Subway Calling

This time last year, I was living in Jersey City, a short 15 minute subway ride from midtown Manhattan. When I had the chance, I'd go into the City, see the sights. There was a Franciscan church right by the train station which had mass all day long, so sometimes I'd stop in for a visit. I event went to a Lenten retreat day there last year.

Apparently, the Friars are now advertising for vocations on the NYC subway. And, at least according to the New York Post, they're being unusually successful due to the downturn in the economy.

About of a third of the 45 callers - those who met the order's basic requirements and expressed a true interest after the initial conversation with Smail - were sent forms to fill out. They include a doctor and a public-school teacher. A couple of women even inquired (sorry, men only).

Two men who expressed interest were unemployed.

"Given what has happened with the economy, I think it has led to a lot of self-reflection among people about what is important in life," said Smail, who joined the order in 1992 after working 15 years at a bank in Boston. "They realize there are limits to the system that everyone is playing into."

The subway ad poses the question, "Day shift? Night shift? How about a life shift?"

I wouldn't be surprised if a few folks woke up to the possibility of a vocation through the economic whatever you want to call it.

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