As part of their application to the postulancy (the first stage in the process that leads to ordination), aspirants
are required to undergo a fairly rigorous psychiatric evaluation. I knew that this was a time-consuming step and should
be taken care of early on, but nevertheless I procrastinated, causing a minor crisis: the deadline for submitting forms
to the diocese was ten weeks away. The organization that performed the psychiatric testing claimed to need from nine to
thirteen weeks, on average, to produce a report. Quickly doing the math, it seemed I was about to miss the opportunity
I had been working two years to prepare for. I think in an effort to comfort me, and to suggest that it would be okay
to wait till next year to make my application, the diocesan officer in charge of vocations said: “Well,
everything in God’s time.”
Suddenly years of sermon messages came rolling down on me, spilling out of the deep recesses of memory and
culminating in a single, pristine message, burning like a flame in the forefront of my consciousness: God’s time
is right now.
I knew what had to do.
I called the Center for Ministry, took advantage of a cancellation the following Tuesday, devoted the weekend to
filling out questionnaires and inventories and the Meyers-Briggs and the PF16, and spent all that Tuesday in
conversation with one of the center’s resident psychiatrists. Understanding the gravity of my situation, he
produced an evaluation for the diocese within two weeks. (Furthermore, he said I was sane.)
What was supposed to take nine weeks took three. I completed the rest of my application, met with the bishop and the
Commission on Ministry in March, and was admitted to the postulancy shortly thereafter.