By Fr. Fred LeClaire, CMF
Fr. Fred shares below about his call to the priesthood and how he has grown in his vocation.
He is also sight impaired. If you’d like to watch a video interview he did with Radio Claret about being a priest with vision loss you can watch the video here - https://youtu.be/GoCXW0Velww
I felt called to be a priest at a young age. I enjoyed altar serving and was eager to serve. I felt a closeness to God at a younger age and looked forward to an opportunity to serve. This continued through my high school days.
I began looking into the seminary in college. What I needed to do and what I was doing left me unprepared to realize my vocation. My love of God and others needed to expand beyond my limited perception and I was challenged to grow. My vocation was a gradual awareness of ongoing growth through college and the seminary.
I always received the support of family and others who said that I would make a good priest. I felt called to a vocation, but needed to mature throughout the process to become a better priest. Ordination is not the final step, only the beginning step of an awareness of God's call in my life.
I am grateful to God and the Claretians who have supported me in my journey. I had the fortune of being in a parish that was served by the Claretians, Sacred Heart in Prescott, Arizona in the 70’s and 80's. I was encouraged by them to grow in desire and deed. I am grateful to God for the path that has led me to this point. What I thought were failures, actually turned into opportunities to better understand God's involvement in my life. Any successes I realized were by the grace of God, not my own doing.
My vocation is one of relationship with God and others. The more I love, the more I understand my call from God. God has helped me to grow in my immaturity, better understand the gift of community and service, and a better vision of missionary life in the Church and Claretian family.
Could you be called to a vocation to serve the people of God as a missionary? Check out www.myclaret.org to find out more and contact a vocation director who will be happy to accompany you on your discernment journey.