In a Pope Francis Generation first, this interview was recorded in-person at my house.

(If you’re watching on Youtube, you’ll see that we recorded this conversation in my wife, Kristina’s, art studio for her business, Painted Sanctuary.)

For this episode, I talked with my good friend, Brian Armbrustmacher, about what it means to discern a vocation.

Brian was a seminarian for the Diocese of Lansing, Michigan, and at the end of the month he will be starting formation with the Franciscan Friars of the Renewal (CFRs) in New York. He will share a lot of his personal story in this episode.

I first met Brian nine years ago. I had just started working at a parish and he was a student in my 11th grade religious education class. We became friends after he graduated, and that friendship has especially grown over the past couple of years.

As I’ve shared in previous episodes, about a year and a half ago I resigned from my ministry position at my parish due to really toxic behavior from my pastor at the time. It was a very difficult time for me spiritually, and still is, and it severely impacted my own relationship with the Church.

While this stuff at the parish impacted him as well, Brian accompanied me and my family through that time. And even though we don’t always agree on things, sometimes Brian’s positivity and hopefulness clashed with my cynicism, our conversations with him have been a real source of grace. He has offered me real encouragement and support throughout these trials, and he has also challenged me when I have been tempted to cynicism and despair.

Brian is a good friend. As excited as I am for him to join the CFRs, I will also miss him.

I hope you enjoy our conversation!

This episode is available on Youtube and on your favorite podcast app.

This week, Paul talks with his good friend, Brian Armbrustmacher, about discernment and vocations. In a PFG first, this conversation was recorded in person. Brian was a seminarian for the Diocese of Lansing, Michigan, and this fall he is beginning formation with the Franciscan Friars of the Renewal (CFRs) in New York. Brian shares his personal vocation story as well as some of the things he has learned about prayer, discernment, and what it means to discover your vocation.

“To discern our personal vocation, we have to realize that it is a calling from a friend, who is Jesus…I want you to know that, when the Lord thinks of each of you and what he wants to give you, he sees you as his close friend. And if he plans to grant you a grace, a charism that will help you live to the full and become someone who benefits others, someone who leaves a mark in life, it will surely be a gift that will bring you more joy and excitement than anything else in this world. Not because that gift will be rare or extraordinary, but because it will perfectly fit you. It will be a perfect fit for your entire life.” (Christus Vivit 287-288)
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Paul Fahey lives in Michigan with his wife and four kids. For the past eight years, he has worked as a professional catechist. He has an undergraduate degree in Theology and is currently working toward a Masters Degree in Pastoral Counseling. He is a retreat leader, catechist formator, writer, and a co-founder of Where Peter Is. He is also the founder and co-host of the Pope Francis Generation podcast. His long-term goal is to provide pastoral counseling for Catholics who have been spiritually abused, counseling for Catholic ministers, and counseling education so that ministers are more equipped to help others in their ministry.

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