Hope for the Future: An Interview with Vocations Director Fr. Jacob Bertrand Janczyk, O.P.
By BlackFriars Staff
Fr. Jacob Bertrand Janczyk, O.P., joined the Dominicans in 2010 after graduating from Marist College, where he studied biomedical science. Ordained in 2017, he served as assistant chaplain at Dartmouth College before becoming vocations director. He is co- host of the podcast Godsplaining and author, with Fr. Patrick Briscoe, O.P., of Saint Dominic’s Way of Life: A Path to Knowing and Loving God. BlackFriars sat down with Fr. Jacob Bertrand to discuss the vocations program and its future prospects.
How do you see your role as vocations director?
My job isn’t to hunt future Dominicans and bring them into the Order, but to look at men who are being moved by Our Lord and to recognize whether or not receiving formation is a possibility in the Province of Saint Joseph and in the Dominican Order. Are these men desirous of the things that Dominicans do: a life of contemplation, a life of study, a life lived in community—all ordered to preaching? Do these men want to live the evangelical counsels?
How do you account for the high number of novices entering the Province of St. Joseph each year?
The Province has a lot to recommend itself—our parishes, our campus ministries, the Thomistic Institute, projects like the Hillbilly Thomists and Godsplaining. The Province is very present and engaged, and I think that draws men to the Order. We try to be faithful to the charism and mission of St. Dominic.
Do you foresee this trend continuing?
Vocations don’t arise out of a vacuum; even when the Lord calls, they need to be fostered and encouraged. If there’s not an environment to do that, you see a dearth of vocations. The Church in America has a vibrancy and staying power to it. Because of that, we can expect and hope that vocations will continue to come.