From the Vocation Director

Father Joel Martin
Fr. Joel

May the peace of Christ be with you! Welcome to St. Bernard Abbey’s online site, where you can learn a bit about who we are as Benedictine monks, and how we are living our vocations here in North Alabama. Over the last decade, St. Bernard has experienced an increase of vocations that makes it unique among most American Benedictine monasteries. Each year, young men are coming here to seek Christ in community with us, through lives of prayer and work. Perhaps you are discerning if the Lord may be calling you to religious life too. Hopefully, some of the information in this “vocations” section of the site will be of help to you.

Realizing one’s vocation in life, and responding to it, is a very important matter. For many of us, this has meant laying aside our own plans in order to embrace a far greater plan. Above all, we encourage you to spend time with God in prayer; take upon your lips the words of the prophet Samuel, “Speak Lord, your servant is listening” (1 Sam 3:10). Also, hear what the Lord may choose to communicate to you through others, especially those who know you best and those who know religious and priestly life well. If you find yourself with some interest in religious life, even if it’s not an overwhelming desire, it may be the Lord leading you and calling out to you.

After some prayer and reflection, as well as browsing through the information provided here (and more elsewhere if you like), we warmly invite you to contact us. We are happy to be at your disposal to help in the discernment of your vocation.

God bless you,
Fr. Joel

(256) 255-5801 |