Fr. Gerald Ornowski, MIC

Missionary
Alaska


You know, I've always had a bit of an adventurous spirit. I've been an athlete and outdoorsman, and have had my share of dangers tangling with lions in Africa and bears in Alaska.

My greatest joy, though, was falling in love with God at the age of 12 and then hearing the call to priesthood during high school. I've always aspired to go beyond the ordinary to do something higher in life. I discovered the Marians of the Immaculate Conception through a roommate. I liked the way they lived as a family in Christ and the variety of ministries they offered.

Since I was ordained in 1962, I've been able to live out my vocation in many ways. Among other duties, I've been a vocation director, a master of novices, editor, and television speaker. But some of my greatest adventures have been in the wilderness of northern Alaska where I volunteered to minister to the Eskimos — traveling by snowmobile, hunting for much of my food, and getting along without running water, toilets and most modern conveniences.

Then, the bishop asked me to serve as the Catholic chaplain at the University of Alaska in Fairbanks, because that's where the need was the greatest. This is a new adventure — making the faith relevant and understandable to this generation. I find myself thriving on this new challenge. It's another way of saying "yes" to God like the Virgin Mary.

If you, too, feel called to a life of adventure as a religious priest or brother, I encourage you to consider the Marians of the Immaculate Conception.