Mr. Chris Irr

Mr. Chris Irr

I am NRVC


What roles do you play in vocation ministry?

I'm the director of communications for the Xaverian brothers, and I'm the co-chair for NRVC's Region 4. In my communications role, I am the first point of contact with men inquiring about vocations. I also participate in NRVC on behalf of the congregation and lobby leadership for a focus on vocations. That is, I try to help leadership keep vocations on their minds and plan accordingly.

How long have you been involved in vocation ministry?

Three years.

Has being a member of NRVC been helpful to you?

It has. As a congregation we haven’t had a great focus on new vocations here in the U.S. (We have active vocation teams in Kenya and the Congo.) The NRVC Region 4 group that I have been involved with has allowed me to bring ideas to the congregational leadership. And we’ve made efforts to respond to the needs of those men who are approaching us in their discernment. Outside of the regional meetings, I had the opportunity to attend NRVC's Men Moving Forward in Hope workshop in Houston with our general superior. Through that program we’ve been able to give vocations a place in the congregation's consciousness. As we look to embrace the future with hope, we see that part of our mission is to be open to the possibility of vocations here in the U.S.

What has been your best vocation effort?

Our best vocation effort is to simply imagine and be open to the possibility of new U.S. vocations. We’ve done that on the leadership level, and for us, that is no small thing. The congregation is filled with much life. But, as we all know, it is often difficult for us as individuals and communities to focus on the good that we are in the world. And so we can shy away from inviting people into a shared mission out of some form of misguided humility or inverted perfectionism. (We are not perfect, so why would we invite someone into this situation?) There is a desire to overcome these internal barriers and open up to the possibility of new membership. This is a small step, but a positive one, and a step that is aligned with our ongoing community formation and renewal.

What do you find most rewarding about vocation ministry?

Being contacted by men who desire to be part of something bigger than themselves—men who see what hope the Xaverian Brothers are in the world, men who want to be a part of the mission. We’ve had some of those men approach us lately; it is a great gift to the congregation.

Reach Chris at 410-646-6764 or cirr@xaverianbrothers.org.



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