Your story

Carvaggio’s lovely painting of St. Jerome writing his vocation story.

We want to know how God drew you to Himself and called you to your vocation. If you’re ordained, consecrated, or married, we want to hear from you! I’m a friendly person, so don’t hesitate to email me. (I’m serious.)

All questions and submissions should be sent to mary.c.tillotson@gmail.com. Please put “vocation story question” or “vocation story submission” in the subject line.

All stories should highlight how God called you and how you answered. How did you realize you had this vocation? Was it sudden or gradual? Had you been thinking about other vocations? How seriously? What sorts of things pointed you in the right direction? Did you try to avoid your vocation? Why? How?  What made you finally come around? Are you happy now that you’ve made this decision? What’s the best part of your vocation? You don’t have to answer all of these questions in your story, but the story should focus on God working in your life and your response.

St. Ignatius of Loyola, depicted by Peter Paul Rubens, holding a copy of his vocation story.

St. Ignatius of Loyola, depicted by Peter Paul Rubens, holding a copy of his vocation story.

If you’ve already published your story elsewhere, I’m happy to republish it, as long as I have permission. Many religious orders publish vocation stories on their websites, and I’ve republished some of these. I will always credit the author and link back to the website where the story was originally published. If you would like to submit an already-published story, please send me a link and permission to republish. If you have already published your story and would like to “touch it up” before submitting, that’s fine too — just send me your touched-up version, a link to the original version, and permission. I will note that “a version of this story originally appeared at…” and link to the website.

Written stories should be longer than a blurb but shorter than 2,000 words. (We can make exceptions, but run them by me first.) If you can, please include a photo or two.

Video stories should be uploaded to YouTube. (Please email me an embed link.) Many seminarians, priests, and religious share their stories with youth groups or at other events; if these are recorded and uploaded, I can publish them on this site. If you would like to share your story but prefer video to writing, feel free to record in your home or office (or wherever). I do not publish videos without permission, so please indicate in your email that the video is being submitted for publication.

St. Catherine of Siena writing her vocation story, Rutilio di Lorenzo Manetti

St. Catherine of Siena writing her vocation story, Rutilio di Lorenzo Manetti

Please do not submit stories of finding a “vocation” to an order that is not in full communion with the Catholic Church (currently headed by Pope Francis) or is not faithful to the Magisterium. Please do not submit “how I met my spouse” stories — obviously, meeting the person you are to marry is an important part of discerning that vocation, and it’s fine to include the circumstances of your meeting in your vocation story, but the focus of the story should be God working in your life, His call, and your response.

If you are hesitating or unsure, chances are good that we want to hear your story, so don’t be shy! If you have any questions or concerns, please email me and we’ll discuss it. (I will encourage you, but I won’t pressure you.) I’m at mary.c.tillotson@gmail.com. Email me with questions or submissions!

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