A gang war? Not really, more along the lines of a ‘catholic’ (universal) aspect of our Church. When a man is called to discern God’s call, the common approach is either to say marriage or priesthood. Well, as they say, ‘different strokes for different folks.’ Jesus calls people to discern many walks and many spiritualities, all of them Catholic obviously! (Unlikely that God will call anyone to Rastafarianism,..just sayin'...)
Diocesan priesthood is its own unique charism, and has at its heart, the local parish community. The priest answers to the local ordinary, in his case, usually the Bishop of his diocese, and essentially celebrates the Sacraments, and does pastoral work by meeting people where they are. Diocesan priests can work as hospital chaplains, educators, in jails or simply out of the local Parish doing everyday administrative work along with Spiritual Direction. They are required to live celibate, chaste lives, and are encouraged to have a simplistic lifestyle as it pertains to possessions. (Meaning, if I'm assigned a parish, I'm bringing my car and Playstation 3 with me,..)
Religious communities operate in a different manner. Consisting of both priests and brothers, They usually contain within their spirituality, a certain charism of their founder. Franciscans named after St Francis of Assisi would follow his simplistic way of life, working with the poor, the marginalized. Dominicans on the other hand, following St Dominic, devote themselves to preaching. While Jesuits, in following their founder, concentrate on teaching and act as educators and missionaries. What they all have in common are the three vows, poverty, chastity and obedience. (Meaning they have no personal possessions as everything belongs to the community, including their cars and yes,.(sigh) ...even their Playstation 3s...) Their prayer life is centred usually on ‘Ora et Labora’ (prayer and work). Usually they live in community (Monasteries) and rarely leave (Unless to study obviously, as is the case here). In essence, people come to them, unlike the diocesan priesthood whereby they go to the people. Obviously, this lifestyle is not for everybody. I know I couldn't do it.
Okay, here is the Optimuscommentary from Optimusmastro! The Religious call is a unique one, then again so is every call. In the picture with me, is my little confrere Brother Patrick! (His Community) He studies with me at the Seminary, as we are both seminarians. It is my first real opportunity to become friends with a monk, and it has done nothing but deepen my own spirituality. My little ‘bro’ wearing his habit, having to participate with our Diocesan Liturgy of the Hours, spirituality and being separated from his brothers. He is constantly cheerful, open and the funniest guy at the supper table! Nonetheless, in an urban setting like Montreal, it takes BALLS to wear his habit! A living testimony to the Gospel amidst a world that needs it. God bless him!
Merci pour ton temoignage Frere Patrick!
St Benoit,………………..priez pour nous!