In the five and one half years that I have served as the Directorof Vocations for our Franciscan Province of Saint John the Baptist, I have never done as much traveling and visited more prospectives than I have this fall. I have been to Saint Cloud and Collegeville, MN; Leesburg, VA; Oxford, OH; Pittsburgh, PA; Pinconning, MI; Dallas, TX; Parkersburg, WV; and Nashville, TN besides visiting men in my office here in Cincinnati. I have three more trips scheduled before the end of the year and have asked another friar to help with a visit in northern Illinois. And these are visits to the men who have expressed some interest in joining us. I have been in contact with many others who are not yet that far into the discernment process.
What does all of this mean? I have no idea except that more young men have expressed an interest in Religious Life in the last few months than in any other previous time period of equal length. I truly believe that we are witnessing a change in vocational patterns. Is it a momentary event or a trend? Only time will tell. But right now I thank the Holy Spirit for the inspirations that have been given and received.