The word ‘feral’ was initially a seed sown through conversations with Henry Morgan. My sense of being a ‘boundary-dweller’ through much of my ordained ministry as a parish priest, and as a spiritual director/mentor, persisted up to and beyond my retirement from full time ministry. My sense of person-centred vocation, in which I sought to recognise Christ amongst those I lived with, frequently felt to be increasingly at odds with the thinking and planning of the institutional Church. This is not a criticism of any particular individuals, but what I perceived to be a growing trend towards a management strategy that became more concerned with the institution’s own ‘salvation’ rather than the ‘care of souls’.
The sown seed has grown and blossomed since retirement at the end 2021. There has been a sense of being ‘released from captivity’ but with it has come a sense of isolation and purposelessness as I have moved from the diocese I last served in for 12 years prior to retirement. However, although I don’t know how many others have the same experience as me, I know there are some and it would be good to share with them in a positive and supportive way.
Although I have retired, my vocation has not. So I have been pondering the question: should I apply for PTO (permission to officiate) through the diocese I now live in or is there another way to exercise my vocation? The possibility of the proposed website is potentially a means to honouring the vocation gifted to me by God – at least a step in the right direction. I recognise that this vocation is a ‘priestly’ one, which was affirmed recently when taking my mother-in-law’s funeral service.
My hope is that the proposed website would be a creative sharing platform for both those with an ordained vocation and those whose vocation is exercised in other spheres of life, and would also be open to those of other faith traditions and those journeying with alternative spiritual insights.
My suggestion for a logo would be an eagle in flight inspired by Isaiah 40:31, ‘They who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles.’