In honor of National Vocation Awareness Week, we’re sharing the stories of some of our Missionaries’ vocational call.
In one block of his hometown of Winamac, Ind., St. Peter Catholic Church was on one corner, the rectory on another, the convent on another, and the Nufer house on another. That was fortuitous for young Terrence Andrew Nufer, who took piano lessons from the sisters beginning in third grade. By fifth grade, he was playing the organ at weekday Masses.
After he graduated from college with a degree in French, he spent two years teaching French and music at Brunnerdale, the Society’s former high school seminary near Canton, Ohio. There, he learned a hard truth: “I am not a classroom teacher.”
But when he was assigned to parish ministry at Our Lady of Good Counsel Church in Cleveland, he found himself in the right fit. “A path opened before me, and I walked right through” into life as a church musician. He is now the director of music ministry at the Sorrowful Mother Shrine in Bellevue, Ohio.
At the shrine as in a parish, a music minister helps the music fit the moment. A lifelong learner, Brother Terry earned a master’s degree from the University of Notre Dame to help him in his ministry. “That gave me tools I still use. It helped me understand how the music fits into the liturgy and what it’s supposed to do. As a minister, I can make sure the music fulfills its purpose.”
It’s a fulfilling life, he said. “As far as I am able to tell, this is what God wants of me, and it’s always been that way.”