Friday, February 09, 2007

Ex Novice

After several days of prayer, reflection, discussion with friends and my spiritual director, I have decided to take a leave from the Novitiate, in order to continue to stay in India for a longer time. The Paulists would have liked me back just before Lent, in order to send me on the Lenten assignment. I simply could not conceive of myself returning in such a short period of time. I have felt strongly that in the immediate future, I want to spend more time with my family, especially my mother.

The only way this could work within the structure of the Novitiate (which is a formal period of discernment before someone commits himself by making temporary promises of Simplicity, Chastity and Obedience), was for me to leave this year's class. I received an email this morning from the Novice Master letting me know that my request for leave has been accepted. As of today, I am no longer a Novice.

The Paulists have been remarkably supportive of me throughout my father's illness. When I return, I hope to rejoin the formal discernment process.

For my part, I am viewing this as an interruption, or a delay, in my formation process. My sense that my vocation is to the priesthood remains unchanged. It seems though, that my path will remain crooked and a bit murky.

Since my father was diagnosed with cancer last April, I have been haunted by those passages from the Gospels where Jesus says, "Let the dead bury their own dead," and "He who loves his father and mother more than me is not worthy of me." They continue to haunt me. And it may be that I am like the rich young man, who when confronted with Jesus' demand, turned and went away sad. However, this is the best I can do, and, like with everything else, I beseech the Lord to have mercy on me, a sinner.


Anonymous said...

Never think of it as an interruption... think of it as a added adventure along the way.


Kraft said...

I was very sad to hear of your father's death; he, you and your family are in my prayers.

For what it is worth, from my own past with my father's death, you got to do what you got to do. Allowing grief and giving support to your family during this difficult time is, in my opinion, loving the Lord and accepting the human reality He gave us.

With all my prayers,

Zadok the Roman said...


I have no doubt that you took this decision seriously and sensibly, and that this too is part of your preparation to become a holy and compassionate priest, DV.

Jason nSJ said...

You have my prayers, Gashwin.

Susan Rose, CSJP said...

mine too. hang in there

Anonymous said...

Jesus also wept when He heard of Lazeruses death, though he was told that he had died He continued on His journey to his home. He understands our sorrows- He is with you when you weep.

Richard said...

You and your family are in prayers. It seems you've made a prudent and mature decision.

Gashwin said...

Thanks y'all. I do appreciate all the prayers and support. p

ProverbialMike said...

Big G--

Know that scripture also tells us to "Take care of your father when he is old." Sounds to me like the sensitivity you show in choosing to do this will make you a better priest (and human being).

Know that you'll always have the support of us here at

Mike Hayes

Jennifer said...


You will never regret this time helping your mother.

I understand about those quotes haunting you. But don't forget a more significant passage: the scene where Jesus asks his beloved disciple to take care of his mother and love her as his own. I think that it says a lot that Jesus, in the midst of his suffering and dying, thought about her and made sure that she would not be abandoned. You are not saying that you love your mother more than God. You are honoring her in her time of pain. I wouldn't be suprised if you learned something this next year that you needed to know in your priesthood down the road. God has a plan for you.