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AUGUST 2020 VISION E-Vocation Newsletter

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See your life in a new light


RECENTLY I LEARNED of the death of my favorite high-school teacher, Brother Mark McVann, F.S.C., a De La Salle Christian Brother. Though his death was unrelated to the COVID-19 pandemic, it came during a time of great loss and seemed all the more tragic and heartbreaking. As I read tributes to him posted on social media, I realized that not only did he touch the lives of hundreds of students at my school but many hundreds more in other schools following his explosion onto the scene in my sleepy suburb as a newly minted brother.

None of us had ever met anyone like him—this dynamic force, who swept the halls in his flowing habit and distinctive starched collar. He was off-the-charts creative, dramatic, and passionate with a biting humor, gorgeous voice, and giant brain.He refused to let any of us be mediocre. He practically willed us to push, stretch, and strain to do better. To be better. To see our lives in a new light.

That is what people who truly care—who truly love you—do. They make the effort to help you see your worth and potential. They take the risk to admonish and cajole. Or in Brother Mark’s case to scream, “This. Is. Wretched!” following a lackluster rehearsal from a musical cast he knew could sparkle.

We all need such world-shaking illuminators in our lives, starting with Jesus, the Light of the World, who shows us the way to our true selves. As you embark on your vocation journey, take a moment to read the stories in the pages of VISION 2021 of men and women who have gone before you. Who know what it is like to change course and refocus. Who break barriers and cross borders for the sake of the gospel. Who choose to see their lives in a new light—as sisters and brothers to all.

—Patrice J. Tuohy, VISION Publisher

In the current issue:

Find much, much more in VISION 2021!

Discernment Matters
The choices of a lifetime


Too much that passes for spirituality is inwardly focused. Am I praying enough, pure enough, good enough? Such concerns can be more self-serving than God-serving. And they’re often beside the point.

The strength of our egos is a tide difficult to resist. It pulls us ever back to self-concern, even self-obsession. How do I look? What do people think of me? Don’t they see what I need? How can I get more attention? In the recent months of crisis, we naturally ingested a lot of self-concern. Are people passing by too closely? Did I touch something that will make me sick? 

As the crisis wore on, we developed ways to get out of our own heads. We reached out by phone, text, email, Skype. We began to hear how others outside of our homes and normal social circles were affected, people we may not often think about. Prisoners in close, confined quarters. Monks in their daily sanctification of the world through prayer. Mail carriers, keeping us connected. Refugees in cramped camps. Addicts, cut off from their suppliers. Medical personnel on the front lines of exposure. Supermarket workers, exhaustingly restocking shelves. Waste management, maintaining faithful service. Teachers offering online lessons and encouragement in car parades. The isolated elderly in our neighborhoods needing supplies. We heard more from our governors in three weeks than we had in the last three decades.

Being forced inside brought the rare and paradoxical opportunity to think more about others.

—Alice Camille,
reprinted with permission from TrueQuest Communications

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Editors are standing by

VISION READERS, please let us know what more we can do to help you in your discernment or ministry. We welcome your feedback. Please share your own stories on the positive influence that priests, brothers, and sisters have had on you.

Contact Jennifer Tomshack at

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VISI2021 VISION Vocation Guide, prayer cards, and posters available Aug. 1, 2020. Order now while supplies last.

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© 2020, TrueQuest Communications
published on behalf of the National Religious Vocation Conference