From the Pastor's Desk: Archives

November 6, 2016

National Vocation Awareness Week

This Sunday begins National Vocation Awareness Week here in the United States. It is an opportunity to remind ourselves of the need to pray for vocations to the priesthood, religious life and married life. People do not just decide to become priests or religious, it is the result of feeling drawn to the life and the work. It is born from a growing faith and love of Christ and the Church and the conviction that service to the Church through this vocation will not only bring joy but also better the lives of others who are drawn to Christ.

Imagine asking your son what he wants to be when he grows up, and he answers, "I want to be a priest!" What would your reaction be?

The truth is that God has a plan for each of your children; he wants them to be happy even more than you do. And their true happiness is found in discovering God's plan for their lives - their vocation - and following it wholeheartedly.

So if you're truly concerned about your children's well-being, it makes sense to help them discern their vocations, whether to marriage, priesthood, or religious life. Here are some simple ways to foster openness to God's call.

Read a good story. Add some books about famous saints to your bedtime reading. There are dozens of fascinating age-appropriate stories of saints who were priests and religious.

Watch a better movie. When it's time for family movie night, watch a religious movie. There are tons of Catholic films that depict heroic and interesting priest and religious. The conversation afterwards is far more meaningful than which explosion was the biggest!

Set the record straight. Media depictions of dating and sexuality are often opposed to authentic love. So when TV shows the wrong message, set the record straight about what leads to real happiness. Especially around teens, defend the sacrament of marriage.

Pray from the heart. In your family prayers, pray for more priest and religious. Let your kids hear you praying for their futures.

Talk about vocations. Speak openly about vocations to marriage, priesthood, and religious life. From the earliest age, make it clear that happiness in life is following God's plan.

Throughout this week, I invite you all to take some time to offer a prayer for those who are discerning where God is calling them to serve Him.

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