Brother Jason Muhlenkamp knew he was being called to be a religious brother. He grew up in southwest Ohio, around members of the Missionaries of the Precious Blood, a group of priests and brothers who serve in schools, colleges, parishes and hospitals. He saw the difference they were making and the impact they had on people’s lives, which first led him to consider a religious vocation.
After high school he attended the University of Toledo and worked several places before discerning what to do next.
“I felt a desire to serve God and other people, and I had to decide on the best way,” he said. He also read an article that called Glenmary brothers “men of service,” a position he found attractive.
Jason became a volunteer for the Catholic Network of Volunteer Services and began his spiritual journey at Glenmary. He was assigned to work for one year on The Glenmary Farm, the former site of the Glenmary Group Volunteer Program. Father Larry Goulding would regularly visit to give vocational talks at The Farm, and after hearing several, Brother Jason contacted then-Glenmary Vocation Director Father Steve Pawelk to begin the formation process.
Now a fully professed Glenmarian working in Georgia alongside Brother Levis Kuwa, Brother Jason knows he belongs at Glenmary. It was not one event but several that confirmed his decision, particularly after he completed novitiate and took his first oath.
He was hiking and praying on the Brother Ralph Trail, a trail on The Glenmary Farm, where he felt a strong calling to be a Glenmary Brother. Retreats, prayer and spiritual direction allow him to slow down and listen to God’s direction, and his time serving in Windsor, N.C., living with other Glenmary Brothers assured him that he was on the right path.
“It has been a blessing to work alongside great missioners and partners in our missions,” Brother Jason said. “It is a privilege to be a Glenmary Home Missioner. Working towards unity with other churches and collaborating with other agencies, to build bridges not walls, has brought me great joy in ministry. The people that I encounter every day also give me an opportunity to share the mercy and love of Jesus Christ.”
Though Brother Jason doesn’t pin down one moment when his calling became clear, he sees God at work on the path that led him to Glenmary.
“God was very present throughout the journey,” he said. “There were a lot of moments of grace.”