Obviously not hard pressed for vocations


#1

I've been discerning a religious life for a little over a year now. I'm not ready to commit, but I've come to the point where I'm ready to start preparing for such a life. A few months ago a sent an email to the vocations director in my diocese as well as the vocations director for a religious order I am interested in. I told both men that I was interested and would like to know more information, and I asked them for advice concerning what I should be doing to prepare. Unfortunately I've received no response from either. It's somewhat disheartening. I know I could probably get in touch with them easier by calling them but it seems that these guys should be waiting and expecting emails such as the one I sent.

Another thing that irritates me is how the website for the religious order is fairly out of date. I would love to attend the weekend they offer twice a year for men to come see what their order is all about, but on their website they have the dates for the weekend from last spring still. I'll be giving them a call because I am very interested but I just wanted to rant on how I expected their response to be different.


#2

[quote="retniw18, post:1, topic:208906"]
I've been discerning a religious life for a little over a year now. I'm not ready to commit, but I've come to the point where I'm ready to start preparing for such a life. A few months ago a sent an email to the vocations director in my diocese as well as the vocations director for a religious order I am interested in. I told both men that I was interested and would like to know more information, and I asked them for advice concerning what I should be doing to prepare. Unfortunately I've received no response from either. It's somewhat disheartening. I know I could probably get in touch with them easier by calling them but it seems that these guys should be waiting and expecting emails such as the one I sent.

Another thing that irritates me is how the website for the religious order is fairly out of date. I would love to attend the weekend they offer twice a year for men to come see what their order is all about, but on their website they have the dates for the weekend from last spring still. I'll be giving them a call because I am very interested but I just wanted to rant on how I expected their response to be different.

[/quote]

Not everyone is computer savvy nor does everyone keep up on their email as they should.

You should not let this discourage you. Do call them.


#3

It may be that they do not have many computer savvy people among them, especially if they are older. And they may not be able to afford to have their website updated by professionals.

It sounds like they need a young guy who likes computers to help.;)


#4

I am of the firm belief that is someone HAS email and puts out an email address for contact, they should be checking their email daily. Afterall, we check our snail mail boxes daily. Email is so much easier.

For a part of my second job, if information is missing, I have to contact people to get it. I usually call during the day, but of course, if I am working at night, I will email. Most people reply by morning, because I think many people have it in their routine to check email first thing in the morning. However, there are some people whom I have called, left messages for, and emailed, and about a week later they get back to me. By that time, I've had to cancel their input, because my clients demand a 48 hour time turnaround. Then they are angry with me because they did not check their voice messages or email messages earlier.

If you have email and voice mail, check it regularly. Otherwise, get rid of it.


#5

There is also another issue to keep in mind.

A vocation director might have other jobs and responsibilities besides that of being a vocations director.

If your email nothing being answered in a timely (how ever you define that) matters to you greatly then this may be a sign that you are not called to that group.


#6

[quote="Catholic90, post:4, topic:208906"]
I am of the firm belief that is someone HAS email and puts out an email address for contact, they should be checking their email daily...

If you have email and voice mail, check it regularly. Otherwise, get rid of it.

[/quote]

Please excuse the intrusion in your thread, but fwiw, I'm one of the people to whom you are aiming this firm belief, and I don't share it at all ;), and there's a lot of us!

I dive into my email maybe 4 or 5 times a month. Those who need immediate contact can call me.

Isn't that what a phone is for? Actual, literal contact between two people, in real time?

Email isn't the same thing to every person, and running into someone like me, I'd hope you'd take no offence at my slow response and use my attitude in speaking with you over the phone as a judge of your importance to me.

Expecting others to view this issue your way does seem to lead to frustration in my experience. And in yours!

†Peace,
rmn

...off to check my email with a slight :blush: bit of guilt...


#7

Please consider becoming a monastic at the Monastery of the Risen Christ in California. :)


#8

[quote="ByzCath, post:5, topic:208906"]
There is also another issue to keep in mind.

A vocation director might have other jobs and responsibilities besides that of being a vocations director.

If your email nothing being answered in a timely (how ever you define that) matters to you greatly then this may be a sign that you are not called to that group.

[/quote]

That is a bizarre idea indeed... If email is given as a means of contact then it needs to be responded to. As a matter of simple courtesy. This is 2010


#9

Call them. If you can't reach them, leave voice mail. If they don't answer your vm, then write them---snail mail and *include a self-address stamped envelope. *Then you will have done everything you can.

When--and if-- you actually reach them, explain about the email. They may be changing voc directors--I believe that this is done in the summer--and the new guys may have no clue about the status of their emails/web/sites--how to answer emails--the works. Hard to believe in this day and age, but it's true, espec, I suspect, in overextended communities. I mean, their future may actually depend on the web, and they shouldn't be clueless, but there you have it. The women posters often talk about how their emails, especially to the cloisters, don't go answered for a long time.


#10

Hi retniw18! I know your frustration well. I was interested in a community of sisters but there was very little info about them online. I emailed the address they had on their outdated website specifically for vocation inquiries. I heard nothing for about a month. So I called one of the other priests of their brother order, and he gave me a sister's contact info. I emailed and left a phone message. Nothing.

I gave up for a while, but a spiritual director got me moving again, and with much persistence I did manage to establish contact with this order, and then I visited them, and now I'm entering in October and I'm very happy about it. :) I have to say, though, their bad email/phone habits have continued. It took months after my visit before I had a straight answer to the question of whether I could enter and when-- not because they were trying to decide whether to accept me, but because I had to go through the formality of talking with a few people, and the simple task of getting in touch with those people was very difficult. I was getting up at 4:30 am to call overseas several days in a row and still couldn't catch the person I needed!

It was very discouraging sometimes to have to wait and wait for answer after I'd put myself on the line asking for entry. Inconvenient too, because if I'd been given an entry date sooner I'd have had longer to prepare. Nevertheless, I'm so glad things have worked out.

In my discernment I've found that a LOT of orders are very bad at answering inquiries. There was one I totally wanted to visit. They said I could visit for two weeks and sent me a very detailed 12-page application. I completed it right away and sent it off registered mail. I know someone signed for it, but I never got any reply and that was the end of my contact with them. I now believe they weren't God's will for me, but I do wish I'd visited just to know what they were like; it might have helped my discernment and at least it would have been interesting! If I was in the same situation again, I'd send a followup letter, call, keep persisting until they replied.

So let me encourage you not to take it personally, but to keep trying, and don't write off an order just because they don't answer you for a while. It's easy to assume they don't care or don't like you or aren't interested, but I'm convinced the real reason is just that they're busy and don't get around to it, and they figure if it's God's will you'll keep trying until contact is established.

If I was in charge, though, I'd sure give vocations a higher priority. I saw an interview with the vocation directress of the Dominicans of Mary, Mother of the Eucharist in Ann Arbor who've grown from four sisters to about a hundred in less than ten years. She said she always takes her Blackberry with her wherever she goes, and answers emails right away. THAT'S the way to do it.


#11

I can see both sides of this. I am the superior of our community. I get all the vocation inquiries too. I don't know what you may have said in your commuinication, where the person is not presenting themselves well. You don't feel comfortable responding.

On the flip side of that, it is good manners to send something back,, even if it's a thank you note for contacting us.

Fraternally,

Br. JR, OSF :)


#12

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