THERE’S SO MUCH to learn about the rich experience of religious life. Get up to speedon the areas that most concern youas you consider your calling. Youmay find the answers eye-opening.
1. What do priests, sisters, and
brothers do all day?
Just like most adults, we spend aportion of each day working. Wecall our work ministry because themodel and motivation for what wedo is Jesus, who asked that we followhis way of service. But we don’t justwork. To live in a healthy, balancedway we try to keep a mix of prayer,ministry, and play in our lives so thatwe can be effective ministers andhappy people.
In the area of work or ministry,many priests, brothers, and sistershave one main job, such as teaching, parish ministry, social work, orhospital work—all of which havesomewhat regular hours and predictable demands. Our daily schedulecan look different from the typicaladult’s. Often we have evening meetings, and those of us who are priestsor parish ministers usually workon Saturdays and Sundays and takesome time off during the week.
The unpredictable demands also
lend richness to our lives. These
often center around meeting the
needs of people, be they children
in schools, families preparing to
celebrate the sacraments, or the
sick, elderly, angry, hurt, hungry, or
imprisoned. We try to share our lives
with others and reveal Christ in all
Those of us who are members of
contemplative communities (com-
munities dedicated to prayer) also
fill our days with a combination of
work, prayer, and recreation. The
difference is that we dedicate much
of our time to prayer. Sometimes
we will grow our own food and do
income-producing work, like bak-
ing the hosts used for Mass, making
cheese or candy, or designing fine
arts and handicrafts. Our prayer usu-
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