Brother Tom Wendorf, S.M.

Brother Tom Wendorf, S.M.

I am NRVC


How long have you been in vocation ministry?
Four years.

Are you part of a vocation team?
Yes. We have a vocation team in the Los Angeles area and at each of our three universities (University of Dayton; St. Mary’s University in San Antonio, TX; and Chaminade University in Honolulu). Each team has a regional leader or coordinator. Our goal, of course, is to encourage all of our Marianist brothers, priests, and sisters to play a role in vocation ministry.

Has belonging to NRVC been helpful?
Definitely. The professional workshops have provided much practical guidance in everything from ethics to using technology and social media. The relationships, both occasional and ongoing, with other vocation ministers throughout the country have also been especially enriching and encouraging.

What has been your best outreach effort?
Our vocation discernment retreats have continued to be most helpful—they allow time for sharing information about our congregation, for prayer, and for interaction among young people who are asking some of the same questions about God’s calling in their lives. After that, the one-on-one companionship with candidates has been critical in the discernment process, and this can begin as early as the first time an inquirer contacts us through our website or through another brother, priest, or sister in one of our ministries.

Any words of wisdom to those who are new to this ministry?
There are best practices for vocation ministry, which NRVC shares so well, but there is no one way to do vocation ministry well, so don’t over-worry about finding the “right strategies.” Experiment and seek the advice and perspective of others, within and outside your congregation. Also, I remind myself regularly that vocation ministry is a mysterious work, a matter of faith and relationship with God—we can do much to help, but much is also out of our control and beyond the need for our control.

What do you find most rewarding about vocation ministry?
Working with men and women who are seeking to discover God’s call in their lives—it puts me in touch with my own vocation and relationship with God, and it calls me to greater integrity in living my own life as a Marianist brother. Naturally it’s also satisfying when someone does choose the life of a Marianist brother and persevere.



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