Skip to main content

Vocation Awareness Week: More than just priests and consecrated religious

Today marks the beginning of the National Vocation Awareness Week. This week is dedicated to the promotion of vocations to the priesthood and consecrated religious life. It is important that each of us pray for these religious vocations. However, it would be a mistake to think that only priests and consecrated religious have a vocation.

The word vocation comes from the Latin word vocare which means called. God has called each of us to a particular vocation: priest, consecrated religious, married, or chaste single. If we want to promote religious vocations we need to promote all vocations. Consider question six from the Baltimore Catechism:

Question: Why did God make you?
Answer: God made me to know Him, to love Him, and to serve Him in this world, and to be happy with Him forever in the next.

The particular way each of us is called to serve God is our vocation. When we understand that the purpose of our lives is to serve God in the unique way He has designated for each of us, the consideration of the priesthood or consecrated religious is a logical step. When we view marriage as more than just a personal choice for own pleasure, but rather a calling to serve God joined to our spouse in a unique union, then we will orient our marriage and our family in God's service. Responding to God's call is an act of generosity. The primary motivation is total self-giving rather than self-interest.

The family as the domestic church is the first place children see this focus on living to serve God. A simple way to emphasize this is for parents to rephrase the common question, "What do you want to be when you grow up?" Instead, ask your children, "What do you think God wants you to be when you grow up?" Decisions about jobs, moves, or any other significant family event should first be considered with a family prayer. This way children can see that all family actions must be made in accordance with the call to serve God.

So while it is important for us to use this upcoming week to pray for all of our priests and consecrated religious, both present and future, it would be a mistake to think that these vocations can be considered in isolation. Strong religious vocations are the product of strong family vocations.


I could not agree more. My husband and I have represented the vocation of marriage at the last two vocation forums in our parish. However, this year, our vocation has not been included. While I can certainly appreciate the need to promote religious vocations, I think it is a mistake to disregard the opportunity to speak to our parishioners about the true purpose of marriage that is often neglected today. I am afraid that this decision came from our discussion on the threats to marriage today. We included divorce and contraception in these threats. Our priest tends to be a little more liberal (as I am discovering more in more in trying to teach NFP classes in the parish), so I don't think it went over too well with him.

Popular posts from this blog

Parent Letter from a Catechist

I am going to be teaching seventh grade CCD this year. We do most of the preparation for confirmation during this year since Confirmation is usually scheduled for the fall of the eighth grade year.I have composed a letter to the parents to try and keep them active in their children's religious education. I thought I would post it here and get your feedback before I send it out in a couple of weeks.

I am privileged to be your child’s seventh grade CCD teacher for the 2006-2007 school year. This is a very important year. We will focus on your child’s preparation for confirmation. Of course, you have already been preparing your child for this sacrament for many years. You are the primary catechist for your child. You show how important your Faith is by making Mass attendance a top priority and by family prayer.

Confirmation is one of the Sacraments of Initiation. It is a beginning. It is not a graduation. This year we will work to solidify the foundation of your child’s Catholic Faith.…

Dispelling the Myth of the Travel Dispensation

One of the fun things about having a site meter on my blog is I can see which posts garner the most attention. I can also see how people find my blog. One of the most read posts from my two years of blogging is this one that discusses finding Mass while traveling. I would like to think this post is so popular because it is so well written. The truth of the matter is that it generates so much traffic because I use the words “travel dispensation for Mass”—as in “There is no such thing as a travel dispensation for Mass.” I would guess that nearly a dozen times every week, someone googles “travel dispensation for Mass” and finds my blog. I wonder how many of these folks are poor souls trying to assuage their Catholic guilt with evidence of a justification for missing Mass while on the road.

I know that when I tell my seventh grade CCD students that attending Mass every Sunday is a commandment (one of the top ten!) and not just a pretty good idea they are amazed. Missing Mass has become so …

United Breaks Guitars

This guy is really talented and what a creative way to get your message across. I think he captured the "indifferent employee" perfectly. They don't just work for airlines. I think I ran into them at Walmart on Friday!