Jeffery Jordan, OFM, has been appointed Eastern Region Vocation Director for the new U.S. Franciscan province.
As the newest addition to a dynamic vocation team assembled by the national Vocation Office, Jeffery joins Basil Valente, OFM, National Vocation Director; Gregory Plata, OFM, Central Region Vocation Director; Sebastian Sandoval, Western Region Vocation Director, and more than 70 other friars across the country serving as local vocation directors in the areas where they are stationed in ministry.
“The future of Franciscan life is dependent on how we engage with prospective candidates. Vocation ministry reminds professed friars and our fraternities of the importance of cultivating, maintaining, and growing our own vocations,” said Jeffery, a vicar at St. Anthony Shrine in Boston, Massachusetts, where he is also a teaching fellow of Hebrew Scriptures at Boston College and is completing his dissertation for his doctoral degree.
“Our vocation team of diversely talented and skilled friars, with the guidance of the Holy Spirit, will vitalize Franciscan life in the U.S. The diversity of our ministries and lived experiences will be more evident through our new unified province,” continued Jeffery, whose conversion to Catholicism, along with his academic background in scripture and theology, helps him connect with “nones” (those with no religious affiliation) and discerners who are converts to the faith.
“I feel a strong sense of responsibility to ensure the continuity of inviting discerning men to our Franciscan fraternity,” added Jeffery, who has served in vocation ministry for Holy Name Province as a New England Region vocation director – collaborating with the Boston fraternity to host prospective candidates for evening prayer and dinner, interviewing potential applicants, and giving talks on Franciscan life.
In his role with the new province, Jeffery will work with the national vocation team to help create a roadmap for implementation of vocation strategies, planning, outreach, and mission. He will collaborate with and support the efforts of Eastern Region local vocation directors; meet with men contemplating Franciscan vocation, and organize discernment retreats, ministry experiences, and other organic opportunities for discerners.
Jeffery said he would like to introduce more vocation awareness and training for local vocation directors, as well as all fraternities. “Perhaps initiate ongoing vocation activities at all ministry sites – for example, preaching regularly at masses and establishing vocation groups in parishes,” said Jeffery, who was ordained to the priesthood in January 2015.
“Vocation ministry will be a vital component to the success of our new province. Aside from addressing the more practical concern of friar population in the U.S., vocation ministry provides a model to strengthen our fraternities and reflect on our individual vocations, which attracts discerners to our Franciscan life,” said Jeffery.