Religious Vocation

Discover a life less ordinary

Fr Colm O'Mahony OSA

It has been a privilege journeying these past few years as vocations director for the friars. I have met some wonderful people who are like me, and my fellow friars are on that great pilgrimage of life towards God.

I believe that when you have a vocation in life, it is always something worth exploring, whatever it may be. Our current students will tell you that it involves some risk, but they will also say they have gained so much in crossing that threshold of faith. Take, for instance, Adeel, who travelled all the way from Pakistan to Ireland in order to begin a life with the friars, or indeed Fearghal, who gave up a promising career in economics to join us. I could go on but what I have found in my own faith journey is that doors open when you least expect it. You can see how this happened in my own life’s journey by watching my YouTube video HERE or reading a fuller account of my own life story HERE.

Our Augustinian student programme has been very successful. The students have benefitted hugely from our education on the Augustinian charisms and what it means to be an Augustinian in Ireland now. It is a question that is always beneficial to ask because if you ask the right question, therein will be the answer. The answer, I believe, is to meet people where they are at, and that is something that this vocation work has brought home time and again. The goal is not the end but rather the journey and meeting people at the very moment they are in and what they are experiencing.

If you feel you would like to chat about beginning your journey with us please don’t hesitate to contact me via email, phone or the form below.

The Augustinian life is about living together in harmony as we journey with God and to God. We have been present in Ireland since shortly after the Order was founded in 1256. So our roots in Ireland are deep and longstanding. As an international order, we are numbered in the thousands worldwide. However, currently here in Ireland, we have 82 friars. While there are many challenges in Ireland we are excited about the opportunities they offer us. As it is the challenges of life that provide the greatest growth. So as things change rapidly in Ireland it is worth remembering Thaddeus of Vitovnica words,

Everything is changing; nothing remains static.

In our conversations and our meetings with people, we recognise the truth of this changing environment. However, our tradition and history provide an inspiration for us and many others. As it is our tradition and history that shows us how life ebbs and flows over time, all the while leading us deeper into God’s great mystery of love.

“People travel to wonder at the height of the mountains, at the huge waves of the seas, at the long course of the rivers, at the vast compass of the ocean, at the circular motion of the stars, and yet they pass by themselves without wondering.”

– St. Augustine

We are religious priests and brothers following in the footsteps of Christ and St. Augustine since 1244. As ‘Active Contemplatives’ and ‘Men of Heart’, we live our religious vocation within community. However, to be an Augustinian is to first serve God and His people in diverse ministries such as brotherhood, priesthood, education or missionary work, to name but a few. Our Order is a brotherhood within the Catholic Church, so you need to be a Catholic to join. And as we are an order of brothers, you also need to be male, a person of faith and looking for your way of living that faith within a religious community.

Additionally, to become an Augustinian assumes a certain faith commitment and vocation to religious life. Nonetheless, that doesn’t mean being overly churchy; rather, it means being a person with a commitment to their faith. As a friar, you will be a professed brother first, and then you may also wish to be a priest, but that’s another choice to be made and involves further study and training.

The Augustinian life is about living together in harmony as we journey with God and to God. We have been present in Ireland since shortly after the Order was founded in 1256. So our roots in Ireland are deep and longstanding. As an international order, we are numbered in the thousands worldwide. However, currently here in Ireland, we have 82 friars. While there are many challenges in Ireland we are excited about the opportunities they offer us. As it is the challenges of life that provide the greatest growth. So as things change rapidly in Ireland it is worth remembering Thaddeus of Vitovnica words,

Everything is changing; nothing remains static.

In our conversations and our meetings with people, we recognise the truth of this changing environment. However, our tradition and history provide an inspiration for us and many others. As it is our tradition and history that shows us how life ebbs and flows over time, all the while leading us deeper into God’s great mystery of love.

The diaconate ordination of Stephen Shields.

Questions

So do I need to be anyone special for religious life?

No. We’re not looking for superman. However, there are some requirements.

Age

You need to be between 18 and 50, although exceptions can be made according to individual circumstances.

What if I’m a woman? Can I still become an Augustinian?

There are Augustinian Sisters – with several congregations spread around the world, but there are none in Ireland as of yet. For a full list of female congregations in Ireland, please click HERE. However, women can also be associated with the Order through our Augustinian lay groups. For more info on our Augustinian lay groups, click HERE.

Education

You need to have at least finished secondary school education and be qualified for tertiary studies. Once you have been accepted as a candidate by the Order, the study you take may vary. There are many paths, such as theological studies for the priesthood or another form of study that prepares you for a ministry in the Church. Such as teaching, social work, nursing…the field is wide open. The study and training we provide aim to equip you for your work as a member of the Order. This work may be in a parish, in education, in the caring professions etc. So it will be wherever you can best use your skills and gifts within the Order.

Life Experience

We would encourage you not to come too early in life. A bit of life experience after school, in a work environment, in further studies or in a family setting will help you mature and better understand yourself, others, and the world. Life experiences like these are invaluable.

Spiritual and Personal Qualities

You must be healthy and have a good healthy appreciation of life. It is helpful to appreciate your own humanity and humanness, living life in reasonably normal ways as a Christian. Individuals need a certain level of maturity as you are looking at a life that is lived in common as a celibate. Also, it is a life that may involve some demanding work. Furthermore, you need to be a person of faith, living out that faith in the Catholic community. A sense of humour would be handy too!

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ABOUT

The Augustinians are a Catholic Religious Order made up of both lay and religious people. Our life is about living together in harmony as we journey with God and to God.

USEFUL LINKS

CONTACT INFO

Augustinian Province of Ireland

16 Zion Road

Rathgar

Dublin 6, D06FA30

Phone: 01 485 1516

Email: [email protected]