V. Rev. James J. Greenfield, OSFS

Very Rev. James J. Greenfield, OSFSBirthday: November 12
First Profession: August 14, 1982
Final Profession: September 24, 1988
Ordination: June 2, 1990
Email: jgreenfield@oblates.org

Present Ministry:                                                                                                          Provincial

Pope Francis initiated a Year of Consecrated Life; what is your understanding of the vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience?                                                          The vows remind me of my consecration to Jesus to be of service in the world as a religious priest.  I am constantly trying to live a simple, free, and attentive lifestyle, as I understand poverty, chastity, and obedience, to Jesus in service of the Church.

Of the three vows, which do you see most connecting you to the people you serve?                                                                                                                                                Now that I am in my 50’s, the vow of obedience keeps me connected to the people I serve as it requires an attentive listening to what my Oblate community is asking me to be for others.  In that listening I also connect to what is happening in our world and then I am able to be in life-giving conversations with others to make the presence of Jesus felt more deeply.

What gift do you see the Oblates, as religious men, bringing to the church and world?                                                                                                                                                      I think we are grounded and hopeful preachers.   As a group, I hear from others that our preaching helps others to be more prayerful and practical in the living out of their faith.  I also hear often that we preach from the heart to the heart!  I believe the world benefits from this kind of preaching.

How does your commitment to a religious community impact your life?             I feel freed and conscripted at the same time.  My community affords me a lot of time and space to develop my gifts and talents and then use them for others.  At the same time, my community conscripts me to stay within certain parameters and directions that the Oblates believe will best serve the world.

What is your greatest hope for religious life in the church?                                         I hope we can invite young men and women to try a vocation for a given time frame – not necessarily a perpetual commitment.  This way, more people will perhaps be attracted to “come and see” what Jesus can do for them as consecrated religious.

What has been a surprise for you as you have lived as a religious?                          I am surprised that religious life still flourishes amidst such secularism in our society!  And it is still attracting a wide swath of interested men and women from a wide spectrum of backgrounds.

What excites you most about Pope Francis?                                                                         Every word he utters!  He told religious to, “Wake up the world!” and he has done just that as a Jesuit priest.





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