Cursey James Calais II
Society of St. Joseph (Josephites)
What made you begin to consider a religious vocation? Was there a particular moment or experience you remember as an “epiphany” that led you to your commitment?
I discerned prior to college. Ever since I was young, I felt called to serving people. Later on, in high school, after I made my confirmation, I began to get more involved with the church. I had a lot of inspiration from my parish pastor and the associate priests in my home parish.
What made you choose the Society of St. Joseph?
Our order was actually founded after the Civil War. Its mission is helping the African-American community. It was founded to help freed slaves. It’s a great mission.
What is the most difficult part about adjusting to religious life?
The biggest adjustment is no longer being independent. Being a religious, everything is provided for you. And if you need something you have to ask permission. That is the biggest transition—having to rely on the society instead of doing it myself.
What role did the vocation director play in your discernment?
Actually my diocese's director helped me realize my calling wasn’t quite fitting with their way of life. He tried to help me seek out religious orders to try out. He was very supportive.
What is the most rewarding part of the life?
The community—being able to meet with the other guys. We can help each other out whenever there is something someone is struggling with. And they share their stories, too.
Who is your spiritual role model? Why?
Pope John Paul II. He is my hero.
What spiritual gift do you think you bring to the order?
I always liked working with vocations. Talking about vocations in different places. And I also like working in administration. I have experience with those things, and I think that can be a big help.
What would you tell someone considering a religious vocation who is unsure what steps to take?
Just try it out. You can really find out if it is your calling or not if you give it a try.
Where do you turn for support?
I pray the Rosary and turn to another religious. But I also like finding inspiring videos on YouTube. There are actually a lot out there.
What is your favorite Bible verse?
Mark 1:17: “Come, follow me,” Jesus said, “and I will send you out to fish for people.”
What is the last book you read?
To Save a Thousand Souls: A Guide to Discerning a Vocation to Diocesan Priesthood.
What do you do for fun?
I like to go to the movies.
What would you like to say to the Hilton Foundation, who made this Grant possible?
Thank you for helping me discern my vocation further. I will continue to pray for all of you and your families.