A Roman Catholic Benedictine monastery of men

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Fr James' vocation story

Then took place a series of happy accidents – or, as I prefer to think, several interventions by God that I was mercifully not allowed to ignore. A Sunday drive with my family led me to discover St. Procopius College, only a few miles from where I lived, but of which I had been almost unaware. Enrolling there, I came randomly to encounter a seminarian of the Diocese of Joliet, who invited me to consider the possibility of priesthood. Involvement with the Diocese made me more visible to the monks of St. Procopius Abbey, one of whom suggested that my nature might be more suited to cloister and classroom than to parish life.


Retreats at the monastery led to no bursts of enlightenment or moments of revelation about God’s will. What I did discover was a sensible way of life I could see had led to an altogether admirable equanimity for some of the monks. If this life could provide some of that within me, I thought, I would not be making a mistake by joining. So I did. 


In the thirty-seven years since, I have doubted myself often, I have been unkind enough to doubt confreres on occasion, but I have never had cause to doubt the goodness of the way of life St. Benedict provided with his Rule.

Fr. James enjoys conversation with guests 
at a special event at the abbey.