(00:03) Fr. Craig Giera and Fr. David Pellican welcome us to this episode of Men of the Hearts. They introduce us to today’s guest, Fr. Jeff Allan (Chaplain, Ascension Macomb-Oakland Hospital). He shares a “recent grace” of reflecting on the saintly life of a priest friend who recently passed away.
(08:50) Vocation Story — Fr. Jeff shares that he first thought of the priesthood as a child. As he grew up, he felt being a priest was “fourth on my list.” He was an altar server as a child. Following studying at Adrian College, he did an initial discernment of the priesthood, but didn’t feel he should move forward in discerning. He worked in sales for several years. He began dating a young woman and enjoyed his life. At his office, he joined a prayer group, and started attending daily Mass. Some five years after his initial discernment, Fr. Jeff began discerning the priesthood again and revisited the seminary.
(23:23) Two discernments and the role of peace — Fr. Jeff shares that in his second discernment, he felt a new and deep peace as he moved forward. His discernment weekend brought a greater clarity and peace to him: “Spending time in front of the tabernacle in the chapel, and feeling a sense of peace.” He shares that his days in seminary were difficult, and he struggled with studying theology, but the mentorship he received helped him journey through seminary.
(31:33) Priesthood — Fr. Jeff shares that he greatly enjoys working as a hospital chaplain. “The staff are the parishioners.” He discusses how he has been stretched in this ministry, about listening to the Holy Spirit, and meeting people in crisis.
(51:05) Advice for discerning well — “Don’t narrow the focus! All of us have different callings within the priesthood. Our roles change, and be open to that.” Fr. Jeff offers his insights into discerning a priestly vocation and how he sees God’s work in our lives. He says, “Have a consistent daily prayer life… Eucharistic Adoration, Liturgy of the Hours….” He tells us discernment is a “win-win” situation.