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Vocations

Permanent Diaconate

Men discerning a vocation to the permanent diaconate are invited to learn more about this ministry and the requirements for ordination during an information night at Sacred Heart Major Seminary on Wednesday, November 30, beginning at 6:30 p.m.

Permanent deacons are a familiar site in our parishes. They assist the priest at Mass by preaching the Gospel and delivering the homily, and also celebrate funerals, take Communion to the homebound, and coordinate the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults. Some permanent deacons serve as chaplains at hospitals and colleges.

Your gifts to the Catholic Services Appeal support the Office for Clergy and Consecrated Life, and the Permanent Diaconate Formation Team, as well as provide assistance for men in formation at Sacred Heart Major Seminary.

Pope Benedict XVI–Prayer for Vocations

 

O Father, raise up among Christians
abundant and holy vocations to the priesthood,
who keep the faith alive
and guard the blessed memory of your Son Jesus
through the preaching of his word
and the administration of the Sacraments,
with which you continually renew your faithful.
Grant us holy ministers of your altar,
who are careful and fervent guardians of the Eucharist,
the sacrament of the supreme gift of Christ
for the redemption of the world.
Call ministers of your mercy,
who, through the sacrament of Reconciliation,
spread the joy of your forgiveness.
Grant, O Father, that the Church may welcome with joy
the numerous inspirations of the Spirit of your Son
and, docile to His teachings,
may she care for vocations to the ministerial priesthood
and to the consecrated life.
Sustain the Bishops, priests and deacons,
consecrated men and women, and all the baptized in Christ,
so that they may faithfully fulfill their mission
at the service of the Gospel.
This we pray through Christ our Lord. Amen.
Mary, Queen of Apostles, pray for us.

What Is a Vocation?

 
The root word for vocation is vocare, which is Latin for “to call.” God has created each one of us for a particular calling or destiny in this life and the hereafter. Through the Sacrament of Baptism God calls each one of us to live out that calling in love, holiness and service to God and one another. The path we choose to follow is important, because by actively discerning God’s call and responding, we will live our lives in true joy and fulfillment.

It is important to remember that a true vocation is an invitation from God to assume some responsibility to share in the mission of the Church. God never forces Himself upon us. The Lord constantly encourages, nurtures and pulls us in the direction we should be heading. If we truly listen with our hearts and not to our fears and doubts, the authentic invitation from God will be easier to know.

Some will live out their vocational calling in marriage and parenthood; some will remain single; others will be called to serve as priests or consecrated. Each call is unique and we are totally free to respond. 

Learning what our specific vocation is requires a process we call discernment. It will be utilized at various stages in our lives and God will use others to assist us in that process.

What is most important is to actively seek from God what it is we are called to do.


“Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find;
knock and the door will be opened to you.
For everyone who asks, receives, and the one who seeks, finds; and the one who knocks the door will be opened.”
Matthew 7:7-8

Resources

General Information

United States Catholic Conference of Bishops
Various articles and initiatives on vocations at the national level

United States Council of Serra International
The mission of Serra is to “is to foster and affirm vocations to the ordained priesthood and vowed religious life in the United States and, through this ministry, our members’ common Catholic faith.”  Good resource for projects.

Information on Various Consecrated Orders for Men and Women

Apple Seeds
Check out “Church and Religious Links”
Website maintained by Fr. Brian Cavanaugh from Steubenville University

“Best Catholic Links”
Web link information on “Consecrated Life” provides links and information about various men and women’s religious orders

Secular Vocations

United States Conference of Secular Institutes
Catholic Secular Institutes members are consecrated for love of the Church and for sanctification of the world.  Members of secular institutes are “in the world and not of the world, but for the world.” They are the newest vocation in the Catholic Church, and many say they are the vocation of the new millennium.