Vocation Stories

"I am", these two words were for me the beginning of a new life.  I didn't understand them, but they were enought to break my doubts and fears.

It's all about finding the hidden treasure....

My vocation's journey has its own beauty and simplicity.

It all began in God's heart. God's says "Before you were in your mother's womb I consecrated you" (Jer1:5). This became clear to me little by little.

People sometimes ask me, "Did you always know you wanted to be a nun?" I have to answer "no," and I am glad for the experience of having carried other dreams, hopes, and plans for my life.

During my first year of college, I had so much drifted away from the church, for various reasons, that I soon stopped considering myself Catholic. However, early into my sophomore year, while studying abroad, I had a sort of spiritual crisis.

Brother Isaac won the 2007 America Magazine Foley Poetry Contest with "Lost and Found" by "John Slater". Slater is the pen name of Brother Isaac, a monk of Genesee Abbey in upstate New York.

Elias's room contains not much more than old prayer books with frayed pages, statues, bread wrappers and a hat-remnants of his simple life here. I'm sitting at Brother Elias's desk in his damp, abandoned hermitage.

God speaks to each of us in the silence and depths of our hearts. As I reflect on my own vocation journey, the greatest struggle in my initial searching was that of being able to open my heart to listen to God's voice.

My friends from college have never questioned my choice of a small community with its artless buildings and endless responsibilities. People who have met me after I entered Holy Cross Abbey, who know me less as a friend and more as the persona masking my responsibilities, do wonder.

Some hear the words "Come, follow me!" while at the tax collector's table, or under a fig tree, or mending nets. This call came to mature persons and the answer was immediate. My "call" came when I was twelve years old, the last week of August 1937,—and I could not answer it immediately.

I am Brother Hieu Pham in Vina, California. I was born and grew up in a large family in central Viet Nam, the fourth of seven children.

This is supposed to be a vocation story but I really can't do that because my vocation is not a story. My vocation came to be, whole and entire, when I encountered the Liturgy of the Hours prayed in common while I was on retreat shortly before my 19th birthday.

To me the "monastic vocation story" is a simply the continuation of "the conversion story", the response of a soul to the patient invitation of Our God and Father to return to the embrace of His Majestic Love and Joy. My own particular version of the timeless story has proceeded in this way:

When I was asked to write this reflection on my vocational journey I hesitated because I thought my story would be boring. But encounters with the Lord make the journey interesting to relate.

It was an unexpected family reconciliation that stunned me and brought me back into the church, from my own personal "Siberia." The Hound of Heaven knew exactly what he was doing when he led me song-in-heart to St Patrick's to give thanks for it.

Many young people looking at the way a cloistered Cistercian monk or nun lives: renunciation of your possessions, obedience, fasting, manual labor, celibacy, seven praye

My call to be a monk at Mepkin Abbey feels like a long story. But God works in surprising ways and each grace builds on another.

Our Monasteries

The journey to joining a Trappist community begins by connecting with the vocation director at one of our monasteries. We invite you to browse our monasteries to get a sense for the beautiful places we Trappists live in and find the contact information for each of our vocation directors. You may also write to us if you have immediate questions or view our retreat calendar.

Theme by Danetsoft and Danang Probo Sayekti inspired by Maksimer