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Q & A with Father Anthony

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How can I develop my prayer life?

Robert asks:

Dear Fr Anthony,

I will be received into the Church this Easter. I am currently discerning the possibility that I am being called to the religious life/priesthood. I have a few questions for you.

1) How can one find objective information on the many religious orders, such as if they are orthodox or not.

2) After Easter would it be a good idea to try to become a Eucharistic Minister or Lector at my parish?

3) My parish is a Stephen Ministry Parish, would this be something good to get involved with?

4) I have a spiritual director and he knows about my discernment, but should I also share this with my parish pastor?

5) Would making a Holy Hour once a week before the Blessed Sacrament, even if it isn't exposed, be a good idea? In the future I hope to be able to work with adults that grew up as I did, with no faith formation, to help them along so that they do not have to make this journey alone as I did. Thanks.


Dear Robert,

Welcome into the Church! Since the Church recommends that about 18 months go by before admitting a convert into a seminary or religious/consecrated life, you have time to find answers to your search. For ease I will repeat your questions and provide some pointers.


1) How can one find objective information on the many religious orders, such as if they are orthodox or not. There is no 'directory of orthodox religious orders' or any such thing. Here you will have to seek the advice of people you trust, and take it upon yourself to visit any orders that attract you, asking all the questions you want. To be orthodox a group has to walk with the Church, be faithful to what the Holy Spirit tells us through Christ's Vicar, live centered on the Eucharist, have Mary as part of their lives, and be faithful to the vision of their Founder. All of this requires that prayer and a mature faith be the 'daily bread' of the members.


2) After Easter would it be a good idea to try to become a Eucharistic Minister or Lector at my parish? It will not be indispensable, but could be good. It really depends on what your pastor says. Do try to get involved in some ministry or outreach.

3) My parish is a Stephen Ministry Parish, would this be something good to get involved with?
Again, this depends on your pastor's recommendation and your own abilities.

4) I have a spiritual director and he knows about my discernment, but should I also share this with my parish pastor? It is not absolutely necessary to go into this with your pastor, but neither is there anything wrong with letting him know. It depends on how well he knows you, and what you are comfortable with. What you want to avoid, though, is having two simultaneous spiritual directors, which is never a good idea.

5) Would making a Holy Hour once a week before the Blessed Sacrament, even if it isn't exposed, be a good idea? Not a good idea - an excellent one! Choose the time well so that you can keep to it without fail. Read and reflect on the New Testament for part of the hour, perhaps pray the Rosary, have some time for personal reflection, use a good spiritual book (the Catechism of the Catholic Church is very helpful to reflect on in prayer - as a mater of fact it has a beautiful and useful section on prayer) and pray for all those in need. In the future I hope to be able to work with adults that grew up as I did, with no faith formation, to help them along so that they do not have to make this journey alone as I did. That could well be the Holy Spirit speaking to your heart.

God bless.

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