newark Abbey, Newark, New Jersey. I also used to be on the NRVC African American Vocation Committee.

In my local area I serve as the chairperson for the Archdiocese of Newark Vocation Board for Religious Life.

Has being a member of NRVC been helpful ? How?

Yes. The amount of resources that are available to vocation directors through NRVC membership is great. Working together with other vocation directors over the years has been invaluable. NRVC creates a sense of community among the members, especially when we meet in our regions. The organization consistently keeps members up-to-date on the latest developments in vocation ministry, new data about membership to religious life, etc.

What  program, idea, or approach have you used in vocation ministry that you have been excited about?

During the pandemic a group of vocation directors and I carried out a program we called the Virtual Young Adult Café. We engaged the young adult participants on social justice issues they like to talk about among themselves. It was very successful, but with live events happening again, we are no longer doing it.

Is there a fun fact about you that you’d like to share?

After many years as a Benedictine, I am now in the process of preparing for ordination.

On a totally unrelated note, I’m also proud to say that I am a Trekkie.

When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?

I thought about becoming a doctor. I was influenced by seeing medical personnel in sci- fi shows and movies.

Any words of wisdom for those new to this ministry?

I would say to a new vocation director: be bold in your ministry and don’t be discouraged. Seek advice from seasoned vocation directors who can give you encouragement and lend a listening ear.

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