Please pray daily for an increase in Vocations to the Priesthood and Religious Life.
For more information visit www.houstonvocations.com or any of the resource links at right.
February 27, 2008
Each ministry, each ministry head and each member of the ministry may have an opportunity to foster and nurture vocations. In this context we are specific concerning the vocations of Priests, Sisters and Brothers. Fostering and nurturing vocations is not the sole responsibility of the clergy or a vocations committee. Likewise each member of the Parish also has a responsibility to foster and nurture vocations as God provides the opportunity. Let us look for those among us who are called and let us always be a help and never an impediment for those seeking to understand and answer God’s call.
A vocation is not defined by doing, by any specific role or function. It is primarily a matter of being, in which life is consciously embraced as God’s pure gift, full of meaning and purpose, lived out in generous and wholehearted response to the One who is its source, and whose ultimate fulfillment is to “see the face of God and live”.
Christian vocation is inherently missionary. Its purpose is to transform the world, healing, teaching, reconciling, and giving life and freedom to the children of God. Vocation is never to an inert status or to a garden enclosed. It is a call to engender life: in oneself, in others, in the world to which we are sent.
Most vocational journeys contain a few key moments when the Lord’s invitation to “come, follow me” is heard as a direct and personal call to the human heart. More typically, though, this call is mediated gradually: in prayer, thorough major events in one’s personal history, through interlocking sets of experiences, and perhaps most vividly through individuals – mentors, spiritual guides, witnesses – whose direct invitation prompts a young man or woman seriously to ponder their call to embrace a particular vocation. This principal of mediation is an essential dimension of vocation ministry.
Therefore it follows from this principal of mediation that all members of the Church share responsibility for “raising up vocations”. We are all de facto members of the Vocations Committee. In our de facto role we are mandated by God to pray often for an increase in vocations to the priesthood and religious life, we are asked to be aware of those around us who might have vocation interests and nurture that interest, and we are called to with respect and privacy to bring these individuals to the attention of our priests. We ask you as ministry heads to look for the “Samuels” around you.
Fr. Tom Rafferty