Faith Feature: Vocation Awareness Week 

By: Nancy Belmont, Director of Faith Formation

“My vocation is love!” – St. Therese of Lisieux

National Vocation Awareness Week, celebrated November 3-9, 2019, is an annual week-long celebration of the Catholic Church in the United States dedicated to promoting vocations to the priesthood, diaconate and consecrated life through prayer and education, and to renew our prayers and support for those who are considering one of these particular vocations.”  Source: USCCB

How Can We Support and Encourage Vocations?

  1. Through prayer
  2. By encouraging people to “consider the call.”
  3. By donating to the MCCW Co-Sponsored Seminarian Scholarship. (insert link to that mccw web page)

“Again, (amen), I say to you, if two of you agree on earth about anything for which they are to pray, it shall be granted to them by my heavenly Father.” Matthew 18:19 (NAB)

Consider publishing this Prayer for Vocations in your parish bulletin and asking your pastor to include these Prayers for the Faithful during Mass. Hang the current group photo of the Archdiocese for the Military’s Co-Sponsored Seminarians in the back of your sanctuary for all to see so they can remember these young men in their prayers. 

Parish Prayer for Vocations

Loving and Generous God,
it is You who call us by name
and ask us to follow You.
Help us to grow in the Love
and Service of our Church
as we experience it today.

Give us the energy and courage
of Your Spirit
to shape its future

Grant us faith-filled leaders
who will embrace Christ’s Mission
of love and justice.

Bless the Church of ______________
by raising up dedicated and generous leaders
from our families and friends
who will serve Your people as Sisters,
Priests, Brothers, Deacons and Lay Ministers.

Inspire us to know You better
and open our hearts
to hear Your call.

We ask this through our Lord.

Source: USCCB

Prayers for the Faithful

For young people in our community that they may respond generously with open hearts and willing spirits if the Lord calls them to the priesthood, diaconate, or consecrated life.  We pray to the Lord …

For men and women to be open to God’s call to spread the Good News of Jesus Christ as priests, deacons, or consecrated persons.  We pray to the Lord …

Source: USCCB

We Have a Shared Responsibility

We have a responsibility to encourage vocations. We should pray for discernment and courage, identify people we recognize as having gifts and talents that would make them good priests, sisters, and brothers, and invite them to consider the call. 

This includes people in our own families. MCCW’s own AMS Seminarian Liaison, Denise Hummel, reflected on this responsibility:

“For me personally, as a recent convert (1995), I never mentioned the priesthood to my oldest son…. not even once. Why? It just never crossed my mind. 

You know the conversation you have when they are little, ‘What do you want to be when you grow up?’ 

Over many years, and growing in my personal faith, and witnessing a priest over for dinner turn and ask my son (then a young college student), ‘Have you thought of the priesthood?’, I realized that we are ALL called to extend the invitation to young men and women to answer the call to serve as priests and religious. 

The future of our faith we all love so very much depends and relies on it. 

So, if you now ask my youngest son, seven years old, ‘What do you want to be when you grow up?’ he might say a policeman, firefighter, or even a priest. Although, when he was about five, and I asked him if he might ever like to be a priest one day, he responded, ‘No…all they do is so much talking! Talking! Talking! Talking!’

Kids are so cute (and honest!) ”